On June 20th 1993 Chicago Bulls defeated the Pheonix Suns in 6 games in order to win the NBA Championship , which was their third championship title in a row. Jordan’s Bulls became the first team since the 1966 Boston Celtic’s to have achieved this magnificent feat. Things were looking really bright for the Bulls as it appeared that they’ll form a Dynasty and will be the best team in the league for many years to follow. It all changed when on 6th October 1993 Michael Jordan retired from the league. Although Jordan was at his prime he was having many difficulties off the court. His father had been murdered and on the other hand he was being investigated by the association as there were allegations of him participating in illegal betting. His Airness believed that basketball did not make him happy anymore and it was time for him to move on. Shortly after, White Sox a Minor League baseball team announced they had signed Mj. The owner of Chicago bulls was also the owner of White Sox and kept Michael on his payroll throughout. Michael’s departure spun the entire roster’s dynamics and influenced them in a very negative way.
1993-94 NBA Championship
In the off season Bulls signed free agents Steve Kerr, Bill Wennington and Pete Meyers.Without Jordan the responsibility of the team fell into the hands of Scottie Pippen. This was also their last last season at the beloved Chicago center before they moved across the street to the United Center. Many experts predicted this team would not be able to qualify for the playoffs Although their start to the season was very abysmal with a record of (8-8) after the first 16 games the Bulls went on two separate 10 game win streak to set a strong record of 55-27 which helped them finish 3rd in the eastern conference. Scottie bagged the all star game most valuable player award and established a place for himself in the All NBA first team and NBA All defensive first team.
Chicago Bulls swept the Cleveland Caveliers (3-0) in the first round of the playoffs. They next faced the challenge of the esteemed New York Knicks. The last time these two teams faced in a playoff series was in the Game 7 of the EC semi-finals the previous year in which the Knicks were outclassed by the king himself. Michael Jordan dropped a massive 42 points which helped the Bulls to advance to the finals. This time around it was a bit different with the Knicks completing their revenge on the Jordanless Bulls. Knicks won the series in the 7th game with a heavyweight clash that went down between Scottie Pippen and Patrick Ewing. Knicks progressed the NBA finals only to be defeated by 2nd placed Western Conference team Houston Rockets
1994-95 NBA season
The season started with yet another major loss as the bulls lost the teams’s number two Horace Grant to the Orlando Magic. Despite the loss of Grant the team did not manage to make any big additions, This weakened the team beyond repair. The start to the Bull’s season was very shameful yet not suprising with a pathetic record of 23-25 by the time of the all star break.On February 11 1995, A day before the much awaited All star game Scottie Pippen the backbone of the Chicago Bulls announced on live television that he hoped to get traded before the trade deadline. The 29 year old was at the prime of his game and yet by league standards was criminally under payed. Everything seemed to be falling apart for the bulls as they seemed to be a sinking ship. 45 days later on 12th March Scottie Pippen was still a Bull and a two worded fax changed the dynamics of this sport forever
” I’m Back,”
On March 12th 1995 Michael Jordan released a simple two worded fax and announced his return to major league basketball. Michael’s shock return seemed to spur life in the team for the second half of the regular season. The team’s record when Jordan was in the lineup was 13-1 and they managed to put up a decent record of 47-35 which helped them attain 5th Position in the conference. Although the team once again crashed out in the semi final’s against Orlando Magic after defeating 4th placed Charlotte Hornets in the first round. Houston Rockets ended up winning the championship and retaining their trophy.
The season of dreams :- 1995-96 NBA Championship
The upcoming season would be crucial for the Bulls in order to retain their spot as one of the best in the league. This being Michael’s first full season back from his 18 retirement or how he likes to put it as ” An 18 month long vacation”. He started putting in extra hours in the gym in order to make sure he was ready for the upcoming season.
The bulls traded Will Perdue to San Antonio Spurs in exchange for the Rebound specialist Dennis Rodman. Although Rodman had the most rebounds in the league for the past 4 years the San Antonio Spurs were very desperate to get The 34 year old of his payroll they did not anticipate the trio of dominance he would go on to form with Scottie and Jordan. Theory went with the creative mind of general manager Phil Jackson and the already existing link between the hard working Michael Jordan and Pippen being the perfect partner to the king, Rodman would be able to plunge in the gaps on defense and offence. With Rodman in the starting line up the bulls became a Powerhouse in the league. Steve Kerr and Toni Kukoc started off the bench but were absolutely essential in the functioning of the team.
The bulls went off to a flying start losing only one game in the first ten. The bulls shattered record after record and there was no stopping them. The experienced bull’s team were expected to drop their form at some point during the season but they never did. Jordan led the league in scoring , Rodman led the league in rebounding whereas Scottie did a bit of everything. The team started the season with a record 37-0 at home which was part of a 44 game win streak. The team won a record of 33 road games during the course of the season.Scottie and Michael were both selected for the All star game with Michael Jordan picking up the All star game Mvp. The bulls continued dominating their opponents after the all star break. The possibility of breaking the Los Angeles Lakers record of 69 wins in the regular season seemed within reach and sure enough on April 16 1996 The Chicago Bulls defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in order to win their 70th game of the regular season. The bulls went on to set a stunning record of 72-10. The amount of trophies this team racked up in the regular season was sensational. Michael Jordan won the regular season Most Valuable Player Award , Phil Jackson was named the Coach of the year. Toni Kukoc won the 6th Man of the year award. Jordan and Scottie were named in the all NBA first team. Mj ,Pippen and Rodman were all named in the NBA all defensive first team. Although the bulls recorded history this season they knew that none of the awards or records meant anything until and unless they had the NBA Rings on their fingers and the beautiful trophy in their hands.
The Bulls went into the playoffs with the same energy and mindset with which they had throughout the regular season. The Bulls swept Miami in scintillating fashion with 3 blowout victories in the first round. The Bulls once again faced the New York Knicks in the semi finals of the Eastern conference.Although the Knicks provided more of a challenge, This time the Bulls were the ones who had the last laugh after winning the series 4-1. The Bulls once again managed to breeze past their opponents with a clean sweep when they defeated Orlando Magic 4-0 in the Eastern conference finals.
The Chicago Bulls had reached the NBA finals once again. They faced a formidable opponent in The Seattle Sonics. With Chicago winning the first three games it seemed as they were in for another clean sweep but Seattle did their best to fight back as they won the next two games. On June 16 1996 Chicago Bulls Defeated the Seattle Sonics to win the NBA Championship for the fourth time in 7 years. Jordan grabbed the finals Mvp award becoming the first player since 1970 to garner the elusive triple crown by winning all three Most Valuable player awards.
The Chicago bulls went on the win the NBA championship in the next two years as well, completing their second threepeat in a matter of 8 years
Although The 2016 Golden State warriors broke the Bulls record of 72 wins they were not able to complete the season with the prestigious trophy.
The 90’s Chicago Bulls will go down in history as one of the best and most controversial team of all time.