Michael Jordan and his 6-time Championship winning Bulls are considered the epitome of basketball excellence. Even today, surpassing the legacy set by that team is viewed as an impossible feat.
While no hater of those Bulls teams, ex-Lakers trainer Gary Vitti suggests, in an appearance on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, that they may be a little overrated. Here's why:
“So when Michael got his first ring in ‘91 and the 5 that came after it, there wasn’t anybody left,” said Vitti. "The Lakers were done because Kareem had retired and then Magic [Johnson] came up 0 positive for HIV in ‘91. So he wasn’t challenged again by the great Laker team, the ones that because Kareem had already retired before ‘91, so he wasn’t part of that series against I don’t know what they would have done.”
“They had Luke Longley, they had Bill Levingston; I mean what were they going to do with Kareem? So he didn’t play the Lakers, the Celtics got old very very fast. Bird, Parish and McHale all got old at the same time, so the Celtics were done.”
“There was no challenge there and the Pistons were done, so basically when you really look at the six rings that the Bulls won, they didn’t play anybody,” continued Vitti.
“They didn’t play any of the championship caliber teams of the 80s like the Lakers, the Sixers, the Celtics and the Pistons. All four of those teams had basically had their run and it was over and so its not taking anything away from him because he did what he was supposed to do. He dominated, but the game wasn’t the same game, it was different.”
Level of opposing competition is a great measuring stick for determining how good a certain team is. So while MJ and the crew showed their dominance by winning six NBA Championships in less than a decade, is it really as miraculous an accomplishment as we all thought? Maybe their legendary run was more about existing at the right time than it was just being the greatest team ever assembled.
And when you've got "superteams" being formed left and right nowadays, facing an old, beat-up Celtics squad just doesn't have the same spark... at least, in Vitti's eyes.