So I just finished watching a fantastic replay of the Jazz-Lakers Game 4 of the 1997 Western Conference Semifinals at the old Forum in LA. Karl Malone went for 42 and was 18-18 from the free throw line. Bryon Russell had 29, Stockton had 11, Hornacek 14 and the rest of the team combined for only 14 points. Seriously, check the boxscore:
Can you imagine how tough that Malone/Stockton/Hornacek trio could have been with a supporting cast? I mean, I enjoy a Chris Morris cameo as much as the next Jazz fan, but wow, those teams were slim pickings after the first four.
Also, I hope all the Jazz players were in their hotel rooms watching this game to learn how to play on the road. It’s not fair to expect a player to be Karl Malone or John Stockton, but it was startling to watch two superstars and a one-legged specialist put on a clinic on the road against a young Shaq, Kobe, and a smattering of classic late 90s Lakers.
Let’s get nostalgic for a bit. And since I was living in the middle of nowhere in Argentina with no access to a television that year, I want to hear what it was like to follow the team that year. What are some things you remember about that 1997 Jazz team? In the meantime, enjoy Hornacek at the line: