NBA / Dec 24, 2009 / 9:30 am

’96 Bulls Vs. ’09 Lakers: Who Would Win?

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Kobe Bryant (photo. Chris Sembrot)

Arguably, the ’96 Chicago Bulls are the greatest team of all-time. You had (again, arguably) the greatest player of all-time in Michael Jordan, a top 50 NBA player in Scottie Pippen, one of the greatest rebounders of all-time with Dennis Rodman and the Zen Master himself, Phil Jackson, roaming the sidelines. Then you have their 72-10 record (best in NBA history) and the fact that they won the championship that year – the first of three. It’s hard to build a case why they aren’t the best squad ever.

While the Lakers are off to a league best 23-4 start, they certainly aren’t on pace to win 72. But they have one of the most stacked teams since that Bulls team. There is no doubt, this would be a great game. Almost 13-years after MJ and Co. steamrolled through the NBA, the game has changed a little bit. The athletes are better, the game is less physical and there have been plenty of rule changes. I took a look at what might have happened if the ’96 Bulls met the ’09 Lakers in a game on a neutral court.

Center: Luc Longley vs. Andrew Bynum
From a statistical standpoint, Bynum takes this matchup. In ’95-96, Longley averaged 9.1 ppg and 5.1 rpg, while Bynum is averaging 15.9 ppg and 8.1 rpg. But Longley played less minutes and shared the center duties with Bill Wennington. Bynum is a much better athlete and more skilled than Longley. But the Aussie center was smart and crafty, so he would have held his own against Bynum. After all, he played in an era where good centers were more plentiful: David Robinson, Hakeem Olajuwon, Patrick Ewing, etc. Still, Bynum would take this matchup. Advantage: Lakers

Power Forward: Dennis Rodman vs. Pau Gasol
How funny would this matchup be? This would be a great test for Gasol to see whether he is really soft and how mentally strong he really is. Rodman was the king of mind games on the court – he was even able to get under John Stockton’s skin. Rodman would definitely frustrate Gasol and would easily out board him. But Gasol has gotten a lot tougher in the last few years and I think he could handle Rodman and his antics. Plus he’s got a four inch height advantage and a solid offensive game, so he would take this battle. Advantage: Lakers

Small Forward: Scottie Pippen vs. Ron Artest
There is a good possibility that if this game were to occur, both teams would probably switch defensive assignments. Pippen would use his length to guard to Gasol and Artest (the new age Rodman) would go all WWE on Rodman. But if they kept the matchups based on position, this would be an intriguing pairing too. They would most likely combine for just 15 points together because the D would be so great. Pippen is longer and has better hands, while Artest is stronger, bigger and a more physical defender. Pippen has the advantage because he has a more complete offensive game. And how could you not pick a Top 50, future Hall of Famer over a guy who won’t even be on the All-Star team this year? Advantage: Bulls

Shooting Guard: Michael Jordan vs. Kobe Bryant
Thinking of this matchup is plain scary. They’ve played before, but when MJ was in his prime, Kobe was just a rookie. And when Kobe was dominating this matchup, Jordan was a 40-year-old Wizard. Now that they’ve met somewhere in the middle, this could be one of the greatest (correction, the greatest) one-on-one battles ever. No way, Kobe could stop MJ’s fadeaway jumper that he perfected during his second tour with the Bulls. On the flip side, Bryant has a better jumper and is probably quicker and more athletic now than the ’96 MJ. Both are extreme competitors with ice water in their veins. But I feel Jordan has more of a killer instinct, and that’s saying a lot since Kobe is as cold blooded as they come. Plus, I feel Kobe would be trying to do too much to out-shine Jordan. I’ll give the slight, slight advantage to number 23. Advantage: Bulls

Point Guard: Ron Harper vs. Derek Fisher
Harper is a 6-8 point guard with grace and lock down defense, while Fisher is a solid leader, with a great three-point jump shot and good defense. The two were even teammates for the Lakers’ first championship run. Again, this is a matchup where it all depends on when they meet. If the ’96 Harper has to face the 2002 Fisher, than it’s going to be the 6-1 guard out of Arkansas-Little Rock that will win. But if you are talking about a ’96 Harper versus a slower and older D-Fish circa 2009, than I’d say Harper wins this round. Advantage: Bulls

Sixth Man: Toni Kukoc vs. Lamar Odom
These two are about as similar as you can get. Both are nearly 7-feet, both are southpaws and both can play like guards. And ironically, both have been accused of being underachievers at times. While Odom rebounds better, is stronger and has better court vision, Kukoc is a better offensive threat. Plus, I think Toni was more consistent than Lamar. Advantage: Bulls

Rest of the Bench
This one isn’t even a comparison. Shannon Brown vs. Jud Buechler? After Kukoc, coach Jackson really just used Steve Kerr, Buechler and Wennington. All the Bulls bench players played their roles well and Kerr had an elite stroke and was extremely money in the clutch but they couldn’t even handle the Lakers’ bench. Farmer and Brown would run circles around them and Sasha Vujucic and Luke Walton have the ability to make meaningful contributions if they get consistent burn. Advantage: Lakers

Coach Jackson vs. Coach Jackson
Ironically, Phil Jackson would be going against a younger or older version of himself depending on which side you start on. Phil hasn’t changed up his offense in those 13 years, but I think he trusted and liked Michael a little more, so the edge would have to go to the Windy City version of the Zen Master. Advantage: Bulls

