May 18, 1998 marked the fifth time that Michael Jordan received the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award. MJ went out with a bang as his last MVP also coincided with his final year with the Chicago Bulls and the year that he won his sixth championship. Honored with the award five times also added him to exclusive company as he joined Bill Russell for second-most league MVP awards and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who sits at the top with six times).
For many, the 1998 season was topped off with MJ rocking Air Jordan 14s for the “Last Shot.” However, it was the Air Jordan 13 that did most of the brunt work that season. The model was designed by, of course, Tinker Hatfield and was inspired by the “Black Cat” nickname given to Jordan from fellow players. Regarded by many as one of the most comfortable and best Jordan’s to play in. The paw print outsoles, hologram, and appearance in He Got Game all added to the lore of the sneaker.
Along with the 5th MVP award that year MJ also broke Karemm Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA record of scoring double-digits for the 788th consecutive game and was the All-Star game MVP–all while wearing the Air Jordan 13. Just think, if he didn’t disregard everyone’s recommendation to wear the Air Jordan 14 during that game 6 game against the Utah Jazz his “Last Shot” would have been in a pair of 13s. The 1998 MVP award was a fitting end to an incredible era.