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”
From November 2010 to May 2011, I wrote for a site called “The Sports Blog Network,” a sports website launched by Chris Reed. The site folded, as websites do, and at some point in the past year (maybe longer?) the content was removed.
I loved the work I did there and appreciated the opportunity Chris gave me (thanks man!) so I am reposting all of those stories on ReadJack.
Dancing days for the Chicago Bulls
Originally published on Sports Blog Network December 1, 2010
That is because, for the first time since those ring-bearing Bulls of Jordan and Pippen, Jackson and Rodman, the Red and Black have run the annual circus trip gauntlet and secured more wins than losses.
That last came with their best player and the Eastern Conference’s leading scorer on the pine with a sore neck. No matter – if not for a just-signed, ice cold D-Leaguer bricking a pair of foul shots with 12 seconds to play, the Bulls of Rose and Noah and Thibs and Lu would have banged out that win too. Continue reading “Dec. 1, 2010: Dancing days for the Chicago Bulls”
Ten minutes after Game 6 was in the books, Scoop texted:
“Game 7. Who you got?”
As always, I was excited for the hoops talk. In fact, before responding to Scoop, I called Bulls beat reporter Chris Cason to discuss everything from the Perkins injury to The Incredible Hops of Shannon Brown. We spoke for a half hour, and it still took me another hour to give Scoop my answer. I just did not want to face it.
Like any outdoor public space in Chicago worth its water fountain, the Wicker Park comes alive when the calendar strikes summer. We are now one week into the season, which, I believe, may actually be locked in. Continue reading “On the John: Getting hot”
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”
The franchise’s most controversial star since Sir Charles asked out. Its most exciting since Doc hung ’em up. Its most dominant since Moses was exiled. The man responsible for its best season since Fo-Fi-Fo.