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The Windy City of Chicago is home to the NBA’s Bulls and the greatest player ever to play the game in Michael Jordan. Winners of six NBA titles in their 50 plus year history, Jordan was the leader of every championship team the Bulls put out on the floor.
After joining the league in 1966, the Bulls achieved early success with some playoff appearances in the late 60s and early 70s with players such as Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, Chet Walker, Norm Van Lier, Clifford Ray, and Tom Boerwinkle.
Throughout the 70s and early 80s, the team kept themselves relevant, adding talent in Reggie Theus, David Greenwood, and Orlando Woolridge. However, the history of this franchise would be forever changed with the Bulls third overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft.
After being acquired out of North Carolina, Jordan got right to work and established himself as a star player in his rookie season, setting franchise records for scoring and steals. More great seasons would follow as Chicago added talent around Jordan in Scottie Pippen, Charles Oakley, and Horace Grant to build themselves into a legendary basketball dynasty.
Phil Jackson took over as head coach for the 1989-90 season and that is when things really began to take off. Between 1990 and 1998 the Bulls won six championships, with two stretches where they were three-peat champions. Jackson, Jordan, Pippen, and many others would go down in Chicago sports history as iconic players that changed the game. There are countless memorable moments such as “The Flu Game”, Steve Kerr’s game winner in the 1996 Finals, Jordan’s dunk from the free throw line in 1986, and Jordan’s clutch shot in game 6 of the 1998 Finals. Also memorable for this franchise was when Jordan left basketball for baseball, when he returned to the Bulls, and the theatrics of Dennis Rodman.
Today’s team is in the midst of a massive rebuild. From Michael Jordan to Derrick Rose to Jimmy Butler, the Bulls are always at their best when they have a player as the face of their franchise. However, after Butler was sent to Minnesota in June of 2017, the team has been playing without an established identity. General Manager Gar Forman is working on building up a legitimate competitor. Taking over the team mid-season, Jim Boylen’s role as head coach is to mold his group into winners. His two biggest two newcomers in Chicago are Wendell Carter (selected with the seventh overall pick in the 2018 NBA draft) and Chandler Hutchison (taken with the 22nd overall pick). While both battle back from injuries, Boylen is relying on other strong players in Zach LaVine and Lauri Markkanen. While a resurgence does not look promising for the immediate future, the Bulls management are playing the long game and know what it takes to build a winning franchise.
Bulls fans can still smell the champagne in the air as they enter the United Center to watch the current squad. A disappointing season in 2017-2018 had the Bulls finish the year with a record of 27-55. Far from a playoff berth, the Bulls found themselves on the outside looking in at the postseason. Something they surely will not forget, this team is search to redeem themselves in the 2018-2019 season. For more information about the Chicago Bulls click here.