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7 Greatest Teams In Chicago Bulls History: 1995-96 Bulls Are The Best Ever

7 Greatest Teams In Chicago Bulls History: 1995-96 Bulls Are The Best Ever

Amidst all the attention given to the Los Angeles Lakers and Brooklyn Nets, not much focus is paid to what could be a really exciting Chicago Bulls team in the East. The Bulls look like they could compete in the East for the first time in a long time.

The Chicago Bulls have had a belter of an offseason, bringing in elite talents that can get them back to winning ways. While calling an NBA Finals appearance might be a stretch in the 2021-22 season, their performance might be another defining moment in franchise history.

During the 2021 offseason, the Chicago Bulls acquired DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball to join forces with Zach LaVine and Nikola Vucevic. Those additions will undoubtedly give the Bulls a boost in the upcoming season if these talents are properly utilized.

In all honesty, the Chicago Bulls fans have been starved of any real success story since the late 90s. Since 1998, the farthest they have gone in the playoffs is the conference finals. The Bulls have a perfect record in the Finals, winning on all six occasions they have made it that far. Although the 2021-22 team might not be championship contenders yet, they are grossly underrated.

As we look forward to what the 2021-22 season will bring for the Chicago Bulls, here are the top seven teams in franchise history.

7. 2010-11 Chicago Bulls

2010-11 Chicago Bulls

Starters: Derrick Rose, Keith Bogans, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah

Bench: CJ Watson, Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, Taj Gibson, Kurt Thomas, Omer Asik

Team Record: 62-20

Playoffs: Eastern Conference Finals (Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat 1-4)

Since 1998, the 2010-11 Chicago Bulls are the only team that has enjoyed a deep run in the NBA playoffs. Led by Tom Thibodeau, they posted a regular-season record of 62-20 and went on to compete in the Eastern Conference.

The 2010-11 NBA season was Derrick Rose's breakout season. The NBA community was well aware of his brilliance, but his first triple-double came in that season, where he also won his first and only MVP award that year. Rose became the youngest player to win the MVP award at 22 and joined Michael Jordan as the only Bulls player with such accolade.

According to teammate Luol Deng, Rose was the most explosive player he had even played with or against in the NBA. He was largely responsible for leading them to 62 wins in a season, their first and only since the Bulls dynasty of the 1990s.

After an impressive 4-1 series victory against the Indiana Pacers and the 4-2 victory in Round 2 versus the Atlanta Hawks, they fell to the Miami Heat super team of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Although they had the superior defense, they could not contend with the plethora of scorers the Heat fielded.

6. 1992-93 Chicago Bulls

1992-93 Chicago Bulls

Starters: B.J. Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright

Bench: John Paxson, Scott Williams, Stacy King, Trent Tucker, Will Perdue, Darrell Walker, Rodney McCray

Team Record: 57-25

Playoffs: NBA champions (Chicago Bulls vs. Phoenix Suns 4-2)

The 1992-93 season was Jordan's last before he chose to retire and play minor league baseball. Although that didn't last, he missed the entire 1993-94 season.

While there are many theories as to why MJ decided to leave basketball, it was mainly because he has always had baseball on his mind. However, the death of his father was undoubtedly a factor in his decision. His Airness was big on family, but the 1993 NBA championship was the last his father celebrated with him.

The Chicago Bulls 90s team maintained its core, with a few additions to the bench. But the 1992-93 Bulls team opted to use B.J. Armstrong as its starting point guard. They finished second in the Eastern Conference behind the New York Knicks.

Despite their second-place finish, MJ led the Bulls to victory over the Knicks after six games in the Conference finals. The 62-20 Phoenix Suns met the same fate in the NBA Finals. In Game 4, Jordan scored 55 points, his highest tally in an NBA Finals game.

5. 1990-91 Chicago Bulls

1990-91 Chicago Bulls

Starters: John Paxson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright

Bench: B.J. Armstrong, Craig Hodges, Scott Williams, Stacy King, Will Perdue, Cliff Levingston, Dennis Hopson

Team Record: 61-21

Playoffs: NBA champions (Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers 4-1)

After a series of losses to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA playoffs, Michael was hungry for his first NBA championship, and it showed in the way he played. He won the scoring title and recorded a career-best field goal percentage of .539.

The Chicago Bulls, under Phil Jackson, won their first NBA championship in 1991 after sweeping the Pistons in the conference finals and giving up only one game to Magic Johnson and the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals.

The 1990-91 season marked the first of many records for the Chicago Bulls. It was their first 60-win season and the first time they reached the NBA Finals. It was also a defining moment in the franchise's history as it was the beginning of the famed Bulls dynasty.

4. 1997-98 Chicago Bulls

1997-98 Chicago Bulls

Starters: Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc, Luc Longley

Bench: Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, Scott Burrell, Jud Buechler, Bill Wennington

Team Record: 62-20

Playoffs: NBA Champions (Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz 4-2)

The Chicago Bulls 1997-98 season marked the last time the franchise advanced past the conference finals and won an NBA championship. It was the culmination of the second three-peat led by His Airness. It was an old team, but they ran through the league without signs of slowing down or burnout.

