Dates: June 9-June 20
Winner: Bulls, 4-2
The unthinkable had happened. We actually got tired of Michael Jordan winning. He was far and away the league's most graceful athlete and fiercest competitor, but no matter how he wowed us, we knew to expect it. So when a brash Charles Barkley led the Phoenix Suns to a league-best record, we swooned at the thought of a new king and coronated him a bit too soon.
Barkley hoisted the MVP trophy and proclaimed the Suns a team of destiny. Little did he know their destiny was to be embarrassed by Jordan. Chicago took both Games 1 and 2 in Phoenix, but the Suns fought back to claim a triple overtime thriller in Game 3 at Chicago behind 24 and 19 from Barkley. But just when Chuck began to get his hopes up, Michael burned the Suns for 55 in Game 4 to take a 3-1 lead. Phoenix won Game 5, shifting the series back home, but lost a chance at a seventh game when John Paxson launched his way into NBA history. Jordan averaged an unfathomable 41 points per game in the series, the Bulls were the NBA's first three-peat in decades, and no one has called Charles an MVP since.