The Chicago Bulls during the 90s were the most dominant dynasty in the modern history of the NBA. 6 championships in 8 seasons is an incredible feat, something that only the Boston Celtics managed in the Bill Russell era. A lot was happening around that time, including a supposed trade for Tracy McGrady that never went through.
But one of the biggest 'what ifs', that was even suggested in 'The Last Dance' documentary is would they have another title if the team hadn't been blown up after the 6th championship in 1997-98.
Michael Jordan expressed his belief in the documentary that the team should have been allowed another shot at the title as they had not lost until that point, but Phil Jackson's departure and the eventual lockout saw the Bulls blow it all up and Michael Jordan retired for the second time in his NBA career.
Jerry Reinsdorf revealed in an interview with NBC Sports though, that there was another reason the Chicago Bulls decided not to give that roster another year. Michael Jordan injured himself during the lockout ahead of the 1998-99 season and his inability to play gave Reinsdorf no reason to believe that the team could win another title without their talisman (starts at 2:51 minute mark in the video below).
"Well, I'll give you the facts as they occurred. After we won the 6th championship, I sat down with Phil Jackson and asked him to come back... Fact of the matter is, I asked Phil to come back after that season was over. Phil said no, he said he wanted to retire. He basically told me he thought it was time. Michael said, 'Well I'm not going to play for anybody other than Phil Jackson'. "I had a meeting with Michael in his office... And I said to Michael, 'You know, we're going into a lockout and we're not going to be able to play for a while anyway. So why don't you reserve judgement as to whether you're going to play or not till I can find out if I can talk Phil into coming back?'. And Michael agreed.
"When the lockout was over, I went back to Phil. Phil again said, 'I don't want to coach'. But the funny thing is even if Phil had said he could come back, Michal Jordan could not have played that year... He had to have surgery.
"He (Michael Jordan) could not have played that year. So without Michael Jordan, there was no point in trying to bring everybody else back, because, without Michael Jordan, we weren't going to win another championship."
The Chicago Bulls core had been allowed to prove what they could do without Michael Jordan when he retired for a season and a half following the first three-peat. However, they failed to get further than the Eastern Conference Semifinals and only managed to start winning championships again when MJ returned.
It'll always be impossible to tell if the Bulls could have won again in the 98-99 season which was shortened thanks to the lockout, but you wouldn't have bet against the team if Michael Jordan was playing. Without him, the story is different entirely, so if Reinsdorf is to be believed, it makes a fair bit of sense that they decided to blow it all up instead.