Final Analysis
No doubt, this game would be neck and neck and down to the wire. Besides having to find a solution to guarding MJ, the Lakers would have a tough time dealing with a Bulls squad that plays flawless basketball. There’s a lot of experience on this squad and they could play both a physical style of ball and a finesse style of ball. Plus, they were a better offensive squad (the ’96 Bulls averaged 105.2 ppg vs. the ’09 Lakers, who are averaging 103.6 ppg). Chicago also held teams to a less points (’96 Bulls held opposing teams to 92.9 ppg while the ’09 Lakers are holding teams to 95 ppg). The Bulls on the other hand, never had to deal with a team that was so big, so talented and so athletic like the Lakers are now. If they are forced to double on Kobe and guys like Brown, Vujacic and Odom are knocking down threes, it could be a long night for the Bulls. But in the end, I think the Bulls were a smarter team that could adapt their game and they have a better closer in MJ (sorry Kobe). Winner: Bulls

Who do you think would win between the ’96 Bulls and ’09 Lakers?

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  • Sideswipe

    Lakers in 7. What can I say?? I’m a Lakers fan.

  • Jayo

    Seriously Dime?! Why even ask this question? The 09 Lakers are good but this Bulls team was DOMINANT! This is the same Lakers team that got ran out the gym the year before by Boston. The same team that took 7 games against an overmatched Hoston team. And the same team that had Billups played better ball then Denver would’ve got them. C’mon Dime you’re better than this overmatched what if article.

  • Jayo

    By the way: NO WAY IN HELL!!!! does Rodman who has manned up on some the best low post men in the game let freaking Pau Gasol handle him.

  • vim m

    artest-rodman would have been a wash because neither would have scored and most likely both would have been ejected by the second quarter after guarding each other.

  • Kermit The Washington

    Ok guys…let’s be real. Are we talking about one game? Cause I’m pretty sure the Knicks, Jazz, Sonics, Suns, etc. back in ’96 beat the Bulls at least once. Some more than once. So HECK YES the Lakers could beat them cats.

    Now in a 7 Game Series…the Bulls would win in 6 or 7. Cause they beat the Sonics in 6 or 7, and these Lakers are better than BOTH of those teams. Bess’ believe that one. So Game 7, down to the wire, Jordan with the buzzer-beater. But be afraid of Kobe when he’s trying to prove something, he might steal this one in a shocker.

  • D Double

    The ’96 Sonics would beat the ’09 Lakers…Seriously, Kemp would own Gasol. And a young GP on Fisher? Sh*t! The Lakers wouldn’t make it out of the West in 96!

  • Brown

    I don’t even need to read the article. Bulls hands down.

  • Kermit The Washington

    Dude, D Double….

    You gotta think about this. Kemp on Gasol? Who was Kemp on in the 96 finals? And did he OWN him to the point where they won the series? And is that guy better than Gasol? No and NO!!!

    And who was GP on? Steve Kerr? Ron Harper? Word??? How’d THAT matchup work out?

  • got beef?

    thats funny seeing how the ’09 lakers aint even the best team this year

  • Ducky The Truth

    Rodman would OWN Gasol and if he felt like it Bynum… This is one those questions that im amazed the Dime Office would ask. Kobe’s good, Jordans better… Bulls in 5.(But due to the fact that Kobe might go off AND if Jordan wasnt suffocating him on defense then 6.)

  • DT

    Yea definitely 96 Bulls, not even a question, not even close. Rodman got in the heads of one of the calmest, veteran saavy guys in the league in Karl Malone. U really think Gasol is more mentally tough than Malone? Yea ok…He would have Gasol getting techs left and right for complaining bout Rodman’s antics. He’s waaaaay too soft for Rodman. As far as Bynum, he’s too young for a game like that. That would be too much pressure and Jordan would prolly put him on a few posters and shake his confidence. Kobe, to me, has no heart. You think Jordan and this team goes into Utah or Seattle, Game 7, and gets blown out by 30? hahahahaha, Jordan himself, would have at least scored 65 so that wouldnt happen just like he scored 63 in the Garden against a great Celtics team when he was 24/25…Not even gonna attempt to talk bout Pippen/artest cuz they are on two different levels. Even if u do put 96 Harper against 02 Dfish, i still wouldnt be concerned. Harper is 6’8, what is Dfish at 6’1 gonna do with that? And it wasnt like Payton and Stockton were jus getting to the hole at ease and exploiting Harper…However, I do give the bench to the lakers, only by a lil tho cuz the lakers bench is too inconsistent…at least u know what u were getting with Kerr…come in, hit some open jumpers and ice cold at the line. If all the guys on da lakers bench played to their potential, which seems to be hard to do, then they could give the Bulls a run.

  • Dagomar

    One of the moronic articles I’ve seen on this site. Disgusting.

  • Dagomar

    And by the way, the difference between Jordan and Kobe or Lebron or Wade – it’s still vast.

  • chief youngblood


    plus the Rodamn Gasol matchup goes to rodman ( i don’t think gasol has ever even been close to being tested the way rodman can test player defensively )

  • Kermit The Washington

    Y’all cats act like the Bulls never lost a game. That’s my favorite team ever, but you gotta realize they lost some BIG games and went down BIG in series’ before having to regroup and squeeze out bigger wins. Remember being down 0-2 to the Knicks? Losing a winnable game in Chicago, and having to go back to Utah for game 6? “Oh, Jordan would NEVER let that happen, he’d win every series in 5 games”. Ok wow what a selective memory. The greatest team of all time would certainly lose 2 games to the 09 Los Angeles Lakers, stretching the series to at LEAST 6.

