If you live on Earth, you’ve probably heard of the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. You probably also know that the Bulls won two consecutive NBA championships (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998). However, fewer people know about the history of the Bulls before Jordan, or about the Jordan-era seasons in which the team failed to win NBA titles.
How were the Chicago Bulls born? The Bulls’ first season was in 1966-1967. The Bulls’ first owner, Dick Klein, named the team after the city’s prolific cattle business. This was actually the third NBA team to play in Chicago, after the Chicago Stags (1946-1950) and the Chicago Packers / Zephyrs (1961-1963).
The Bulls played an outstanding first season. Chicago won its first franchise game 104-97, over the St. Louis Hawks. Amazingly, they completed their first season with a 33-48 record and earned a spot in the playoffs. Ironically, the Bulls lost their first series to the St. Louis Hawks, 3-0. However, his first season record was the best record for a freshman NBA team.
The Bulls struggled for several years to advance to the playoffs. They were 0-6 in the first playoff series, during their first six years. However, during the 1973-1974 season, the Bulls won their first playoff series against the Detroit Pistons. However, the Milwaukee Bucks swept them in the Western Conference Finals.
From the 1974-1975 season through the 1983-1984 season, the Bulls only made the playoffs three times (1975, 1977, 1981). The deepest they got in the playoffs was in 1975. During that year, the Bulls earned another spot in the Western Conference Finals. However, they lost the series to the Golden State Warriors, after taking a 3-2 series lead.
The Jordan-era Bulls that most people are familiar with began in 1984. After the 1983-1984 season, the Bulls chose Jordan as the NBA’s third overall pick in the draft. He would replace Reggie Theus, who the Bulls had traded during the previous season.
Many people forget, or don’t know, that Jordan played several years for the Bulls, before winning his first championship. These are the results of the Bulls’ seasons of the Jordan era, before winning their first NBA championship:
1984-1985: record 38-44; lost in the first round to the Milwaukee Bucks
1985-1986: record 30-52; lost in the first round to the Boston Celtics (note: Jordan scored 63 points in Game 2, to set an NBA postseason record)
1986-1987: record 40-42; lost in the first round to the Boston Celtics
1987-1988: 50-32 record; lost in the second round to the Detroit Pistons
1988-1989: 47-35; lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Detroit Pistons
1989-1990: 57-25; lost in the Eastern Conference Finals to the Detroit Pistons
However, the Bulls won their first NBA championship in the 1990-1991 season, by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers. The rest, as they say, is history.
The Chicago Bulls made history during the Jordan era. Encourage them to more bullish success, with a variety of Chicago Bulls products available!