The Chicago Bulls of the 1990s: what a force to be reckoned with. In eight seasons, they took the NBA championship six times. The team’s victory over the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA finals made them the first team in 27 seasons to win the championship on three consecutive occasions.
It was performances like this that have led some to consider the highly dominant the best basketball team of all time. If ever you were going to bet on the NBA, you’d have definitely been fancying the Bulls to come good for you.
This article is a look at why the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s is possibly the greatest team to have ever stepped onto a basketball court, plus some of the players who made them such a force in the sport that decade.
Why are the 1990s Chicago Bulls the best basketball team of all time?
There’s absolutely no disputing the dominance of the team and the talent of the players on it but what were the magic ingredients that turned the Bulls into such a mighty force on the basketball court?
Notching up the wins
Take the 1995-96 season. The team won the NBA championship, but it wasn’t just about playing well in the playoffs and the finals. That season, they chalked up more than 70 wins, which could have taken a phenomenal on the players physically.
This was a team that only ever played to win. They even had the slogan “72-10 don’t mean a thing without the ring” on their practice shirts. It was a constant reminder that if they didn’t win the championship, they hadn’t accomplished anything.
Ability to stand up to tough teams
The NBA is full of big hitters, and in the 1996 season, two teams had been playing like demons but not getting noticed: the Orlando Magic and the Seattle Supersonics. While the Bulls were attracting all the headlines and basking in the limelight, both teams had won 60 or more of their games in the regular season.
No matter to the Bulls. The boys from Chicago faced both teams in the playoffs. They took on the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference and emerged victoriously. They then went up against the Supersonics in the NBA finals. Again, another victory. The Bulls of that season were on top of their game and able to match the very toughest of opponents on the court.
Players knew their roles
Each man on the team had a job to do and they knew it inside and out. This was especially evident in the 1991-92 team. Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen may have been doing their thing and posting a whole load of points, but players around them embraced their roles: Horace Grant, the rebounding machine; BJ Armstrong, Craig Hodges and John Paxon, the three-point experts; and Stacey King and Will Perdue serving up the low-post presence.
Outstanding players on the team
Of course, the team had some truly marvelous players to help them to its various championship wins. Here are some of the most notable to put the Bulls on the path to NBA glory.
Not even all the forces in the universe could knock Michael Jordan of his perch in Chicago Bulls history. He was a huge scorer and was dominant as a player.
However, what really set Jordan apart from other players was his desire to win, a trait that sometimes caused him trouble but which he turned to his advantage on the court. He had a tremendous work ethic and refused to accept his weaknesses, instead of working heavily on them until they weren’t weaknesses anymore. Believe it or not, he once struggled with shooting!
Michael Jordan left a huge legacy, but without Scottie Pippen, the story could have been so different. Many believe Pippen is the best player Jordan has ever played with Pippen was a playmaker in attack and, when defending, smothered rival players one-on-one or in team attacks. He was a major factor when it came to slowing down Magic Johnson and enabling Jordan to win his first NBA title.
Dennis Rodman might have only spent three seasons on the same team as Jordan, but during them he played some truly dominant basketball. Rodman was huge on defense and on rebounds… obsessed some might say, but it helped elevate the Bulls’ level of play to new heights and march towards their fourth NBA title.
Think of the all-time greatest basketball teams and the Chicago Bulls of the 1990s immediately springs to mind. They were simply magic on the court. Great to watch, but if you were on the opposing side, extremely tough to play against. Good days if you were a Bulls fan back then.