  • King

    The 96 bulls teams weren’t stacked it only had 4 top plYers on it Nd everyone else was avg at best. It just shows how great Scottie and MJ were that were able to dominate like that.

    Their defense alone wins this matchup for them especially if they were plaYing by the 96 rules

  • Kermit The Washington

    And by the way, the article above is talking about ONE GAME on a neutral court. You’re saying there’s NO CHANCE the Bulls could lose that game? Not even worth asking the question? C’mon, let’s be realistic. Any game with these kinds of matchups would be a dope game down to the wire, not a freakin’ blowout unless one team doesn’t show up

  • Blazermark

    What laker homer asks this question? LA has done nothing to put itself in the same universe as the MJ era Bulls. Lets let the lakers earn that kind of question by winning as much as the MJ era Bulls, don’t just gush over them for no reason.

  • zcw

    I’m right there with 6. No need to read this article, for those who were old enough to witness this team, Bulls hands down, and I hated the Bulls I’m from Detroit!

  • QQ

    I’m becoming a Kobe fan the more I watch that cat, but come on now. This team is stacked but they haven’t proved shit yet. You might make a case for the 08 Lakers, because they won a chip.

    But comparing a Lakers team AT FUCKING MIDSEASON to a Bulls team that was one of the most dominant ever is just ridiculous.

  • Celts Fan

    @Kermit – GP D’d up MJ in those Finals (by game 3 anyway, when George Karl finally figured out that putting his best defender – one of the best defensive guards ever! – on MJ was a good move.) In this, he’d end up D’ing up Kobe. GP did a good enough job of slowing Mike down that they took those Bulls to 6. Just saying…

  • Kermit The Washington

    @ Celts:

    I feel like it’d be the same outcome. GP would do a good enough job of slowing Kobe down that they’d take the 09 Lakes to like 6, maybe 7 if Kemp goes OFF on Gasol on defense and offense (not happening).

    I forget why I even matched the Lakers and Sonics….I think I was tryna say that if the Sonics could stretch the Bulls to 6, with only GP and Kemp (and a bunch of nobodys), then the Lakers could too, with Kobe, Gasol, Artest, Bynum, Odom (and a bunch of nobodys).

  • KHenry

    The Worm matched up against some of the best post players in the history of basketball and held his own. There is no way Pau outplays him. Pau has a height advantage but his charmin soft ass would not get position against a defensive wiz like Rodman.

  • MBE18

    Bulls in no more than 6 games.

  • http://twitter.com/sum_cut_up emory

    96 bulls beat 09 lakers easily.
    but if this laker core can win a few more chips….’96 bulls versus ’11 lakers would be a much better match-up

  • Kermit The Washington

    I will say this: Back in the 90s, the league was mostly GROWN MEN. Like the bulls, for instance…even the young cats would man up. BJ Armstrong looked (and I still think he may have actually BEEN) about 12, but he played like a GROWN MAN. You don’t see that in the young guys like Vujacic and Farmar…them dudes PLAY like they’re 12. Bulls bench has a HUUUGE advantage over the Laker bench for that reason alone.

  • tbone

    most of these retards that claim the bulls hands down blah blah didnt even watch the nba in the 90s.
    it would be close and not a fleecing.  let’s be real. even the bulls didnt go 4-0 in the finals. 
    let’s get some 30+ year old cats to discuss this.  people who have SEEN entire seasons of games in the 90’s and know who mathced up with who.  people who arent going by the “legend” of the bulls and mj.  they wernt some magical team.. they did lose games and were beatable. 
    i do agree the bulls would win this series.. however, it wouldnt be in 4 or 5… it would def go 6-7.

  • Kermit The Washington

    I agree with TBone (first time I’ve ever said those words in my life LOL)

    The lore of the Bulls has grown beyond reality. I remember watching big games and we got beat BAD. Like I said before, I remember falling behind in series’ and thinking “I can’t believe this mess is happening”, and then they’d dig DEEEP and squeeze out wins to take the series. Not “they BLEW THEM OUT THE GYM”, they SQUEEEEZED them wins out. Close games. Close series. Close wins, close losses.

  • LoBezn0

    Heck, ’96 Bulls of course! Gasol may get some of his against Rodman, but Rodman will make sure to shut him down during the crucial possessions. That is, if Gasol’s head is still in the game. Even more so for the relatively green Bynum.

  • QQ

    They were beatable, yes, but damn it, would you really bet against a team with a 72-10 record? That’s like saying the the 2001 Lakers were beatable in the playoffs because they went 15-1. But at the end of the day, you still fucking choose them to win for sure.

  • Ian

    bulls in 6 or 7
    the two best perimeter defenders ever guarding kobe and jordan droppin 40 on artest every night. rodman isnt stopping gasol whoever said that is crazy. go check out rodman vs elite pfs in the playoffs shawn kemp did whatever the hell he wanted the whole series. gasol is not soft just because the man doesnt bark and can barely dunk doesnt make him soft. he fuckin lead the grizz to 50 wins by himself and outplayed kg in the finals who is ten times better than rodman.

    everyone is more mentally tuff than malone didnt gasol destroy garnett??? malone only made it to the finals because stock took him there and the west was shit from 96-98.

    wronggg rodman got owned vs the sonics

    double d
    the west was bs back then all the early 90s good teams spurs, houston , portland, suns were coming down with injuries or got old. seattle was the same team that got always got those high seeds to do nothing with it and utah is even worse. no way in hell those 2 teams make finals in the early 90s the 09 lakers win the 96-98 west easy.

    they were stacked
    best player jordan
    best sf pippen
    best rebounder rodman
    best 6th man kukoc
    best coach jackson
    best three point shooter kerr

    what more do u want?

