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The 1998–99 NBA season was the Jazz's 25th season in the National Basketball Association, and 20th season in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Jazz entered the season once again as runner-ups in the NBA Finals, having lost back-to-back NBA Finals to the Chicago Bulls, both in six games. However, with Michael Jordan retiring for a second time, Scottie Pippen being traded to the Houston Rockets, Dennis Rodman signing with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent, and Phil Jackson's contract expiring, it marked the end of the Bulls dynasty, and the Jazz hoped to make the NBA Finals for a third time. During the offseason, the team re-signed free agent Thurl Bailey, who came out of his retirement. The start of the Jazz season was delayed by a four-month lockout. When the season finally started, the Jazz got off to a 19–4 start, and then posted an 11-game winning streak in April. However, they struggled a bit down the stretch as they lost their grip on first place. They finished with a league best record of 37–13. However, their record was tied by the San Antonio Spurs, who won the Midwest Division by a tie-breaker. Karl Malone was named Most Valuable Player of the Year for the second time.
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