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Chicago Bulls

This Date in NBA History (May 18): Michael Jordan is named NBA MVP in 1998 and more

On May 18th in 1998, Michael Jordan was named the NBA's MVP for the 1997-98 season.

This was the fifth Maurice Podoloff Trophy of his career, tying him for second all-time with Bill Russell and behind only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (6).

As per Basketball Reference, in the voting for the award, he received 92 first-place votes for a total of 1084 points out of a maximum of 1160. Karl Malone, with 20 first-place votes and 842 total points was second and Gary Payton (431 total points; three 1st place votes) was third.

Leading the Bulls to a league-best 62-20 record (tied with Utah Jazz), Jordan averaged 28.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 1.7 steals in 38.8 minutes per game while playing all 82 games.

Jordan carried the Bulls through the start of the season, with Scottie Pippen, their second-best player, missing the first 35 games.

.Not only that, he also broke a few historical records over the course of the season.

He won his 10th league scoring title - an NBA record. He was named to the All-Defensive First Team for the ninth time - an NBA record he set that was later tied by three other players - Gary Payton, Kevin Garnett, and Kobe Bryant.

In the 1998 All-Star Game, he earned MVP honours after leading the East to a 135-114 win, finishing with 23 points (10-of-18 FG), eight assists, six rebounds, and three steals in just 32 minutes.

Other notable events on May 18th

  • In 1975, Rick Barry of the Golden State Warriors hits a clutch jumper with 38 seconds to go in Game 1 of the NBA Finals, putting the game out of reach for the Washington Bullets. The Warriors won Game 1, 101-95 and would eventually sweep the series for the second "NBA" championship in franchise history.
  • In 2008, LeBron James dropped 45 points in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Boston Celtics. In response, Paul Pierce had 41 points (13-of-23 FG; 4-of-6 3PT; 11-of-12 FT) for a duel that was one of the greatest Game 7 playoff battles in NBA history. The Celtics would eventually prevail 97-92.

Notable playoff eliminations on May 18th

  • In 1995, the Orlando Magic win Game 6, 108-102 in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and eliminate the Michael Jordan-led the Chicago Bulls.

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