The Greatest NBA Teams: Chicago Bulls 1996-1998

Who were the 1996-1998 Chicago Bulls?

From 1995 the Chicago Bulls were outstanding. In their 1995-1996 season, they finished 1st in the NBA Central Division at 72-10. They had some true legends on their team, such as Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. 

Whether you are a fan of basketball, someone seeking out NBA betting odds, or someone just interested in the history of the game, the Chicago Bulls in the 90s are a cornerstone of greatness, and something for every team today to seek to beat. 

If we see another team act like the 1996-1998 Chicago Bulls, we know where most people’s money will be going, and we wouldn’t be surprised. If the Chicago Bulls did as great now as they did then, there would certainly be bets galore on this team. 

Why? Because for these few years, they absolutely slayed! 

How did it all begin?

The Chicago Bulls joined the NBA back in 1966 before the 1966-1967 season. Surprisingly, the Chicago Bulls are the only team in the NBA who have never changed their logo. Take a look at their team logo history in this article from Stadium Talk. They did struggle for the better part of a quarter-century, occasionally putting out brilliant teams, such as the touch units we saw in the mid 70s. Most of the time, though, the Bulls worked hard and only gave mediocre results, but this didn’t last forever. In the mid 80s Michael Jordan was drafted, and we all know he was by far the most dominant player of his era, and maybe even the greatest player of all time. 

Michael Jordan won seven straight scoring titles with a combination of breathtaking slam dunks and a bag of thrilling shot-making tricks. He put up some of the biggest numbers seen in NBA history and was responsible for the writing of some of the most memorable chapters in the annals of the league. 

Of course there was also Scottie Pippen, who is another Hall of Famer, as in 1987, these two together set the stage for one of basketball’s greatest dynasties. 

The Bulls in the 90s

In the early 1990s, the Bulls had assembled a strong supporting cast around Jordan and Pippen, which resulted in the winning of three consecutive NBA titles, becoming only the third franchise in history to string together a trio of crowns. 

After more than a year of ‘retirement’ to try his hand at professional baseball, Jordan decided to return and led the Bulls back to yet another title in 1996, then in 1997, and another in 1998. The Bull’s second three=peat of the decade, and the sixth NBA championship trophy. Outstanding! 

1996-1997 Season

The Bulls entered this season as defending NBA champions after having won in 1995. The bulls were led by Jordan, as well as perennial All-Star small forward Scottie Pippen, and rebound ace Dennis Rodman. With Jordan and Pippen both being selected for the 1997 NBA All-Star Game. 

The Bulls won 69-13, taking another Championship home. 

They got off to a very fast start, as they won their first twelve games, while they posted a 42-6 record before the All-Star break. During the final month of the regular season back in the early part of April, they signed Brain Williams, who had previously played for the Clippers in the last season. He played the final nine games as a backup center for the Bulls. 

Although they looked to make history against the New York Knicks in their final regular season game, Pippen missed a game, winning 3, and they finished with a 69-13 record, only just missing out on becoming the first team to have back-to-back 70 wins seasons. 

1997-1998 Season

By the time they reached the ‘97-’98 Season, they were a two-time defending champion, having won the year before and the year before that. During the off season, they acquired Scott Burrell from the Golden State Warriors. However, their All-Star forward Scottie Pippen missed the first half of the season due to a foot injury sustained from the 1997 playoffs. 

Without Pippen they had a rough start at 9-7 in November, but luckily by January they were at 15-4, and Pippen returned. 

Despite the slow start to their season that included much trading and resigning of players, Scottie Pippen’s return helped the Bulls. Although his return was limited to just 44 games, the Bulls posted a 13-game winning streak between March and April and still ended up finishing first place in the Central Division and Eastern Conference with a 62-20 record. This makes it their third-best team defensive rating in the NBA. 

After this things floundered until the later 00s, but it is still a period in basketball history, none are likely to forget.