Bill Cartwright Names the Best Bulls Team of the 1990s
The Chicago Bulls were one of the most dominant teams we have seen in the history of professional sports during the 1990s. Chicago won six titles in eight years during that time period, establishing a legacy that lives on to this day. Those Bulls’ teams are considered some of the greatest the NBA has seen, and the 1995-96 team is seen as the all-time best team by many observers for going 72-10 on their way to their fourth title.
However, one Bulls’ legend doesn’t believe that record setting team was the best during the 1990s. Former center Bill Cartwright was part of Chicago’s first threepeat, and he believes that one of the earlier teams was better. Was it the 1990-91 Bulls that won 61 games and beat the Showtime Lakers for their first title or the 1991-92 squad that went 67-15 and beat Portland to win back-to-back titles? No, and Cartwright’s answer may surprise you.
“…You asked about what was our best championship year? Our best championship was probably the one we didn’t play. It was when our star signed up to be a baseball player. I felt that that year when we lost to the Knicks, that would have been by far our easiest championship…but that’s a question that will never be answered and we’ll have to get past that”, Cartwright told BetOnline when asked about the best Chicago team during the 1990s.
The 1993-94 Bulls were eliminated by the New York Knicks in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but many of the players that were role players on Chicago’s previous teams came into their own during that season. Scottie Pippen averaged a career-high 22 PPG, shooting 49.1 percent from the floor that year, and Horace Grant, B.J. Armstrong, and Toni Kukoc had some of their best seasons too.
Phil Jackson did an excellent job motivating that team, as Chicago won 55 games without the greatest player in the history of basketball. That was just two fewer wins than they registered when they won their third straight title the previous season. However, they couldn’t get past the rough and tumble Knicks, losing to the eventual Eastern Conference champions.
Putting Michael Jordan on that team would have probably led to a fourth straight title for the Bulls. Although the production of the other contributors would have suffered as a result, the thought of the role players peaking with Jordan in his prime is a scary one, and the Houston Rockets are glad that His Airness decided to spend the spring and summer in Birmingham.
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