Steve Kerr reveals the ‘scariest game’ Chicago ever faced during 2nd 3-peat
The Bulls were pushed to a Game 7 in 1998, a season they came to know as The Last Dance as they tried for a second and last three-peat under coach Phil Jackson. The Golden State Warriors coach admitted that Game 7 was undoubtedly the most fear he’s had during that run.
“That was the scariest game we ever faced,” Kerr told ESPN’s Zach Lowe.
“We were proud,” said Jackson. “And almost pleased. Almost like you might imagine Joe Frazier feeling as they announced Muhammad Ali the winner. Until the buzzer went off, we never thought we were going to lose.”
The Bulls pulled off an 88-83 hard-fought win against Indiana, a win that was as close to their NBA Finals moment as it gets, perhaps even more than a 4-2 series against the Utah Jazz.
Chicago had 22 offensive rebounds compared to the Pacers’ four, despite lacking size against the likes of Dale Ellis and Rik Smits.
Jackson opted to go with small forward Toni Kukoc at power forward to unclog the lane, which resulted in Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen feasting on the offensive boards (11 offensive rebounds combined).
Neither Jordan (9-of-25) nor Pippen (6-of-18) shot the ball well that game, but the Bulls’ all-out effort and some timely shooting from Kukoc (21 points) and Kerr (11 points in 19 minutes) helped them get the edge over a sound Pacers team.