Game 6, 1998 NBA finals
Though he would return to basketball three years later with the Washington Wizards — we’re still trying to figure out why — Jordan’s game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA finals is the triumphant image that will linger in the minds of fans. With the Bulls trailing the Utah Jazz, 86-85, with 20 seconds to go, Jordan stole the ball from Karl Malone. Guarded closely by Utah’s Bryon Russell, Jordan dribbled toward the foul line, stopped and crossed the ball over his left hand while Russell fell backward, giving Michael an open look. He nailed it, then held his arm up in the air on the follow-through, offering everyone a final glimpse of history. Jordan’s Bulls won their sixth title of the decade. A few months later, His Airness, at 35, walked away from the game once again.