Led by Michael Jordan, who is widely regarded as the best basketball player to ever grace the sport, the Bulls changed basketball for several reasons. The stretch of dominance began over 30 years ago and it has been 25 since it ended, yet it does not stop NBA fans from reflecting on the performance.
Between the 1990-91 season and 1997-98 season, the Bulls produced a combined record of 490-166. This set the NBA record for most wins in a season by going 72-10 in 1995-96, a record that was later broken by the Golden State Warriors (73-9) in 2015-16.
Michael Jordan’s Excellence
At the root of the impressive play was Michael Jordan himself. The North Carolina product was a five-time MVP, 10-time scoring champion, nine-time All-Defensive team member, and was Finals MVP in all six of the team’s championships.
His best statistical seasons occurred before the dynasty even started as Jordan averaged 37.1 points per game in 1986-87 which is the 5th best number ever recorded in the NBA.
He followed this up the following year by averaging 35.0 points per game, the 10th-best number in NBA history, while also leading the NBA in steals at 3.2 per game.
From here is where Jordan began to produce a more well-rounded game as he came back in 1988-89 and tallied 32.5 points per game along with a well-rounded 8.0 assists, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.9 steals per game while recording the best field-goal percentage of his career at 53.8%.
Driven by his unmatched competitive drive, Jordan was the leading force for the Bulls’ success but he could not do it alone.
Bulls Other Standouts
Scottie Pippen is rightfully recognized as another key figure in the Bulls’ success. The Hall of Fame forward was a seven-time All-Star and 10-time All-Defensive team member who averaged 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.1 steals across his 12 seasons in Chicago.
While his relationship with Michael Jordan later deteriorated, the Bulls would not have been able to have their team success without him.
Jordan and Pippen receive the proper recognition as the faces of the Bulls run, but it was Dennis Rodman who was the engine of the team for many stretches at a time.
The undersized big man dominated the glass, becoming a seven-time rebounding champ and averaging 14.9 rebounds per game or more each season between 1991-92 and 1997-98.
After coming onto the map with the Detroit Pistons and San Antonio Spurs, the Bulls traded for Rodman before the 1995-96 season and he was a huge part of the final three championships in Chicago.
In addition, Bulls GM Jerry Krause deserves a ton of credit for the rotation of complimentary players that were brought in to complete the team. Players such as Horace Grant, John Paxson, Steve Kerr, Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper, and many others were vital to the team-wide success.
90’s Bulls the Best Dynasty Ever?
There are a few other impressive teams that are in the conversation for most organizational success. The four recent championships by the Golden State Warriors put them on the map as well as the San Antonio Spurs.
However, there is still quite a mountain to climb to accomplish the peak and extended length of the success that the Bulls were able to do. Across their six championships, they ranked in the top nine in offensive and defensive efficiency in all six seasons.
This includes leading the NBA in offensive rating four times as well as Michael Jordan stepping away to play baseball for a season and a half only to pick up right where he and the team left off.
With individual and team storylines surrounding stemming from all over the Bulls organization, the 90s Bulls will not be a team forgotten in the history books, and for good reason.
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