Comments about ‘Utah Jazz: Sloan long ago moved on from 1998’

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Published: Thursday, June 19 2008 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Any athlete would tell you if you've left the outcome of the game in the hands of the officials, you haven't done your job. Sure Jordan pushed off, but that was after stripping the ball off Malone at the other end.

The Jazz need to win a championship in the next few years(preferably while Sloan is still here) so we can stop dwelling on this. Some very painful memories, these.


Great article. Whether Jerry will admit it or not, I will...those horrible calls have haunted me for years. And I hadn't remembered that Bavetta was the one reffing that game...in light of Donaghy's allegations, it's all starting to add up now. The Bulls certainly didn't want a Game 7 of that series when it would have been played in SLC and Jazz had home court advantage. It's likely the Jazz could have pulled that off, and without Bavetta there to nudge it Chicago's way, MJ's legacy could have been tainted with a Finals loss...can't have that. In a game decided by 1 point, those 5 points loom large. Who says a ref making 1 or 2 bad calls a game can't influence the outcome?

CA voter

Sloan has the right attitude!


I love it. Sloan says "you could drive yourself crazy" by over analyzing a game that happened 10 years ago, a game whose outcome can't be changed. And then the rest of the article does exactly that.

Jerry, Jerry, Jerry

It's fine to let it go and not dwell on it...after the situation has been rectified so that same referee can't do the same thing to other teams in the future. By not protesting with the league, by not making an issue out of it, by not drawing public and media attention to the obvious blown calls, how do you expect NBA refs to improve their game or stop cheating because they think no one will challenge them on it? If you roll over and let them walk over you, they will keep right on walking, which they have, evidenced by Kobe's 19 FT attempts per game average in this year's Jazz-Lakers series. The league has mechanisms in place to for teams to protest referee behavior and the league has methods for disciplining referees. There is no shame in using these when the same referee makes so many "errors" in critical playoff games. Why do you accept his late apology? Isn't part of being sorry not continuing to make the same types of "mistakes"? You formally protest to the league-through the media-and THEN you let it go so it doesn't eat you up inside.


I love this article. And anyone who doesn't think referees don't have a say in the outcome of close games is fooling themselves. But like Sloan says, "What are going to do?" Dwelling on what might have been is just a waste of time. It's just a game. Everybody is still getting rich off the game and us common folks still pay to watch it. So what ARE you going to do?

Can I just add one more comment? Delaney makes me sick the way he says "this is not the first time a known convicted criminal has lied about me before the judicial system" wanting to remind us all of his "heroic" days as an undercover cop. He has proven on the basketball court that he is not a hero, he is a coward who can't even stand-up to some hostile basketball fans. He's a disgrace to all the good cops who put their lives on the line every day.

The push-off

wasn't that bad. Russell was already on the ground at that point. What gets me is when they called Russell for the ghost-carry earlier in the game. I remember it was a tense play with momentum starting to swing the Jazz's way, and they call a carry on Russell. It's another example of how letting things slip over the years has given the refs power to call or not call whatever they want whenever they feel like they need to swing the momentum.

RE: AZJazzFan

For people who watched Game 6, Jordan's legacy is already tainted. It's not his fault, so I feel sorry for him in a way.

Coach Sloan sets a good example for the rest of us. Sure he came within a few blown calls of a championship, but that was years and years ago, and he moved on right away. How nice if we could all leave the past in the past, in sports and otherwise.

Move on already!

I agree. Let's just accept the fact that the NBA (National Basketball Entertainment) is good, clean sports entertainment fun for the whole family (Gambino, or otherwise) and move on, for crying out loud!

Fix it....

Fix the problem. It DOES matter, even 10 years later because it did not get fixed. Period.


