Byron Russell opens up about Michael Jordan’s shot over him in 1998 NBA Finals
It is the 20th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s historic shot in Game 6 of the NBA Finals. It is the one in which Utah Jazz fans believe Jordan shoved Byron Russell to the side, but the same game that put a cherry on top of His Airness’ stay with the Chicago Bulls.
Despite being two decades removed from the incident, as he told Eric Woodyard of the Desert News, it apparently still haunts the former Jazz talent.
“I knew what his hotspots were. I knew that’s where he wanted to go,” Byron Russell said. “I was 6-7, he’s 6-6. He’s 215 and I was like 220 (pounds). So I’m like ‘he’s not going to beat me’ so he done something that not even the world has seen. He gave me that extra little push so he could get to his sweet spot.”
“He knew what he was going to do and I knew he was trying to get there and I was trying to make sure I got him cut off,” he added. “I was a step ahead of him but he kind of felt like ‘here, let me give you this extra push Russ’ and then he hit the shot but I knew he wanted to get to that sweet spot.”
Depending if you have any fan allegiance to either team or player, this was likely one of the best moments in NBA history or one of the most warped — as many people still believe Michael Jordan should have been called for an offensive foul.
Nevertheless, history is written by the winners, and the “Last Shot” is as memorable a moment from Jordan’s career as any other. Unfortunately for Russell, who had himself a fine career, he’s mostly only remembered as the dude who Jordan busted.