    celts fan
    gp did great jordan shot poorly the sonics went 2-1 vs the bulls with gp on jordan.

    im the biggest laker hater ever but the sonics would get owned by the lakers.

    again rodman always got owned when matched against elite or great pfs and centers. god damn people from where do you get this rodman would slow him down stuff.

    just because some can stand between a player and the basket doesnt mean he can keep up. its like the marion bs that he can guard pgs to pfs NO pgs blow pass him and pfs abuse his ass downlow.

    the only thing is that the bulls were also a bit lucky (u cant win without a little luck here and there) was avoiding dominant centers. the teams with good to ok centers always gave the bulls trouble only one 7 game series in the championship seasons 98 vs pacers who had smits , the team that played them the hardest the knicks had ewing , and the only team to beat jordan from 91-98 orlando had shaq. the only good center i remember getting owned by chicago i think was mourning. i would have loved to see a spurs or houston vs chicago finals mid 90s even if chicago wins which they should it would be great to see how many times luc doesnt get 50 dropped on him.

    again bulls in 6-7 if its a series one game anyone can win but lets stop the seattle beats lakers bs.

  • Ian

    kermit and tbone

  • Ian

    some of you guys need to watch bulls vs pacers in 98 or bulls vs bullets and let me know if that shit looks like blowouts. hell game 1 of the 91 finals the diff was that unlike karl phil is a great coach and had pip guard magic from game 2 on. karl need to be in a 0-3 hole before puttin payton on jordan.

  • Claw

    I would have loved to see Rodman vs Artest, don’t get me wrong Kobe vs MJ is the title fight but the undercard would have been can’t miss TV.

    Bulls in 6 and Kemp in the Finals was a beast he would eat up Rodman and Gasol. Kemp was the man child before he was the man with 10 children.

  • Steve

    I would argue that Luc Longley over Bynum. He guarded Shaq really well that season and I would even say the Bulls bench was better. Longley was a big due and Bynum isn’t better than 1996 shaq. Longley was a really good shooter as well. he could make clutch 15 footers.


  • KHenry


    If getting owned is grabbing 16 boards per then yes he got owned. No one is saying Rodman was pitching shutouts against those great post players, he was just making them work harder for what they were getting. And he boarded with the best of them, rebounding is very underrated. Pau is not even in the convo when discussing all-time big men. So you really think he would dominate Rodman? Pau is not even an elite rebounder at 7-foot. He’s only averaged double-figures in his career ONCE I think.

  • KHenry


    If getting owned is grabbing 16 boards per then yes he got owned. No one is saying Rodman was pitching shutouts against those great post players, he was just making them work harder for what they were getting. And he boarded with the best of them, rebounding is very underrated. Pau is not even in the convo when discussing all-time big men. So you really think he would dominate Rodman? Pau is not even an elite rebounder at 7-foot. He’s only averaged double-figures in his career ONCE I think.

  • Me

    I think gasol would do better than y’all give him credit for. Yeah he’s soft but he plays the game much smarter than any big man I can think of currently. He’d figure out how to be useful at least.

    Dime lost me when they said slight edge to mj in that matchup. No one player came close to mj back then, it always had to be a team effort. Y’all can say people have selective memories or exagegerate or whatever but mj was waaaaaaaaayyyyy ahead of any player skill wise and it wasn’t even close. I became a Dominique Wilkins fan just because it seemed unfair for there to be only one Jordan.

    The real question is when will rodman make the hof? The most deserving person not currently in IMO.

  • John

    Bulls in 6.

    First, the article is about the 96 bulls, not the 91,92,93,94,95,97,98. So keep the point in check.

    Second, that team won 11-1 in the playoffs to make to the finals. They open a 3×0 lead over the Sonics and them relaxe a little bit but the series was already dead.

    Third, George Karl said that at least 2 games Dennis Rodman was the main responsable for bulls victorys.

    Fourth, that 96 Bulls finished with a 87-13 record (regular season + playoffs) best in the histoy.

    Enough said. Merry Christmas from Italy to everybody !!!

  • Bill

    You Lakers fans are ignornant. There is no comparison, it would never happen, the bulls would kill them.

    Kobe Bryant isn’t and will never be as good as The G.O.A.T.
    He’ll be the closest but he won’t ever.

    There was article somewhere, maybe Dime? Yahoo?
    That talks about how the Bull’s were that good because
    MJ was determined to make a statement because of the Bulls
    losing the year before cause of his absence and that no one
    will have the determination MJ he showed that year. It be unhumanly
    now to do it.

  • Celtics10

    BULLS IN 5! THEY DISMANTLED THE LEAGUE ALL YEAR. THEY WERE FOCUSED AS THEY COME. Mike had something to prove after losing to orlando year b4 an hearing he was a step to slow after coming back from baseball. Rodman was on Sterns thin line list. Pippen grew to a co leader with MJ. Phil is PHIL.C’mon man lets be 4real. Center:Bulls overall got this, people 4get rodman can check 2,3,4,5 so if bynum got outta hand against Longley an Wennington Rodman would 4 sure shut that down. Pau an Rodman PLEASE Pau too Soft, he got bitched by KG couple years ago rodman WAAAY more physical. Pippen artest?Pip Mike an Kobe:LMFAO MIKE COMING BACK PISSED AN MOTIVATED C’MON MAN MJ woulda average 35 5 5 on Kobe. Harper an Fish: Harper easy. the bench would be the x factor lakers younger more athletic Bulls older but smarter an focused an experienced I’d give a slight edge to the Bulls. PHIL 96 VS PHIL 09? PHIL 96. All he had to do was give Mike an Pip the look an it was a done deal. Like I said 96 Bulls in 5