Do they have to bring up those painful memories from that game? I had almost forgotten about it, when they have to bring it up yet again. First, I think Dick Bavetta should hang it up. Whether he was involved in fixing any games or not is another story, but that dude is so old how can anyone expect him to be a top notch ref? He was old in 98 and he's still in the league. I don't get it. Anyway, as far as game 6 in the 98 finals, it definitely is a tough game to think about when replay shows two bad calls involving shots, went against Utah. The Michael Jordan "pushoff" wouldn't have mattered had those other 2 calls been correct. Who knows what would have happened in game 7 if Utah had won, but unfortunately, we'll never know.


The Jordan "push-off" has been overblown so much with time. It has gotten worse as the years have gone on. He didn't push Russell to the ground, no way. Did he use his hand to get some separation? Totally, but he didn't shove Russell to the ground. I remember watching it live and never saw Jordan touch him. It took the third replay at a different angle to see that Jordan put his hand on Russell. Plus at that stage of the game, the refs let them play. That's the way basketball is. A no-call was the right decision. Harper's shot probably shouldn't have counted but you have to look at the replay frame by frame to see that it came just a fraction after the shot-clock expired. That's a tough call full speed. Hard to blame the refs for that. However the Eisley shot is inexcusable. We were ripped off on that for sure. Does it make a difference by the time the final buzzer sounds? Possibly but there was so much basketball left after that shot. It was ten years ago, we all need to let it go (me included).


How come nobody is mentioning how dirty a player John Stockton was and that he got away with more uncalled fouls than anyone during his career? I bet you weren't thinking about that for the last 10 years.


The NBA is fixed! I love the Jazz and I have followed them religiously since 1979 when they moved to Utah. The sad thing is I will most likely give up on watching the Jazz also as the NBA moves closer and closer to Pro-Wrestling.

The worst call was forgotten.

The worst call was not mentioned. The series before the famous Jordan push off, MJ stole the ball from Karl Malone by slapping down on Malone's forearm. In the replay, Bavetta was standing right beside the players, looking right at the play. He saw that foul and never blew the whistle. Then Jordan went down to the other end of the court, shoved Bryon Russell, and won a title.


I can't believe the words that were typed by Bill. John was not a dirty player, he was a tough player. One who set picks, took charges, etc. Give me a break Bill.. Go back and watch the games again.. Sounds to me like a little jealousy!!!!


Josh is right. You can't leave it in the refs hands. Jordan's shove was questionable at best even with the replays, it was ticky-tack. Stockton and Malone used to do the same thing. Basketball is best when there is some contact. This isn't golf. But there was nothing questionable about Malone getting stripped. Why is nobody blaming him? The two shot-clock violations that went against us hurt but you can't just say "there is a five point swing, hence we would have won by four." You just can't say that. Were there any questionable calls that went against the Bulls? Probably. Maybe I'm just getting old but it seems to me like the refs are worse in today's game than 10 years ago. I think they are all corrupt today but I just don't have that view for years past, and that includes the 1998 finals.

re Bill

Get a life Bill. They only thing ANYBODY has on Stockton is he was always able to get position on the opponent to make them commit an offensive foul. He didn't foul and get away with it.

Real mature picking somebody that is retired.

The worst call was NO FOUL

Watch the replay again. On the steal, Jordan slapped the ball and Malone's hand which is part of the ball. He did not hack his arm. Now you're just grasping at straws. If we are going to mention every little thing here, how about Jordan's layup that brought the Bulls to within 1. He was surrounded by three Jazz as he went up for the shot, bumped numerous times along the way. No foul. Must be a conspiracy.


Chuck, thanks for the post, I was waiting patiently for an "un-biased" Jazz fan to debate my point. The NBA is fixed, the Bulls didn't deserve to be champs, Jordan wasn't good he had the refs in his back pocket and Stockton wasn't dirty, he was "tough". I remember an SI or ESPN article from the 90s that asked current players who they thought were the dirtiest. Malone, Laimbeer and Stockton were the top three. Thanks again Chuck, you made my day.

Oh and to "re Bill", isn't Jordan retired too?

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