As expected, MJ put together another monster performance throughout the season, winning his tenth and final scoring title after averaging 28.7 points. It was the end of the dynasty, and Jordan was not going to leave without another championship. He won the regular-season MVP, made his 12th All-Star appearance, and eventually led the Bulls to their sixth NBA championship to earn his sixth Finals MVP award.

To achieve that, they had to go through the New Jersey Nets, Charlotte Hornets, and perhaps their most difficult opponents in the postseason that year, Indiana Pacers. Reggie Miller and the gang did not go down easy despite losing the first two games. They tried to complete a comeback but fell short in Game 7 after Scottie Pippen's clutch layup and Ron Harper's free-throw gave them the much-needed separation.

The Chicago Bulls went against the dynamic Karl Malone-John Stockton duo but had no problems winning the Larry O'Brien trophy after six games. In a narrow 87-86 victory, Jordan's 45 points were enough to guarantee the Bulls the victory. MJ's steal and two-point conversion on the other end with five seconds to go was the decider.

3. 1991-92 Chicago Bulls

1991-92 Chicago Bulls

Starters: John Paxson, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright

Bench: B.J. Armstrong, Bob Hansen, Craig Hodges, Scott Williams, Stacy King, Will Perdue, Cliff Levingston

Team Record: 67-15

Playoffs: NBA Champions (Chicago Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers 4-2)

The Jordan-Pippen duo struck again in the 1991-92 NBA season, leading the Chicago Bulls to back-to-back NBA titles. MJ led the league in scoring with 30.1 points per game while Pippen contributed 21 points on offense and as usual, put in an unquantifiable shift defensively.

With their 67-15 run in the season, they clinched the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Following an easy first-round fixture, the Bulls struggled against Patrick Ewing and the New York Knicks in the second round but won the series in Game 7.

The 1991-92 season marked the second time in franchise history they won 60+ games in a season. In both scenarios, they went on to win the championship.

They went on to win the 1992 championship after defeating the Western Conference top-seed, Portland Trail Blazers, in six games. For Jordan, he won his second consecutive scoring title, regular-season MVP, and NBA Finals MVP award.

2. 1996-97 Chicago Bulls

1996-97 Chicago Bulls

Starters: Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Luc Longley

Bench: Steve Kerr, Randy Brown, Tony Kukoc, Jason Caffey, Jud Buechler, Bill Wennington, Bison Dele

Team Record: 69-13

Playoffs: NBA Champions (Chicago Bulls vs. Utah Jazz 4-2)

Phil Jackson coached the Chicago Bulls to another championship run in the 1996-97 season after a 69-13 run to clinch the top seed in the East. Jordan's durability had him play in all 82 games for the second consecutive season and outscored everyone else in the league despite being 33 years old at the time.

Pippen missed a three-point shot late in the final game of the regular season against the New York Knicks, which could have been a history-defining moment. The Bulls would have been the first team in NBA history to win back-to-back 70+ games in a season.

Nonetheless, the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls team was a well-balanced team, which ranked first in offensive rating and fourth in defensive rating. The road to the NBA Finals was a fairly easy one as they lost only two games out of 13 played in the Eastern Conference.

They won the top seed from the West - Utah Jazz - to clinch their 5th NBA title in seven years. Malone won the regular-season MVP award but failed to lead the Jazz to a championship. It was the first of two times the dominant big man was denied a ring by Jordan during his run with the Utah Jazz.

1. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls

1995-96 Chicago Bulls

Starters: Ron Harper, Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Luc Longley

Bench: Steve Kerr, Randy Brown, Toni Kukoc, Jud Buechler, John Salley, Bill Wennington

Team Record: 72-10

Playoffs: NBA Champions (Chicago Bulls vs. Seattle SuperSonics 4-2)

The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls held the record for the best record in NBA history before the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors came along and finished their campaign with a 73-9 run. However, the Bulls are considered the better team in the eyes of many because they went ahead to win the NBA Finals, while the 2016 Warriors fell to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers after blowing a 3-1 lead. On both occasions, Steve Kerr had an impact as he was the head coach to lead the Warriors that season.

MJ tried to rally the Bulls to another championship following his one-year break to play minor league baseball but fell short after losing the conference semi-finals to Shaquille O'Neal and the Orlando Magic in 1995. But Mike and the Bulls bounced back in 1996, losing only three games out of 18 played to clinch the NBA title. It was the first championship in the Bulls' second three-peat.

To date, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls remain the only team in league history to win 70+ games and also win the NBA Finals. They also lost only three games in the playoffs and won 15. If we combine their regular and postseason wins, they hold the best record in history.

Many who played against Jordan knew he was somewhat vindictive and unable to let go of a grudge. That fueled his desire to win as nothing else mattered to him. In the 1995 Eastern Conference semi-finals, the Orlando Magic were on the receiving end of MJ's fury as he led the Bulls to sweep the Magic as revenge for the 1995 conference semi-finals loss.


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