To many in the media and fans worldwide, the 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls are regarded as the most dominant team ever. They managed to capture their fourth Championship ring, earning six overall. No team has come close to the level of play that the Bulls showed during the 1995-1996 season, with Michael Jordan leading the way.
It lasted until the Warriors managed to snag Kevin Durant in free agency and build the most lethal team we have seen since the Chicago Bulls dynasty. Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, and Klay Thompson shot the lights out en route to two consecutive championships. Even before KD joined, the Warriors went 73-9 and broke the Bulls 72-10 record during the regular season.
But what if we could create the ultimate team to take down the Chicago Bulls, and put an end to a dynasty that won 6 NBA titles? By choosing one superstar, one sidekick, one defensive specialist, one role player, and one veteran: it’s time to pick the ultimate team to compete with the Bulls.
Chicago Bulls Lineup: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Luc Longley
Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard
To compete with Michael Jordan, it is best to choose a superstar who can dominate on both ends of the floor. As good as Stephen Curry is, he is too miniature and he won’t be able to stop MJ on the offensive end nor make enough impact to be a superstar against the Bulls.
Kawhi Leonard or LeBron James is the best pick here. Giannis is a beast defensively but he cannot shoot and the Bulls will exploit his weakness. KD is an incredible talent, but he is very slim framed and he can be bothered by an aggressive defense at times.
LeBron is a physical freak of nature and has no weakness in his game while Kawhi Leonard can shut you down on one end and shoot a high percentage on the other.
Russell Westbrook, James Harden, Paul George, Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving
Scottie Pippen is quite underrated by many, and he might be the best sidekick ever when you consider longevity and success. Pippen was the best playmaker on the Bulls and was just as dominant as MJ on the defensive end. Quite literally, Pippen helped make MJ more unstoppable than he already was.
It is very important to choose the right sidekick alongside LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard. These guys are clearly All-Star players but are best suited to play a sidekick role alongside superstar LeBron James or Kawhi Leonard.
PG is the best sidekick prototype since he does everything well on the court, including playmaking and defense. He is a great shooter and can score inside or from the perimeter. But James Harden is the best player in this tier. Even if he can’t defend, his scoring output will relieve the superstar player’s burden and Harden can be a primary playmaker as well.
Westbrook is inconsistent with his shooting while Kyrie Irving is also a bit miniature and offers little defensive resistance. AD is a great pick for a sidekick, but he falls just short of George and Harden because the latter players can score and be playmakers at any moment.
Rudy Gobert, Draymond Green, Jimmy Butler, Marcus Smart, Joel Embiid
To compete with Dennis Rodman, Rudy Gobert is the obvious choice here. Gobert is 7 feet tall and is a real nuisance at defending the rim. His size and mass will give both stars opportunities to defend the ball aggressively without being too worried about being beaten off the dribble. Draymond Green offers a great defensive presence, but Gobert is a more dominant player due to his size and length.
Smart and Butler are clear All-Defensive talents, but the former is too miniature to counteract Rodman’s presence. Butler could legitimately be chosen, as he can guard three or four positions, but Rodman is a better defender and will be able to have a greater impact on the game. Embiid is another big with great size but he won’t be able to run like Rodman or hustle for loose balls like him.
Role Player Tier
Patty Mills, Avery Bradley, Danny Green, P.J. Tucker, George Hill
The Bulls had two strong role players in Ron Harper and Luc Longley. While neither were All-Stars, they could defend extremely well and always made the right plays. They knew their place, played off their superstar, and played hard every night.
Two guys stand out in this Tier, and that is Danny Green and P.J. Tucker. Green can be inconsistent from deep, but there is a reason why he managed to win titles with the Raptors and Spurs as a role player. He is a prototype 3-and-D player who has long arms to bother Chicago’s shooters. Similarly, Tucker plays extremely hard and can defend all five positions very well. Tucker also has an automatic corner shot and he will be able to get many shots playing alongside the two stars.
Mills can’t defend much while Bradley’s inconsistent shooting doesn’t help him at all. George Hill is a nice role player but he has a tendency to miss key shots and can’t be trusted to make the right plays in tight moments. Tucker or Green would do the trick.
Vince Carter, Kyle Korver, Jamal Crawford, Andre Iguodala, Trevor Ariza
Finally, one veteran would add some nice production to go alongside the superstar players and role players.
Trevor Ariza, a few years ago, would be a perfect fit. But he hasn’t aged that gracefully and as such Andre Iguodala will be the veteran chosen to start. He can guard four positions, hit key baskets, and play within the flow of the offense. The former Finals MVP also has the athletic ability to run on the break, stick with Jordan or Pippen the length of the court, and give it his all to win.
Carter, Korver, and Crawford can still score from the perimeter but are not good defensive players at this stage of their careers.