Utah judge 'rules' Michael Jordan 'pushed off' in his infamous 1998 Finals shot against the Jazz

Ball Don't Lie
Michael  Jordan and unidentified teammates in Utah, 1997. (Getty Images)
Michael Jordan and unidentified teammates in Utah, 1997. (Getty Images)

As if Chicago Bulls fans didn’t have a rough enough day to begin with, now they have to learn that the team’s 1998 NBA championship – to date the team’s last NBA championship – only counts in 49 out of 50 states.

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In a discussion with reporters following a move to wrest treatment of convicted drug abusers out of the hands of those that would like to respond with an incarceration-heavy approach, Utah Supreme Court Chief Justice Matthew Durrant saw fit to acknowledge just how far his state has come in the last two decades, before offering this as proof via Lee Davidson of the Salt Lake Tribune:

After recounting a number of technological improvements made by Utah courts over the past 20 years, the justice joked that it’s also been about 20 years since Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan made a controversial play to beat the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals.

Unfortunately for Jordan, he didn’t stop there:

“I know that some argue he did not push off; most of them live in Chicago,” he said. “But after much consideration, I am now prepared to rule. He pushed off. And if you think I don’t have the power to decide that, you haven’t read the Utah Constitution.”

Durrant is referring to the 1998 NBA Finals (this jamoke can’t even get his dates right) and Jordan’s title-clinching shot in the near-final moments of Game 6:

It clearly was not a push off, not even Michael Jordan could toss the 6-6, 220-pound Bryon Russell to the ground with an off arm while simultaneously pulling one’s entire body weight in the opposite direction prior to lining up for a 20-foot jump shot.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about this – though not 20 years’ worth of time, Mr. Durrant – and I’ve concluded as much. Michael Jordan did not push off, and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls are just fine.

The 2016-17 version? Not so much.

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Michael Jordan did not push off. Next thing you know, Matthew Durrant is going to tell us that Ron Harper’s jumper at the shot clock buzzer in Game 6 was shot off too late to count …

… when everyone knows that Ron Harper, unlike even the most exalted and respect of Justices, is infallible.

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Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don’t Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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