Way back in October, back when the Bulls’ record of 72 wins was safe, I began an essay about the 12 moves the Bulls made between June 1993 and October 1995 that turned an aged, bickering, 57-win champion into a flourishing, rejuvenated, 72-win juggernaut.
Seven months later, I have a 13,000-word e-book and have spent more time reading about and watching clips of the 1995-96 Bulls than any time other than 1995-96. I’ll save you the suspense: It’s been a sweet 7 months!
Thus I am very proud to release “How The GOAT Was Built: 6 Life Lessons From the 1996 Chicago Bulls.”
The championship Bulls don’t work without Scottie Pippen. So naturally the Bulls tried to trade him approximately a bajillion times between 1994 and 1998. In telling the story of the 1996 Bulls — and gleaning from that story wisdom for our own lives and pursuits — two abandoned Pippen trades stand out.
Incredibly, both failed because the OTHER team balked.
The first was between the Bulls and SuperSonics on the eve of the 1994 draft, the Pippen-for-Kemp deal that failed when Seattle got cold feet.
“I don’t want to be here (with the Bulls) the rest of the season,”Pippen said in early February. “I’m hoping teams are thinking about me. I’m still ready to get out of here. I’m looking for a different place, a different team, a different perspective on my career. I’ve got 18 days to go (to the February 23 trading deadline). The countdown is on. Just say I’m showcasing myself out here.”Continue reading “33-23 = 1.8, but 33+23 = 72”
The 1993 Bulls and LeBron James: a look back, and a look ahead
Originally posted June 20, 2013
If I could watch only one Bulls Finals game for the rest of my life, it would be Game 6, June 20, 1993: Bulls 99, Suns 98. The night the Bulls secured their legacy as one of the premier teams in league history. The night “Paxson for three!” became every young Chicago hooper’s on-court self-exclamation.
My complicated fan relationship with coach Vinny Del Negro began May 24, 2008, the day I applied for the Bulls’ then-vacant head coaching spot. It was a chaotic time for the organization. After three consecutive trips to the postseason, the Bulls had collapsed, firing Scott Skiles and flopping to a 33-49 record under interim coach Jim Boylan. After Boylan was heaved April 17, Pax and Reinsdorf began their search for a new head coach. Continue reading “On the John: Vinny and me”
This should not come as much of a surprise. After all, we’re talking about a seven foot forward who, after 11 NBA seasons and 30 years on Earth, still plays ball like he’s from the future.
Are power forwards supposed to have handles like Scottie and post moves like Hakeem? Are they supposed to use Kobe’s first step to propel themselves to Ewing’s tomahawk? Should they have the ability to score like the Mailman (when necessary), rebound like Charles, and fling passes around the paint like Vlade Dadi…all while defending the rim like the Admiral?
Since I’ve written so much about YOUR WORLD CHAMPION CHICAGO BULLS! (don’t you still love hearing that?), I figured I would create one page with all of my best Bulls work. Essays from Bear Down and On the Johns from 2006 to the present.
I will also post the best Bulls-related youtube vids, links to other people’s Bulls writing, and whatever else seems appropriate.
My parents became friends in 1972. For eight years they lived on the East Coast, dating on and off until they decided to get married in 1980. I was born a year later while we were living in Brooklyn, MJ two years after that in Connecticut, and in 1984 we moved back home to Chicago in an Evanston apartment as my folks had always planned.
As a three-year-old with Chicago fandom rich in the blood, I really could not have asked for a better time to move back. While doomed as apocalyptic by the great Orwell, 1984 was the beginning of a golden era in Chicago sports. The Cubs won the division that summer, going to the postseason for the first time since 1945. The Bears, buoyed by an incredible 1983 draft, dominated in the fall and went back to the NFC Title game, and though they lost to the Niners the seeds were planted for their incredible 1985 run.