  • Celtics10

    id give the bulls the starters but in terms of bench id go lakers

  • Ian

    pau will get his numbers against rodman that is what im sayin. yes he makes them work harder but so what?? they still got their numbers vs rodman. so yeah he grabbed his boards and??? what does that mean he is supposed to do that. you guys are the ones pitching the rodman is stopping x player when clearly he has never done that when going against the elite and pau is very close to being an elite pf like it or not. i dont underrate boards but that match up is gasol all the way. kemp shot 55% for the series avg 23ppg so i really dont know if he made him work harder. vs malone the man avged 7.5 rpg with the mailman dropping 25ppg on 50% shooting and 10rpg. 91 finals vs kersey and robinson both went for at least 16ppg. i really cant give rodman all that credit of being that great a stopper in big games.

  • Qwame

    MJ never owned Kobe in 96 or in 2001 with the wizards, MJ and Kobe would cancel each other out MJ = 33.6pts, 5rebs, 6ast, Kobe=32.8pts,6rebs,6ast. The wildcard is fish v. Kerr and Kukoc V. Odem. It goes down in 7 with 3 OT’s, Bulls taking the win.

  • wifey

    you never know, Kobe could drop a 65 point game on MJ and vice versa. I think the refs would favour MJ so the bulls would win.

  • http://www.blasphemy.com Chicagorilla

    This is just Blasphemus. I refuse to say anything more.

  • Dre Day

    Kobe is never dropping 65 on the “Bulls” Jordan. That bulls teams was not losing to anybody. They swept the Shaq and Penny magic that year. And whoever said the sonics were nobodies is crazy. They won 64 games that year. Lets see if LA wins 64 this year!! Payton and Kemp were legit beasts and they were deep. The lakers might be a lil deeper but the bulls were smarter and tougher.

  • RC

    In a seven game series, Bulls win 4-2. The way NBA officiates nowadays is very soft. Thats another key if officiating is like in 96. Bulls would bully the lakers in every possesion. Bynum vs Longley argument is the only one I wont agree with in this article. Bynum only performs better on smaller big men. Longley is a legit 7 footer with strength and built that can defend Andrew Bynum.

  • Benoit Benjamin

    Rodman in his prime could handle Jordan in his prime. In 96 he handled the likes of Shawn Kemp and Karl Malone in a very effective way. Sorry but Gasol, for all his wonderful talent, wouldn’t stand a chance against Rodman. He would have maybe one good game in the whole series.

  • http://juanm.garcia@comcast.net Mayan Mike

    You all know neither of these two teams would win even two games in a seven game series against the 2001 Laker squad. That team not only had the best 1-2 duo in the history of the game but the best post season record in the HISTORY of the NBA. So you telling me best record in regular season history beats the best post season record history? You fools are dreaming. Shaq would eat 96 Bulls front line and gobble up the 09 front court players by game three of a series. You forget he would wear out and demoralize the opposing teams front court players as the series moved on… just ask Sabonis, Rasheed, Divac, Webber, Robinson, Duncan and Mutumbo. All laid to waste after Shaq got through with them. Then you take a much younger and faster Kobe to put the cherry on top to close out games and that my friends is case closed. Don’t give me none of that Pippen would’ve… S.T.F.U.!!! Kobe ate up that second banana 3 yrs straight in the playoffs. First when he was with Houston. He killed Pippen while still in his prime and he retired him when in Portland.
    The 09 Laker team wouldn’t have a chance either and I don’t even have to go in to detail for that one. You all know that a younger Kobe and a dominant Shaq would lay waste to them as they did to the Sacramento Kings who were a very similar teams minus a legendary player of Kobes stature of coarse but a younger Kobe was more destructive although maybe not as smart.

  • gerald1981

    You guys are looking at this the wrong way. Lakers Phil would def beat out Bulls Phil simply by the 13 years more of experience. Lets say you’ve been an engineer for 20 years. Wouldn’t you feel that after 20 years, you’re a better engineer now than 13 years ago with only 7 years of experience, not to mention 2 of those years you were a rookie working up for your license?

    You guys are also ignoring the fact that Lakers Phil knows all the deepest secrets and weakness of every single player on the 96 Bulls team. He knows all the plays and strategic counters Bulls Phil would use. Given adequate practice time and preparation, I’d go on a limb and say any of the top 3 teams in the NBA today with Lakers Phil guidance could beat the 96 team. Athletes today are bigger stronger and more adequately trained than they were back in the day

  • kevin k

    This Gerald Narcioso dude is a comedic joke

  • LorasBallers

    NO QUESTION…BULLS SMASH…plus you cant even bring this question up unless the lakers win it all this year….

  • D Double

    @ Kermit, Kemp owned Rodman in the finals that year, remember the reverse dunk on Rodman? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTPV2r2s1k8
    GP would be on Kobe and Nate McMillan (very underrated defender might I add) would stick with Fisher. Anyhow, the question is would the Lake Show beat the Bulls, I’m saying back in the day they would have a problem with Malone/Stockton/Hornacek in Utah, The Dream/Drexler/Cassell in Houston,etc. Lakers are a finesse team. The Bull woulda smacked em in the mouth IF they would’ve made it that far.

