Bryon Russell may be synonymous with the “Last Shot” of 1998, but he got that work from Michael Jordan in 1997 as well.
It was game 1 of the 1997 NBA Finals with the score tied 82-82. The Chicago Bulls had possession with 7.5 seconds remaining. The ball was quickly inbounded to Toni Kukoc, who just as quickly gave the ball to MJ. Like a predator, Mike stored down Russell with slow dribbles between hands. Michael then side stepped to his left for a mid-range jumper over Bryon’s outstretched arm. The buzzer sounded before the ball tickled the net. The entire Chicago crowd erupted in joy, as Mike just froze with his his victory fist pump.
Michael wore the Air Jordan 12 during this memorable moment. The shoe features a full-length Zoom Air bag that is still being used by Nike and the Jordan Brand today. This is the first use of Zoom Air technology, forgoing Air Max for a bouncier, responsive experience. The large carbon fiber shank plate was carried over from the Jordan 11 to provide lightweight support under your foot.
The black and white “Playoff” colorway in this highlight can be found HERE.
Cover image via The Salt Lake Tribune