3. 1997/1998 Utah Jazz
Key players: Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek
Result: I put them on this list out of respect, but I personally thought they were one of the most overrated teams in NBA history as well. They lost two years in a row to the Jordan Bulls in 1997 and 1998 in the NBA Finals. I knew I would get roasted by you guys if I didn’t have them in the top 5. So here’s why I’m reluctant about showing love to the late 90’s Jazz teams. It’s pretty simple actually. During their prime years, Malone and Stockton could never get to the Finals. They couldn’t get past the Hakeem Rockets, the Payton/Kemp Sonics or the Barkley Suns. They basically got lucky with perfect timing. The Lakers were not the dominant Shaq/Kobe Lakers yet, Hakeem and Clyde and Barkley were all past their prime and often injured. Same with Shawn Kemp. Tim Duncan was a rookie on the Spurs. In short, the longevity of Malone and Stockton and weak competition in the West is why they made the Finals. You’ll never convince me that this Jazz team could beat the Lakers in their prime, or even the Hakeem Rockets in their prime (cuz, well… they didn’t). Heck, I think even the Nash Suns beat them in a 7-game series. But kudos to them for making the Finals twice and being recognized by many as one of the best teams to never win a title.