  • Cp

    Is this even a valid debate. I know it’s all in good fin Dime, but as a Jazz fan who was forced to watch that Bulls team real close, I don’t even see the Lakers winning more than a game. The 96 Jazz would STOMP the current Lakers squad, for real…(they stomped the lakers with shaq and Kobe)
    So obviously the Bulls would handle their business. MJ could have a flu for all 4 of the games.

  • heartbreaker85

    i stopped reading when you said gasol would beat rodman.

    you serious?

    rodman, despite all his antics, was not only a MONSTER REBOUNDER, but was also a great one on one (slightly dirty) defender.

    even if gasol is taller, rodman always got tough assignments from the malones, kemps, and so on–and shined.

    i actually wouldnt be surprised IF THIS MATCH UP TOOK PLACE and rodman was sent out to frustrate bynum, and longley (who’s a passable center) to gasol.

    plus, scottie would run the floor, and artest wouldn’t be able to stay on him (you’ve seen ron lately? the guy’s jacked, but he’s a step slower.)

  • Ian

    kemp vs rodman
    23ppg 10rpg 55% fgp

    malone vs rodman
    25ppg 10rpg 50% fgp

    oh did i mention that rodman only avged 7rpg vs malone?
    yeah good job by the worm that couldnt even get his boards.

  • ab_40

    these were two of the worst VS s ever dirk has the clear advantage over C Webb. And I think pip would dominate artest who isn’t as quick on his feet as he used to be. and the lakers bench isn’t that good. and if this game would be with the old rules it would be a sweep. with the new rules 4-2 bulls

  • LakeShow84

    Lol wouldnt the older Phil win the coaching matchup since he has more coaching experience??

  • LakeShow84

    Lol @ everyone acting like Rodmans D meant opposing post players couldnt score AT ALL..

    Yes dude was a good help defender and a great rebounder but dude wasnt even really Ben Wallace.. Rodman just did ALL THE LITTLE things you want to win..

    Gasol would score on him in a quick second.. In basketball great offense always trumps great defense..

  • stephon

    dumb ass article. Sure u did your research in stats but the matchup commentaries were weak.

    retarded that Gasol will handle his own vs. Rodman.

    The Worm, along with Kukoc, was the X-factor.

    Worm would have Gasol out of his mind. doesnt matter if Gasol has size and wingspan advantage, Rodman can box him out completely. If he can outposition Shaq (orlando), Malone and D-Rob, i m sure he can do what he wants with Gasol. Gasol plays on his wingspan and timing for blocks and rebounds, while an undersized Rodman can outplay his bigger opponent by getting great positions and drawing charges on the block if needed. Rodman is a fuckin annoying defender to play against. He gets into your brain and he will out position you on the block.

    Kukoc – he is wayyyy more consistent than Lamar Odom.
    This is the guy that should get more credit. Of all the fall-behind games i ‘ve witnessed on the bulls, it was not all MJ. It was a whole lot of Toni Kukoc’s instant offense to help the bulls spark these runs to win close games while down 20 going into the 4th. I’ve seen it so many times. MJ will take over games, but many times Kukoc is the one that sparks these runs in a come from behind win.

    Bynum will not last past the 1st quarter. He has size and decent footwork but he lacks basketball IQ. He is not a smart player.
    he will be in foul trouble in the 1st quarter right away. MJ or PIP would drive in and draw some fouls right away to take him out of the game to begin with.

    96 Bulls are very smart and they know how to adapt to different styles of play. The bulls bench lacks the talent and physique of the 09 Lakers, but they play very smart team ball and everyone plays his role to the maximum potential. The lakers bench got some serious attitude problems and that will affect their performance. Bulls bench were calm and they execute. Bill Wennington hitting sideline J’s. Buchelor hitting 3’s. Kerr coming out just wets the net. These are very producting bench players.

    i dun see Brown, Farmar, Vu-gina and others execute better than the bulls bench could. IF their shots are off, they get tense and would continue to jack shots to some shine. They like to show off while the bulls bench come out and do their damage, then leaves quietly.

    Not a match. Should not even compare these 2 teams.

    No more of this BS until the Lakers are still only at 4 losses in March 2010

  • SAB

    Its silly to make these comparions. The league rules got changed to handicap the defenders to encourage more TV highlights for the kiddies. The 96 Bulls are easily the better team.

  • arisloco

    Kobe + Lakers + Men in stripes (refs) could win against the Bulls.

    Fuck these Lakers!

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    I think a more reasonable argument would be

    1992 Blazers
    2009 Lakers

    Pg- Terry Porter vs D.Fish
    SG- Clyde Drexler vs Kobe
    SF Jerome Kershy vs Artest
    PF- Buck Williams vs Gasol
    C- Kevin Duckworth vs Andrew Bynum

    the benches
    Portland: Danny Ainge, Cliff Robinson, Robert Pack, Mark Bryant

    Lakers: Odom, S.Brown, Sasha, Luke, DJ, Powell

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla

    Jerome Kersey my bad

  • AdvancedMind

    LOL @ all this…. How is the voted athlete of the centery become “arguably the best player” in the sport he played? lol You Laker are Lame, Gasol is sofTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT.
    @ Ian
    Your fair weather gay love affair for the Spurs actually allows you to sound even dumber then you might actually be. Rodman is a garbage defender huh? Stop the madness.
    This coming from the same person who thinks Tony Parker is an elite PG.. lol cancel your Dime account quickly.

  • InsightfulDoubt

    Artest would defend Jordan, and Pippen Kobe… Jordan worked mainly out of the post in his second stint, and Artest is a lot bigger than Kobe. Meanwhile, Pippen would use his length and quickness to defend Kobe. That’s the way both Phils always played it, anyway, they used their 3 to defend the best perimeter guy on the opposition. Obviously, in crunch time Jordan and Bryant would call each others’ numbers.

