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1998–99 NBA season

1998–99 NBA season

The 1999 NBA season was the 53rd season of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Due to a lockout, the season did not start until February 5, 1999, after a new six-year Collective Bargaining Agreement was reached between the NBA and the National Basketball Players Association. All 29 teams played a shortened 50-game regular season schedule and the 16 teams who qualified for the playoffs played a full post-season schedule. That season's All-Star Game was also canceled. The season ended with the San Antonio Spurs winning the franchise's first NBA championship, beating the New York Knicks 4 games to 1 in the 1999 NBA Finals. This was the 50th season since the BAA and NBL had merged into the NBA.

1999 NBA season
LeagueNational Basketball Association
DurationFebruary 5 – May 5, 1999
May 8 – June 11, 1999 (Playoffs)
June 16 – 25, 1999 (Finals)
Number of games50
Number of teams29
TV partner(s)NBC, TBS, TNT
Top draft pickMichael Olowokandi
Picked byLos Angeles Clippers
Regular season
Top seedSan Antonio Spurs
Season MVPKarl Malone (Utah)
Top scorerAllen Iverson (Philadelphia)
Eastern championsNew York Knicks
  Eastern runners-upIndiana Pacers
Western championsSan Antonio Spurs
  Western runners-upPortland Trail Blazers
ChampionsSan Antonio Spurs
  Runners-upNew York Knicks
Finals MVPTim Duncan (San Antonio)


The second lockout in the history of the NBA lasted from July 1, 1998 to January 20, 1999. NBA owners were seeking changes to the league's salary cap system and a ceiling on individual player salaries. The National Basketball Players Association opposed the owners' plans and wanted raises for players who earned the league's minimum salary.

As the labor dispute continued into September, the preseason was shortened to just two games instead of the normal eight, and training camps were postponed indefinitely.[1] By October, it became the first time in NBA history that games were canceled due to a labor dispute.[2] Further games were canceled by November and December, including the All-Star Game, which had been scheduled to be played on February 14, 1999. The preseason was canceled as well.

An agreement between the owners and players was eventually reached on January 18, 1999. When play resumed, the regular season was shortened to 50 games per team, as opposed to the normal 82. To preserve games between teams in the same conference, much of the time missed was made up for by skipping well over half of the games played between teams in the opposite conference. As a result, some teams did not meet each other at all during the course of the shortened season.

Notable occurrences

Coaching changes
Team1997–98 coach1998–99 coach
Chicago BullsPhil JacksonTim Floyd
Denver NuggetsBill HanzlikMike D'Antoni
Los Angeles ClippersBill FitchChris Ford
Milwaukee BucksChris FordGeorge Karl
Sacramento KingsEddie JordanRick Adelman
Seattle SuperSonicsGeorge KarlPaul Westphal
TeamOutgoing coachIncoming coach
Charlotte HornetsDave CowensPaul Silas
Los Angeles LakersDel HarrisBill Bertka
Bill BertkaKurt Rambis
New Jersey NetsJohn CalipariDon Casey
Washington WizardsBernie BickerstaffJim Brovelli
  • Michael Jordan announced his retirement for the second time on January 13, 1999, while the lockout was still ongoing. He would later return to play two more seasons for the Washington Wizards from 2001–2003.

  • The New York Knicks became only the second #8 seed to advance in the playoffs by defeating a #1 seed. As of 2018, they remain the only #8 seed to have advanced to the NBA Finals.

  • The Los Angeles Lakers played their final season at the Great Western Forum. Because the Great Western Bank ceased to exist two seasons prior, the arena name was replaced by the team name on center court, in anticipation of the move to the Staples Center.

  • The Los Angeles Clippers played their final season at the Los Angeles Sports Arena.

  • The Indiana Pacers played their final season at the Market Square Arena.

  • The Denver Nuggets played their final season at the McNichols Sports Arena.

  • The Miami Heat played their final full season at the Miami Arena, although they still played the first two months of the following season at this arena before moving to the American Airlines Arena in January 2000.

