– It’s May 13th, 1994. We’re at Chicago Stadium for game three of the Eastern Conference semi-finals between the New York Knicks
and the Chicago Bulls. The score is tied at 102 and the Bulls are inbounding with 1.8 seconds left. A year’s long rivalry that’s
been historically one sided, a bench clearing brawl,
a late game comeback, and some intra-team drama have all lead us to this moment, and as a
result, there is so much personal pride riding
on this inbound play. To remember just how much, let’s rewind. (soft electronic music) The Bulls have eliminated
the Knicks from the playoffs four times in the past five years. Very fun for them, but now the Knicks are up two games to none,
what’s the difference this year? Well let’s see, who’s missing? Oh right, Michael Jordan left
the NBA to play baseball, for some reason. Good news for the Knicks, though. They’ve had enough of MJ’s Bulls. In 1989, New York and Chicago met in the Eastern Conference
semi-finals, sound familiar? Get used to it. Chicago took ’em out in six games and according to this
high flying, wide open dunk from Jordan, they had fun doing it. In ’91 the first seed
Bulls were mercifully quick in their decimation of
the eighth seed Knicks winning the series in
three tidy little games. In ’92 the Knicks and Bulls met in the Eastern Conference
semi-finals, sound repetitive? Tell it to the Knicks. New York put up more of
a fight this year, thanks in large part to John Starks’
D, and Patrick Ewing’s O. They got to smell a
passing waft of revenge taking it to seven games,
but they didn’t get to taste revenge or champagne that season. A pattern was developing,
and that pattern was that Michael Jordan is
better than everyone always no matter what and
it’s unfair and so is life so maybe we should just get used to it, great, good, okay.
(laughing) The Knicks kept on coming, and in the ’93 Eastern Conference finals they even went up on the Bulls two games to none. Michael Jordan looked beatable, but looks can be deceiving and the
Bulls won the next four eliminating the Knicks and
going on to three-peat. The same guys had their
hopes dashed by the same team year, after year, after year, after year. You know that shot went in. But now with Jordan gone,
the general consensus around the NBA was play
it cool, but oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, we have a chance. While other teams merely had a chance, the Knicks were expected to step in as the dominant team in the East. People were saying it was the star-studded Knicks’ turn to be at
least Eastern Conference champs, and honestly, so far so good. The Knicks finished the regular season first in the Atlantic
division, and they made quick work of the Nets in the
first round of the playoffs. And now, they’re up two and oh
on the Bulls in the playoffs. They gotta be feelin’ pretty good, oh, wait a second, last year they were up two and oh on the Bulls in the playoffs and it didn’t work out so well for ’em, plus the two wins they have this series they really squeaked out. So the Bulls are MJ-less and the Knicks have made some roster changes, too. Though you wouldn’t know it
from looking at the court. New York picked up Derek Harper in January after Doc Rivers tore his ACL, but uh, Harper’s not present at
the end of today’s game. You see, temper’s have been
extremely high all series. Seems Scottie Pippen and
Horace Grant didn’t really agree it was the Knicks’
turn to own the East. John Starks didn’t actually
kick B.J. Armstrong here but you can tell he wanted to, and it all came to a head tonight. Just before half Chicago
reserve Jo Jo English got in a fight with
Harper, that quickly turned into a huge bench clearing pile up. I don’t know who’s foot that is. It spilled into the stands but luckily didn’t cross the line into involving fans, even though this woman definitely
wanted in on the action. And the cool thing about this fight? It took place directly in front
of Commissioner David Stern. They couldn’t have been closer to him without actually hitting
him, and look at Stern. He’s not mad he’s just
so very disappointed. Harper and English were both ejected. The Knicks probably would have preferred to keep their starting point guard, ’cause a few extra points
could have prevented this whole last second tie game situation. Since it’s tied, you might think, “Wow, “this must have been an even game so far, “probably a lot of trading baskets “and nobody was ever up by 22.” The Bulls were dominating this whole game, but then the fourth quarter
happened, which was a pattern. In the last two games the Knicks outscored Chicago in the fourth,
maybe because the Knicks stepped up their D and also maybe because the Bulls were used to Jordan
doing spectacular things at the end of games, and
had come to rely on it. Hmm, probably a combo of the two. Either way, it happened again tonight. The Bulls were up by 11 at half
and lead by 22 in the third, but in the fourth the Knicks turned it on and the Bulls turned it off. In particular Patrick Ewing turned it on in the final minutes of the game. He hit a fade away with
just over two minutes to go then with about a minute left he was like, “I’m Patrick Ewing, I’m
good at everything.” He got open down low and
dropped in a reverse. Then with 30 seconds left he was like, “I mean it, everything!”
