"The Last Dance" documentary is giving us all a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the most dominant era in Bulls history. With MJ, Pippen, Rodman, Kerr, and head coach Phil Jackson, 90s basketball in Chicago was a truly unprecedented time.
When it comes to their more recent accomplishments, you need to look no further than Derrick Rose. Although the team never won a title under his leadership, he was the best player they've had since Jordan. In fact, former Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says if the former MVP would have never gotten hurt, they'd have a Championship to show for it.
“The thing that I’m most proud of, in Chicago we had the best record in the league two years in a row,” Thibodeau said. “We had Derrick Rose, who was the youngest MVP in the league. That team had a great chance to win a championship and unfortunately Derrick got hurt, but if Derrick didn’t get hurt, I thought we would’ve been champions."
“The thing I was most proud of, when he did get hurt, the team fought and continued to win and found a way to get into the playoffs.”
The Bulls had the best record in the league from 2011-2012. Both years they were among the best defensive teams in the NBA with a 100.3 defensive rating in 2011 and a 98.3 defensive rating the following year. Unfortunately, they lost to Miami in 2011 and then lost to Philadelphia in the first-round after Derrick Rose tore his ACL.
It was all downhill from there, and the Bulls have yet to show any signs of life since.
Had he stayed healthy for even the remainder of that season, it's crazy to think what that team might have been capable of. They were built around Rose and when he was on the floor, they were really hard to stop.
Unfortunately, we'll never really know what was possible.