End of the drought
In 1994: Hockey fans outside of the Big Apple were denied the opportunity of continuing one of the greatest taunts in sports history: the NINETEEN-FOUR-TEE! chant, as the New York Rangers won their first Stanley Cup since 1940. The Rangers, led by captain Mark Messier, defeated the upstart Vancouver Canucks 3-2 in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup Finals at Madison Square Garden. It was one of the best finals series ever, as each contest wasnt decided until late. Messier– as hed been the entire playoffs–was the hero, scoring what proved to be the game-winning goal in the third period. Canucks fans watching the game back in Vancouver expressed their disappointment in losing by rioting in the streets. New Yorkers were just too relieved. Brian Leetch of the Rangers was named playoff MVP.
In 1998: Michael Jordan hit the game-winning jumper with 5.2 seconds left as the Chicago Bulls won their sixth title in eight years by defeating the Utah Jazz 87-86 in Game 6 of the NBA Finals at the Delta Center. Jordan, who took home his record sixth Finals MVP, finished with 45 points and had a key steal off Karl Malone, which led to sinking the signature jumper. The shot was controversial in Utah because some believed that Jordan pushed off Jazz defender Bryon Russell. It proved to be the end of an era in which the NBA enjoyed unprecedented popularity and its highest ratings ever. Jordan would retire from the Bulls before the next season (which was shortened by a lockout) began. He would return in 2001 with the Washington Wizards.