  • The Toronto Raptors played their first game in Air Canada Centre on February 21.

  • The San Antonio Spurs became the first former ABA team to win a championship. (As of October 2018, they are still the only ABA franchise with a title; the Nets and Pacers have not won a title, and the Nuggets have never played an NBA Finals game.)

  • The Atlanta Hawks played another season in the Georgia Dome while Philips Arena was constructed for the 1999–2000 season. This season would be the Hawks' last playoff appearance until the 2007–08 season.

  • The Clippers tied the 1988–89 Miami Heat for the longest losing streak to start the season (17) from February 5 until March 11 when they defeated the Sacramento Kings. In December 2009, this record was broken by the New Jersey Nets who lost the first eighteen games of the season.

  • Hall of Fame coach Red Holzman died on November 13, 1998, at age 78.

  • For the first time in 15 seasons, the Chicago Bulls missed the playoffs. They would also become the second defending champion in NBA history that failed to make the playoffs, joining the 1969–70 Boston Celtics.

1998–99 NBA changes

  • The Indiana Pacers added new gold pinstripe alternate uniforms.

  • The Minnesota Timberwolves added new black alternate uniforms.

  • The New Jersey Nets added new gray alternate uniforms.

  • The Orlando Magic changed their uniforms, replacing the pinstripes with slightly visible stars on their jerseys.

  • The Sacramento Kings added new purple alternate uniforms.

  • The Toronto Raptors moved into Air Canada Centre during the regular season.

  • The Utah Jazz added new black uniforms.

Final standings

By division

Atlantic DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDiv
y-Miami Heat3317.66018–715–1012–8
x-Orlando Magic3317.66021–412–1312–6
x-Philadelphia 76ers2822.560517–811–149–10
x-New York Knicks2723.540619–68–1712–8
Boston Celtics1931.3801410–159–1610–9
Washington Wizards1832.3601513–125–206–13
New Jersey Nets1634.3201712–134–216–13
Central DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDiv
y-Indiana Pacers3317.66018–715–1015–7
x-Atlanta Hawks3119.620216–915–1015–8
x-Detroit Pistons2921.580417–812–1313–8
x-Milwaukee Bucks2822.560517–811–1413–11
Charlotte Hornets2624.520716–910–1512–10
Toronto Raptors2327.4601014–119–169–14
Cleveland Cavaliers2228.4401115–107–189–13
Chicago Bulls1337.260208–175–204–19
Midwest DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDiv
y-San Antonio Spurs3713.74021–416–917–4
x-Utah Jazz3713.74022–315–1015–3
x-Houston Rockets3119.620619–612–1312–9
x-Minnesota Timberwolves2525.5001218–77–1811–9
Dallas Mavericks1931.3801815–104–218–12
Denver Nuggets1436.2802312–132–235–16
Vancouver Grizzlies842.160297–181–243–18
Pacific DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDiv
y-Portland Trail Blazers3515.70022–313–1215–7
x-Los Angeles Lakers3119.620418–713–1214–8
x-Sacramento Kings2723.540816–911–1411–9
x-Phoenix Suns2723.540815–1012–139–10
Seattle SuperSonics2525.5001017–88–1711–10
Golden State Warriors2129.4201413–128–178–11
Los Angeles Clippers941.180266–193–223–16

By conference

Eastern Conference
1c-Miami Heat3317.660
2y-Indiana Pacers3317.660
3x-Orlando Magic3317.660
4x-Atlanta Hawks3119.6202
5x-Detroit Pistons2921.5804
6x-Philadelphia 76ers2822.5605
7x-Milwaukee Bucks2822.5605
8x-New York Knicks2723.5406
9Charlotte Hornets2624.5207
10Toronto Raptors2327.46010
11Cleveland Cavaliers2228.44011
12Boston Celtics1931.38014
13Washington Wizards1832.36015
14New Jersey Nets1634.32017
15Chicago Bulls1337.26020

