In the 1990s, one team was ruling over the NBA: The Chicago Bulls. They won six championships in eight years. Two western teams stood up to the Bulls: The Rockets and the Jazz. In the two years MJ was away from the NBA, the Rockets won back-to-back championships. After his four years ended in Phoenix, Charles Barkley joined the Rockets, hoping to win a title.
Charles Barkley had a career that comprised MVP honors, All-Star selections, and Olympic Gold, but the only thing he was missing was an NBA Championship. Barkley hoped to win it all alongside Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler.
The group was off to a good start, beating the Timberwolves 3-0 in the first round and the Supersonics 4-3 in the second round. In the Western Conference Finals, the Rockets faced the Utah Jazz.
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Charles Barkley was seriously considering injuring John Stockton
The duo of John Stockton and Karl Malone was formed in 1985, when the Mailman was selected as the 13th pick in the ’85 draft. Their pick-and-roll was one of the best in the NBA, and proved to be a deadly threat for the opponents.
While Malone mostly did the screening, there were times when the smaller Stockton would set screens. A lot of the times, the screens set weren’t proper, but since it was a smaller guy setting them, the referees rarely called it. Charles Barkley saw it and complained to the referees about the same as the Jazz took Game 1.
Since the refs didn’t do anything, Chuck decided to take matter in his own hands. After Game 2, during the press conference, Barkley said,
“Obviously, the refs not gonna do their jobs. They’re gonna let them set moving picks, so I was trying to separate his shoulder or break a rib.”
While the Rockets ended up winning Games 3 and 4, they ended up losing 4-2, and the Jazz went on to the NBA Finals.
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How many greats did Michael Jordan deny a title?
During the 90s, there were a lot of great players, and a lot of great teams, all of whom had a legitimate chance at winning the NBA Championship. However, there was one man who stood between them and the Larry O’Brien trophy: Michael Jordan.
Jordan and his Bulls denied so many greats a chance at living the best moment an NBA player could experience. Here are a few players whom MJ denied a ring:
- Charles Barkley
- John Stockton and Karl Malone (Jazz)
- Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley, and John Starks (Knicks)
- Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Chris Mullin, and Rik Smits (Pacers)
- Penny Hardaway
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