    As for this argument, it’s fun to argue over it and all, but the fact of the matter is that it is all null as it’s all theoretical. We can’t somehow have the 96 Bulls play a game against the 09 Lakers.

    And who was it who doubted the Lakers would win 64 games? Pathetic…

    AdvancedMind, Wilt Chamberlain and Bill Russell would like to have a word with you. Oscar, Magic and Jerry have sent texts, as well.

    The hype around that Bulls team is ridiculous… everyone here who actually remembers them well enough to speak of watching specific games is even saying that they were fallible, that they COULD lose. They still lost 10 games that season, remember? You’re telling me these Lakers aren’t good enough to be one of those 10?

    Rodman was an excellent defender, and a ridiculous rebounder. Regardless, remember that the Lakers Phil had coached Rodman and effectively utilised him for three championships, thus he could give Gasol some pointers.

    The interesting thing I’m noting is that most of the people blindly rooting for the Bulls were those whose teams were massacared by them in that season… jealousy at the fact that there are teams that could challenge the Bulls better than their own? Plausible.

  • Vojvoda Mihi B

    LAKERS 09 hands down…. Pau Gasol would of showed Rodman whos boss….Pippen would be eating Artest’s arm pits all series, Fish and Harp would be holding hands at center court, Bynum would be dunkin all over the brutal Aussie and Caker Weddington, EHHH!!!! …. and Jordan would be exhausted lookin at the back of Kobes 24, thinkin he should of wore 25 mabey….LAKERS of 09 are the best team last year and so far this year… aint no one better… Lakers would of handled the Sonics in 4 game sweep….
    S Verom U Boga… KOSOVO IS SERBIA!!!!!
    LAKERS 09 CHAMPS back 2 back baby!!!!!

  • InsightfulDoubt

    And yes, it’s a glaring oversight that the article did not mention the Lakers’ Phil not only being more experienced, but intimately knowing and understanding the workings of the ’96 Bulls, whom he coached; while the ’96 Phil would not be able to predict what these modern Lakers would do (their version of the triangle has many subtle differences from that of the Bulls). Giving the Bulls’ Phil the advantage based on the view that he ‘liked’ Jordan better? Weak, especially considering you have no way of proving that.

  • InsightfulDoubt

    Some have implied that the league in ’96 was far stronger at the top than the league today. Um, excuse me? The Celtics when healthy and Magic are easily 60-win teams. The Cavs are starting to put things together and may get there as well. Hell, even the Nuggets, Mavericks and (undoubtedly regular season only) Suns. You’re telling me those 6 teams, in addition to the Lakers, couldn’t beat out the top 7 teams of that year? And this isn’t even including the Spurs, when they (inevitably) get their act together they can definitely beat any team on that list at least 25% of the time.

  • InsightfulDoubt

    People are referring to this comparison as ‘blasphemy’. Explain this to me, are these Bulls a collective diety? Because, to my knowledge, the generally accepted definition of Blasphemy is sacreligious. This comparison is pointless, yes, due to lack of a definitive answer and the fact that any given team can beat any other given team on any given day; but blasphemous? Hardly. One could argue that such a misappropriation of the term ‘blasphemous’ in itself constitutes as blasphemy.

  • InsightfulDoubt

    AdvancedMind, your name is truly ironic. Are you implying that Ian, by virtue of being a Spurs fan, is instantly made an idiot? Also, how does his allegiance to a team that is NEUTRAL in this debate draw into question the credibility of his opinion (note that that is all any of this is, OPINION based on analysis. There are no definitive, thus right/wrong, answers)?

  • InsightfulDoubt

    It’s particularly humourous when one considers that Rodman actually played with the Spurs for a period of time, and his dedication to rebounding and defense was one of the primary factors that allowed David Robinson to go for the scoring title, in a year where it was a foregone conclusion that the Spurs could not properly contend.

  • TJ Harper

    The refs would have a tough time with this one, how would they decide on what fouls to call given that both teams get away with a lot and are catered to? I mean would Jordan be able to just push his defender out of the way and not get called for the foul? If so, how would Kobe handle not getting the call his way? (See Bryon Russell)

  • InsightfulDoubt

    AdvancedMind, all Ian did was show the numbers that dispelled a myth you clearly believe in, and thus you instantly assume he is saying Rodman is terrible? Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t (they don’t always show the whole story, but regardless…)

  • Justafan

    ’96 Bulls had charisma and they had character. I think ’09 Lakers are trying to be like the old Bulls team or teams. You can fault Coach Jackson for that. I believe one of the reason, getting Ron Artest was this very reason to be like the old Bulls team. We know Artest is a great off the ball player; but comparing him with Dennis Rodman theres not comparison. Now Artest can score and we know this becuase he use to score with the Kings. But on the defensive level theres no comparison.

    Rodman knew how to cheat and he was great at it. He made cheating look awesome. I mean, he would lock arms with the opposing player and somehow tries to push himself off him and the ref would call an offensive foul on the other player. Why? Is because it looks like the other player has a hold of him. Very clever player. He was one of the best rebounder and he was only 6 ft 8 (Ben Wallace same height). He will do the same for whoever Laker he is guarding. Bynum will be fouled out and Gasol will have his hands full. Because of Dennis Rodman’s height and his ability to jump and his strength he can guard almost anyone of those Lakers.

