1998–99 NBA season

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The 1998–99 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-per-team regular season schedule and the 16 teams who qualified for the playoffs played a full post-season schedule. That season's All-Star Game, which would have been held in Philadelphia, 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.

1998–99 NBA season
LeagueNational Basketball Association
  • February 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)
NBA seasons



The third 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 league's Christmas games (which had been played on an annual basis since 1947)[3] and All-Star Game, which had been scheduled to be played on February 14, 1999. The preseason consisted of 2 exhibition games.

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
Team 1997–98 coach 1998–99 coach
Chicago Bulls Phil Jackson Tim Floyd
Denver Nuggets Bill Hanzlik Mike D'Antoni
Los Angeles Clippers Bill Fitch Chris Ford
Milwaukee Bucks Chris Ford George Karl
Sacramento Kings Eddie Jordan Rick Adelman
Seattle SuperSonics George Karl Paul Westphal
Team Outgoing coach Incoming coach
Charlotte Hornets Dave Cowens Paul Silas
Los Angeles Lakers Del Harris Bill Bertka
Bill Bertka Kurt Rambis
New Jersey Nets John Calipari Don Casey
Washington Wizards Bernie Bickerstaff Jim Brovelli

1998–99 NBA changes

  • The Indiana Pacers added new gold pinstripe alternate uniforms with dark navy blue side panels to their jerseys and shorts.
  • The Minnesota Timberwolves added new black alternate uniforms.
  • The New Jersey Nets added new gray alternate uniforms with dark navy blue side panels to their jerseys and shorts.
  • The Orlando Magic changed their uniforms, replacing the pinstripes with slightly visible stars on their jerseys.
  • The Sacramento Kings added new purple alternate uniforms with black side panels to their shorts.
  • The Toronto Raptors moved into Air Canada Centre during the regular season.
  • The Utah Jazz added new black alternate uniforms with brown side panels to their jerseys and shorts.

Final standings


By division

Eastern Conference
Atlantic DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
c-Miami Heat3317.66018‍–‍715‍–‍1012–850
x-Orlando Magic3317.66021‍–‍412‍–‍1312–650
x-Philadelphia 76ers2822.5605.017‍–‍811‍–‍149–1050
x-New York Knicks2723.5406.019‍–‍68‍–‍1712–850
Boston Celtics1931.38014.010‍–‍159‍–‍1610–950
Washington Wizards1832.36015.013‍–‍125‍–‍206–1350
New Jersey Nets1634.32017.012‍–‍134‍–‍216–1350
Central DivisionWLPCTGBHomeRoadDivGP
y-Indiana Pacers3317.66018‍–‍715‍–‍1015–750
x-Atlanta Hawks3119.6202.016‍–‍915‍–‍1015–850
x-Detroit Pistons2921.5804.017‍–‍812‍–‍1313–850
x-Milwaukee Bucks2822.5605.017‍–‍811‍–‍1413–1150
Charlotte Hornets2624.5207.016‍–‍910‍–‍1512–1050
Toronto Raptors2327.46010.014‍–‍119‍–‍169–1450
Cleveland Cavaliers2228.44011.015‍–‍107‍–‍189–1350
Chicago Bulls1337.26020.08‍–‍175‍–‍204–1950
Western Conference
W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-San Antonio Spurs 37 13 .740 21–4 16–9 17–4
x-Utah Jazz 37 13 .740 22–3 15–10 15–3
x-Houston Rockets 31 19 .620 6 19–6 12–13 12–9
x-Minnesota Timberwolves 25 25 .500 12 18–7 7–18 11–9
Dallas Mavericks 19 31 .380 18 15–10 4–21 8–12
Denver Nuggets 14 36 .280 23 12–13 2–23 5–16
Vancouver Grizzlies 8 42 .160 29 7–18 1–24 3–18
W L PCT GB Home Road Div
y-Portland Trail Blazers 35 15 .700 22–3 13–12 15–7
x-Los Angeles Lakers 31 19 .620 4 18–7 13–12 14–8
x-Sacramento Kings 27 23 .540 8 16–9 11–14 11–9
x-Phoenix Suns 27 23 .540 8 15–10 12–13 9–10
Seattle SuperSonics 25 25 .500 10 17–8 8–17 11–10
Golden State Warriors 21 29 .420 14 13–12 8–17 8–11
Los Angeles Clippers 9 41 .180 26 6–19 3–22 3–16

By conference



  • 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 Round Conference Semifinals Conference Finals NBA Finals
E1 Miami* 2
E8 New York 3
E8 New York 4
E4 Atlanta 0
E4 Atlanta 3
E5 Detroit 2
E8 New York 4
Eastern Conference
E2 Indiana* 2
E3 Orlando 1
E6 Philadelphia 3
E6 Philadelphia 0
E2 Indiana* 4
E2 Indiana* 3
E7 Milwaukee 0
E8 New York 1
W1 San Antonio* 4
W1 San Antonio* 3
W8 Minnesota 1
W1 San Antonio* 4
W4 LA Lakers 0
W4 LA Lakers 3
W5 Houston 1
W1 San Antonio* 4
Western Conference
W2 Portland* 0
W3 Utah 3
W6 Sacramento 2
W3 Utah 2
W2 Portland* 4
W2 Portland* 3
W7 Phoenix 0
  • * Division winner
  • Bold Series winner
  • Italic Team with home-court advantage

Statistics leaders

Category Player Team Stat
Points per game Allen Iverson Philadelphia 76ers 26.8
Rebounds per game Chris Webber Sacramento Kings 13.0
Assists per game Jason Kidd Phoenix Suns 10.8
Steals per game Kendall Gill New Jersey Nets 2.68
Blocks per game Alonzo Mourning Miami Heat 3.91
FG% Shaquille O'Neal Los Angeles Lakers .576
FT% Reggie Miller Indiana Pacers .915
3FG% Dell Curry Milwaukee Bucks .476

NBA awards


Players of the month


The following players were named the Players of the Month.

Month Player
February Allen Iverson (Philadelphia 76ers)
March Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs)
April Jason Kidd (Phoenix Suns)

Rookies of the month


The following players were named the Rookies of the Month.

Month Player
February Paul Pierce (Boston Celtics)
March Vince Carter (Toronto Raptors)
April Vince Carter (Toronto Raptors)

Coaches of the month


The following coaches were named Coaches of the Month.

Month Coach
February Jerry Sloan (Utah Jazz)
March Mike Dunleavy, Sr. (Portland Trail Blazers)
April Gregg Popovich (San Antonio Spurs)

See also



  1. ^ "Lockout cuts into preseason schedule". The San Diego Union-Tribune. September 25, 1998. p. D11.
  2. ^ Wise, Mike (October 15, 1998). "Pro Basketball; N.B.A. Owners Cool To Players' Proposal". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2009.
  3. ^ Reynolds, Tim (December 24, 2018). "NBA's Christmas lineup headlined by LeBron vs. Warriors". ABC News. Associated Press. Retrieved February 26, 2020.

Further reading