The 1998 Chicago Bulls season was a special one for a number of reasons. The team won its sixth NBA Championship and pulled off yet another amazing “Three-Peat.” Michael Jordan finished off his own individual trifecta: All-Star MVP, League MVP, and Finals MVP. You can add Scoring Champ to that list make it a "quadfecta." When Jordan and company were celebrating, it was the end of one of the most dominant dynasties in sports history. MJ, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and head coach Phil Jackson were all gone by the start of the 1998-99 season. Presented here is a lot that literally captures the moment those champagne bottles were popped and cigars were lit, as MJ and the Bulls tasted sweet victory once again, this time for the final time.
Minutes after Michael Jordan crossed-over Utah Jazz forward Byron Russell and swished his "Last Shot” as a Chicago Bull in Game 6 to win the title, he was showering his teammates with champagne and handing out victory cigars in the visitor’s locker room of the Delta Center. One of those bottles was picked up by, and one of the cigars handed to, team photographer/videographer, Savas Alatis, who spent ten years with NBA Entertainment covering everything from the All-Star game, the Playoff, the Finals and the Olympics. Alatis was assigned by Commissioner David Stern to cover the Bulls for the entire 1997-98 season, giving him exclusive access that fans and collectors can only dream of. According to his detailed letter, this bottle is "the one Michael Jordan first had in his hands when he came into the locker room celebration RIGHT AFTER HITTING THE SHOT!”
The empty bottle of Mumm ‘Cordon Rouge’ Brut champagne clearly matches those in photos of Jordan, Pippen and Rodman dousing each other. The Churchill-length cigar with a “Michael Jordan Best 23 Ever” label is un-smoked and comes in its individual wrapper. Also included is the “Don Melo” (Republica de Honduras) branded wooden cigar box (unhinged) that stored the cigars being passed around the locker room. It seems as though Jordan was passing around some of his very own brand and had them stashed in this box. To further validate the credibility of the source of these special items are two “Trophy Presentation” ribbons (purple and silver) that only approved media members were given to gain access to the post-game ceremony. Savas Alatis has also included his official media credentials for each of the six 1998 NBA Finals games, along with a stack of media passes for various other 1998 playoff games he shot. There’s even his 1996 Olympics credential. Amazing items to commemorate the greatest basketball player ever in perhaps his finest hour.
Includes detailed LOA from team photographer/videographer, Savas Alatis.