    Kobe is great shooter but him being equal or better than Jordan is not so. What’s this thing about Andrew Bynum owning Luc Longley deal? I dislike this 100%. Luc Longley plays big and to me he was like ARVYDAS SABONIS (Portland Trailblazers) type centers. Can Bynum do well on Sabonis? No. So can he do well on Longley? No:)

    Now the question was asked because ’09 Bulls won 72 out 82 games. Well I don’t think Lakers can touch any other Bulls team when jordan was in them. You remember John Paxson, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, Will Perdue, and B.J. Armstrong? Yeah, I thought so.

    Supersonics… I love this team; but Jordan and the gang was too much for them. They only had Shawn Kemp and Gary Payton? Are you sick! What about for Hershey Hawkins, Detlet Shrempf, Nate McMillan, Craig Ehlo, Sam Perkins, Terry Cummings, and David Wingate? Now to say they only had Kemp and Gp now that’s just not knowing history of your NBA. I believe this Supersonic team can beat out the ’09 Lakers.

  • Justafan

    Although, my favorite of all-time team is Chigago Bulls team; but I believe there’s one other team that could beat both the ’96 Bulls team and for the ’09 Lakers team. The ’88 and ’89 Detroit Pistons team. Yes, this team will beat out both of them.

  • AdvancedMind

    Shut the Fuck up this is a Dime forum, you dont have to google big words, this isnt your Community College term paper.

  • http://www.WhyCandaceWhySheldon.thatbastard.com Chicagorilla


    You popping that bull$h!t but the proof is everywhere. Watch the DVDs. I’m sure your netflicks has them. MJ and Scottie made those 90’s bulls team what they were. Everything that’s said about them ain’t Myth. Wilt Chamberlin’s dominance and Bill Russell’s defense can be considered myth because there is very little video of that. Only stats. N!cca, there is no stat puffing with MJ, he $h!t is written in stone and you can download, youttube, and purchase everything you need to watch on him and the Bulls.

    Your corny, wanna be espn analyst, Stuaru Scott type cats kill me with that $h!t. You heard someone say some off-the-wall type ish and you regeritate it whenever you think it will make you look smart. In this case it’s not working. everything from the 80’s and up has been recorded with video.

  • got beef?

    Bulls would slaughter the lakers, the same team that lost to both pheonix and cleveland by 15 would be embarrased by Jordan and crew, not even close, the lakers aint even tha best team in the NBA, the celtics when healthy would beat the lakers

  • Socias23

    I’m 33 and feeling real old because cats don’t seem to know their history. The ’96 Bulls never went down 0-2 against the Knicks, that was the ’93 Bulls and let me just go ahead and pencil the ’93 Knicks as winners against the ’09 Lakers (if they allow them to play REAL ball and not the perimeter friendly rules of today). I agree that the Kobe-Michael matchup would be a classic, both will go at it no doubt. But I think Michael was more obsessed at winning than Kobe, MJ had his eyes only on the prize where as Kobe wants to go out and prove he is the best everytime he goes out on the court BY ALL MEANS NECCESARY. Kobe’s obsession with MJ will take away from the team concept. MJ would size him up during the first couple of games, and throw a knockout blow to end the series in 5, perhaps 6. Plus, the team concept the Bulls had was head and shoulders above this Lakers team that is riding Kobe in a way that is similar to the ’98 Bulls, it just worries me that 24 won’t burn himself out like in 2008 when he was out of gas in the Finals (although the Celtics D had a lot to do with it).

  • Justafan

    Asking for only one game — Anything is possible and if we’re thinking of one game it’s very much doable. I’m not saying ’09 Lakers team is better than the 95-96 Bulls team (my own belief); however, it is very much doable.

    Ask ’09 Laker fans if the La Clippers can beat them at least once this year; they probably say “oh, hells no!” Well, from last night’s game which this ’09 Lakers lost to the Clippers shows that anything is possible.

    Lakers even have a hard time beating out the Charlotte Bobcats for some reason. I know the reason thereof, it’s because Bobcats has those tall, strong, and fast players and having these type of players on your roster you can play almost anyone and be effective.

    There are days when shots aren’t falling and even the so called “greatest player” MJ had several games where he couldn’t buy a buck. I know these things from actually watching the games on TV, not from the youtube videos that we see now-a-days. I saw when Jordan had the stomach virus and he didn’t do well and same thing for Kobe when he was ailing with this same illness. Who knows, what if in this one game MJ has a stomach virus or anything that prevents him from scoring. Like I said anything it’s possible and winning or losing one game is very much doable.

    I don’t like or dislike the ’09 Lakers; however, I do like the old Bulls. Here’s the problem I see, if we’re thinking they’ll never lose one game; than (as InsightfulDoubt have mentioned in his post) how is it possible they lost lost 10 games out of 82? I guess we can use the same term (NFL) for NBA games as well… It’s any given Sunday; however, for NBA it’ll be more like, it’s any given night or day.

    I said in my previous statements that the Bulls will win; but that’s asking a fan of the old Bulls team. Just like we have some hardcore Laker fans who may answer by saying the ’09 Lakers will win. If the question was asked, which of the two team is a better team than the other? I (as an Old Bulls fan) will say it’s the ’95-’96 Bulls all-the-way. Here is the thing though, even so we’ll have some hardcore Laker fans who will say that the ’09 Lakers team are better than that of ’95-’96 Bulls.

    Now these things are coming from the fans; so, how can we (I) hate them for who they’re placing their allegiance to? A message to all: Always be a fan and never lost your heart for whomever you’re going for.

  • http://dime AdvancedMind

    How is this looking for the Lakers now?
    lol @ all you fuck heads that actually said the Lakers.