What will be the fate of MJ, the world champs and the most coveted free-agents-in-waiting?
MICHAEL JORDAN will steal the East's last playoff berth for Washington in spite of the maddening inconsistency of the Wizards, who are too old at some positions and too young at others—and will lose in the first round.
THE LAKERS will also make the postseason, rallying to grab the seventh spot, but amid the clang of cowbells in Sacramento, they too will go out in the opening round.
JASON KIDD will be named MVP before leading the Nets to the Finals, where they will lose in five games to the Kings.
CARMELO ANTHONY, the 6'8" freshman forward from Syracuse, will be the second selection in June after the league's ruling that Yugoslav center Darko Milicic is too young to enter the draft.
FREE AGENTS KIDD, TIM DUNCAN AND JER-MAINE O'NEAL will all remain with their current teams this summer, while 40-year-old John Stockton will sign with the Jazz for one more year—and 39-year-old teammate Karl Malone will re-up for two more.