Western Conference
1z-San Antonio Spurs3713.740
2y-Portland Trail Blazers3515.7002
3x-Utah Jazz3713.740
4x-Los Angeles Lakers3119.6206
5x-Houston Rockets3119.6206
6x-Sacramento Kings2723.54010
7x-Phoenix Suns2723.54010
8x-Minnesota Timberwolves2525.50012
9Seattle SuperSonics2525.50012
10Golden State Warriors2129.42016
11Dallas Mavericks1931.38018
12Denver Nuggets1436.28023
13Los Angeles Clippers941.18028
14Vancouver Grizzlies842.16029


  • z – Clinched home court advantage for the entire playoffs

  • c – Clinched home court advantage for the conference playoffs

  • y – Clinched division title

  • x – Clinched playoff spot


Teams in bold advanced to the next round. The numbers to the left of each team indicate the team's seeding in its conference, and the numbers to the right indicate the number of games the team won in that round. The division champions are marked by an asterisk. Home court advantage does not necessarily belong to the higher-seeded team, but instead the team with the better regular season record; teams enjoying the home advantage are shown in italics.

First RoundConference SemifinalsConference FinalsNBA Finals
E8New York3
E8New York4
E8New York4
Eastern Conference
E8New York1
W1San Antonio4
W1San Antonio3
W1San Antonio4
W4LA Lakers0
W4LA Lakers3
W1San Antonio4
Western Conference
  • Division winner Bold Series winner Italic Team with home-court advantage

Statistics leaders

Points per gameAllen IversonPhiladelphia 76ers26.8
Rebounds per gameChris WebberSacramento Kings13.0
Assists per gameJason KiddPhoenix Suns10.8
Steals per gameKendall GillNew Jersey Nets2.68
Blocks per gameAlonzo MourningMiami Heat3.91
FG%Shaquille O'NealLos Angeles Lakers.576
FT%Reggie MillerIndiana Pacers.915
3FG%Dell CurryMilwaukee Bucks.476

NBA awards

  • Most Valuable Player: Karl Malone, Utah Jazz

  • Rookie of the Year: Vince Carter, Toronto Raptors

  • Defensive Player of the Year: Alonzo Mourning, Miami Heat

  • Sixth Man of the Year: Darrell Armstrong, Orlando Magic

  • Most Improved Player: Darrell Armstrong, Orlando Magic

  • Coach of the Year: Mike Dunleavy, Portland Trail Blazers

  • Executive of the Year: Geoff Petrie, Sacramento Kings

  • Sportsmanship Award: Hersey Hawkins, Seattle SuperSonics

Players of the month

The following players were named the Players of the Month.

FebruaryAllen Iverson(Philadelphia 76ers)
MarchTim Duncan(San Antonio Spurs)
AprilJason Kidd(Phoenix Suns)

Rookies of the month

The following players were named the Rookies of the Month.

FebruaryPaul Pierce(Boston Celtics)
MarchVince Carter(Toronto Raptors)
AprilVince Carter(Toronto Raptors)

Coaches of the month

The following coaches were named Coaches of the Month.

FebruaryJerry Sloan(Utah Jazz)
MarchMike Dunleavy, Sr.(Portland Trail Blazers)
AprilGregg Popovich(San Antonio Spurs)


Citation Linkopenlibrary.org"Lockout cuts into preseason schedule". The San Diego Union-Tribune. September 25, 1998. p. D11.
Sep 30, 2019, 5:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.nytimes.comWise, Mike (October 15, 1998). "Pro Basketball; N.B.A. Owners Cool To Players' Proposal". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
Sep 30, 2019, 5:35 AM
Citation Linkwww.nytimes.com"Pro Basketball; N.B.A. Owners Cool To Players' Proposal"
Sep 30, 2019, 5:35 AM
Citation Linken.wikipedia.orgThe original version of this page is from Wikipedia, you can edit the page right here on Everipedia.Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.Additional terms may apply.See everipedia.org/everipedia-termsfor further details.Images/media credited individually (click the icon for details).
Sep 30, 2019, 5:35 AM