and he took Cartwright off the dribble putting
the Knicks within two. Chicago had a chance to add to that lead, but Anthony Mason’s swarming defense totally stifled Scottie Pippen who just kinda dribbled around
the three point line not getting open and then bashed a prayer into the backboard trying
to beat the shot clock. He did not, Knicks’ ball. They got it to Patrick
Ewing’s hot hand, and– – [Announcer] Ewing for the tie! He’s got it with 1.8 left! – 102, 102, but with
1.8 seconds on the clock the Bulls have time to
catch and shoot and win, and Pippen wants to be the guy to do it. He’s got something to prove. Not just that he can get
around Anthony Mason, he’s got something a
little bigger to prove. Yep, that’s it. He’s been in Jordan’s shadow for so long, now that he’s out nobody
expected the Bulls to do anything or even be fun to watch. In fact people thought
the Bulls would be so bad without Jordan the Chicago
economy would suffer, but Scottie defied
expectations and lead Chicago to a 55 win regular season, a
three seed finish in the East, and now the Eastern Conference semis. He’s been the Bulls’
leading scorer all season averaging 49% from the field and 22 points a game, a career high. He was the All Star game
MVP, and while defense might not help him in these final seconds his defense has been
annoyingly good this year. Sure, Scottie never got
to take the buzzer beater when MJ was there, and we get that. Of course you’re not going to Scottie if you have MJ, what are you, stupid? But tonight, Scottie
could finally be the hero. Ready to inbound the ball, the Bulls line up in a stack and Scottie is not on the floor, which
takes some explanation. After Ewing tied it up,
the Bulls called time out. Great, that’s normal. Phil Jackson drew up a play, also normal. Then, Scottie Pippen cursed at Jackson, walked to the end of the bench
and planted himself there. I can’t read his lips, but come on, that rant is profanity laced. Ugh, Scottie Williams, move, we want to see this self destruction. Why’d Scottie refuse to take
the floor after the time out? Because the play Jackson
called wasn’t for him. Jackson wanted someone else
to take the shot, Toni Kukoc, which throws some light
onto why Scottie Pippen was so mad after the play was drawn up. I say some light because
there’s no way to fully explain benching yourself in the last
seconds of a playoff game. Dumb dumb. Pippen hated Kukoc since before the Croatian Sensation was even drafted. Kukoc came to the Bulls after being heavily recruited by GM Jerry Krause. Krause would go to his Euro League games and bring him Bulls’ championship t-shirts and I’m assuming better,
unreported gifts as well. All this attention from Krause made Scottie extremely jealous. It didn’t help that Krause did things like refuse to negotiate Pippen’s contract so he had the salary cap room
to offer Kukoc 60 million. Pippen resented Kukoc so
much that in the ’92 Olympics when the USA played Toni’s Croatian team, Scottie matched up on Kukoc determined to teach him a thing or two, or maybe he wanted to teach Krause a thing or two. Either way, Scottie shut
down Kukoc at every turn playing intense D and holding
him to just four points with a whopping seven turnovers. Like an older child telling
his new baby brother he’s not welcome in the family,
Scottie made a statement. The only problem, didn’t matter. Krause still pursued Toni and
offered him a nice contract. A contract so nice in
fact, it is very possible Kukoc will make more money
than Scottie next year. After waiting your whole
career to step out of the sidekick role, only
to have some new guy with the face of a 13 year
old step in front of you even for a moment can’t feel good. Can it make it bench yourself in the final seconds of a playoff game? Apparently. In Pippen’s place,
Jackson subbed Pete Myers, or as Chicago fans called him, Pizza Pete, a nickname he earned when
he missed two free throws costing fans a free
pizza promotional deal. So, confidence is high going
into this last second shot, and the ball is going to Toni Kukoc. That’s Jackson’s call,
but is it a good call? This is Toni’s rookie season, though he’s not new to pro ball. He’s been playing professionally in Europe since he was 17, he was
real skinny but real good. He racked up Euro League championships, Italian Cups and MVP awards. The Bulls drafted him back
in 1990, but he didn’t join the team right away because
he still had a contract in Yugoslavia, and then one in Italy, but that’s okay, Krause thought he was good enough to wait for, right Scottie? Threatening to make us remember there are more important things
in life than basketball, geopolitical factors influenced
where young Kukoc played. Toni started his career
playing for his hometown Split in Croatia, which was part
of Yugoslavia at the time. In ’91 Croatia seceded from Yugoslavia and there was some fighting in Split. Toni had a chance to move his Split contract to Italy, and he took it. When Kukoc did eventually
come to Chicago this season, fans didn’t exactly
welcome him with open arms but that soon turned around
because Toni played well. In fact, he’s hit three
buzzer beaters this season. In just his fourth NBA
game he became a hero, making a deep three
with about three seconds on the clock to defeat Milwaukee. On Christmas day he nailed this floater with three seconds left,
merry Christmas Chicago! Orlando, I hope your parents got you some good presents or something. Later in the season he took
down the Pacers, banking in a game winner with eight
tenths of a second left. Kinda seems like Jackson’s
got the right guy taking the shot tonight. Here we are, less than
two seconds on the clock, a tie game between two teams whose play off rivalry goes back six years. The Knicks, fighting
for dignity, determined not to be eliminated
by the Bulls yet again, rallied in the fourth quarter after being down by as many as 22. For the Bulls, a win here
would help them contest the narrative that without
Jordan, they’re no good. In a bitter series full of
emotion that boiled over in fits of aggression
and passive aggression both of these teams
have something to prove. Welcome to a moment in history. (crowd cheering) – [Announcer] Kukoc
for the win, it’s good! Oh brother! (TV clicking off)