NBA / Jul 20, 2011 / 4:30 pm

A Writer Talks About Covering The 72-Win Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan

No argument about the best NBA teams of all-time can take place without including the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls. They won a record 72 games during the regular season, then blitzed through the playoffs with a 15-3 record (only losing once to the Knicks in overtime, before dropping two straight to Seattle after the championship had been all but clinched). And while people like myself and Celts Fan will take some mid-’80s teams ahead of the Unstop-a-Bulls, the most successful team in history has to be mentioned.

That entire regular season was a joke for Chicago. They started out the year at 41-3, murdering teams so convincingly that people were already jotting down Ls before the games even started. They lost just once by more than 10 points throughout the entire regular season, and that was a 32-point drubbing in Madison Square Garden. I distinctively remember watching that game, and being in a complete daze for the rest of the day (it was a Sunday afternoon game). The team was so dominant that it felt alien to see them even be tested, much less get blown out.

Today, Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated reminisced on that year and covering the Bulls.

But those scenes were no more memorable than the ones that I saw when the games were over, including the sight of Rodman and the artist formerly known (at the time) as Prince heading off into the night together after another Bulls win, no doubt headed for some Chicago hotspot where it was Androgynous Celebrity Night. Rodman, who joined Jordan and Pippen on the All-Defensive team, was like a magnet for Hollywood types. The late Gene Siskel, the well-known film critic and passionate Bulls fan, once told me that he was more nervous to meet the Worm than when he met Robert DeNiro. After one playoff win, I remember seeing Rodman walking casually down a hall at the United Center, completely unconcerned that supermodel Cindy Crawford was scurrying along in leather pants and high heels, trying to keep up with him.

Taylor hit on many of the well-known stories from that year, including how Scottie Pippen still wasn’t all that fond of Rodman because of the way the defensive ace had treated Pippen during the Bad Boy Pistons days of five or six years earlier, and how MJ once punched out Steve Kerr.

There’s even a mention of MJ being socially-conscious, which is probably the most surprising thing of all.

What do you think? What are your best memories of that team?

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  • doc

    Just them running thru shit on the court.

  • Lee

    Loosing to the Raptors, should have been 73 wins!

  • doc

    And i remember GP doing work to MJ in games4,and 5 in the chip.I never seen nobody bust Mike ass while talking shit before or since.

  • heckler

    I remember that teams 4th quarter lineup was small and they still had LOCKDOWN defense.
    Phil Jackson put out: ron harper, michael jordan scottie pippen, toni kukoc, dennis rodman.
    good luck trying to crack 20pts in the 4th quarter against that lineup….

    I also remember them losing to the Denver Nuggets. or am I mistaken?

    what I didnt like about that NBA Finals, was that Gary Payton and Michael Jordan BARELY/RARELY defended each other.
    George Karl had Nate McMillan defend Jordan and Phil Jackson had Ron Harper defend Gary Payton — what a waste to us fans…jipped!

  • heckler

    correction, George Karl had Hersey Hawkins defending Jordan most of the time; not Nate nor GP

  • AZ

    George karl messed up on that move.. later on in the series Karl finally put GP on jordan. GP did a good job on him or atleast was MJ best defender in the playoffs.