The legendary Chicago Bulls won six NBA championships in eight years and ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ covered their success.
The documentary focuses on the 1997-98 season, Michael Jordan’s final year with the Bulls and the end of their dynasty but many people overlook the team that won the NBA Championship from 1991 to 1993.
In 1993, that Bulls team became the third in NBA history to win a three-peat and it featured big names other than Michael Jordan. Many of the players in the 1992-93 Bulls are still involved in basketball.
Michael Jordan was the star, averaging 32.6 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.5 assists in 39.3 minutes over 78 games. MJ didn’t win the NBA MVP award that year and in Episode 6 of ‘The Last Dance’ he admitted that he was upset about it. Charles Barkley was crowned MVP before his Suns faced the Bulls in the 1993 NBA Finals.
“I was a little bit upset that I didn’t get the MVP that year and they gave it to Charles Barkley. But with that said, OK fine you can have that, Imma get this,” Jordan said.
The Bulls won the series 4-2 and MJ retired because of the death of his father. He returned to the NBA in March of 1995 and led the Bulls to three more NBA Championships.
MJ retired for three seasons in 1998 before coming back to the league as a member of the Washington Wizards for two years. He is the current owner of the Charlotte Hornets, a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and arguably the greatest player of all-time.
Two-time NBA champion and 1981 NBA Finals MVP Cedric Maxwell told me in May what it was like to play against a young Michael Jordan.
“Michael was young and the rosters he played on were not even remotely close to what most people remember from his six championships. We all knew some kid named Michael Jordan was going to be a high impact player but very few people actually knew just how game-changing he’d become,” Maxwell explained.
Scottie Pippen was Robin to Michael Jordan’s Batman. Pippen was a key player for the Bulls at both ends of the court, averaging 18.6 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 2.1 steals in 38.6 minutes over 81 games.
Pippen left the Bulls to join the Rockets and the Trail Blazers after the 1997-98 season before retiring with the Bulls in 2004. Nowadays, Pippen, a Basketball Hall of a Famer like Jordan, makes regular appearances on ESPN’s ‘The Jump.’
Horace Grant had a successful 17-year NBA career, winning three championships with the Bulls and one with the Lakers. He led the Bulls with 9.5 rebounds in the 1992-93 season and also averaged 13.2 points, 2.6 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals in 35.6 minutes over 77 games.
Grant left the Bulls after his All-Star season in 1994, which was the best year of his career. He played 10 more years in the NBA, mostly with the Magic and Lakers, winning another NBA Championship in 2000-01 with Los Angeles. Since retiring, Grant has promoted basketball around the world, coaching aspiring athletes and inspiring fans.
Horace Grant and John Paxson share the Bulls playoff record for most field goals without a miss. Each went 8 for 8 in a postseason game. pic.twitter.com/YOr7QlPrEv
— See Red Fred (@cbefred) August 24, 2020
BJ Armstrong is a three-time NBA champion and a one-time NBA All-Star with the Bulls. He was the starting point guard in the 1992-93 season, averaging 12.3 points and 4.0 assists in 30.4 minutes over 82 games. Armstrong left the Bulls after the 1994-95 season and played five more years in NBA. He returned to the Bulls and retired with them in the 1999-00 campaign.
Armstrong is now a sports agent for the Wasserman Group out of Los Angeles. The NBA and Audible will team for a 10-part podcast series called ‘Beyond the Last Dance’ that will continue the story of the Chicago Bulls. BJ Armstrong will co-host the series with former Bulls reporter J.A. Adande.
According to NBC Sports, ‘Beyond the Last Dance’ will “explore additional storylines past ESPN’s documentary and will feature interviews with former players, coaches, and journalists.”
Michael Jordan's former teammate BJ Armstrong believes 'The Last Dance' will have a lasting impact due to its universal message. pic.twitter.com/vqSfnfxLwI
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) May 19, 2020
Bill Cartwright won six NBA Championships with the Bulls, three as a player from 1991 to 1993 and three as an assistant coach from 1996 to 1998. Cartwright was the starting center for the Bulls in the 1992-93 season, averaging 5.6 points and 3.7 rebounds in 19.9 minutes over 63 games. He was the head coach of the Bulls from 2001 to 2003.
Cartwright was a three-time All-American at the University of San Francisco (USF) in the late seventies and now he’s an ambassador for the program.
Bill Cartwright free throws are a beautiful thing. pic.twitter.com/qpf9GSx6K1
— Eric (@PointGods) October 6, 2017
Phil Jackson coached the Bulls from 1989 to 1998. Jackson ran the famous Triangle offense and dubbed the 1997-98 season the “Last Dance” because he was told by then Bulls general manager Jerry Krause that he would not be the team’s head coach after that year.
Jackson then won five NBA championships in 11 years coaching the Lakers and had an unsuccessful stint as president of the Knicks from 2014-2017. Now he is out of the NBA.
Watched “The Last Dance” on @netflix last night and Phil Jackson used this amazing quote about success and failure:
“You're only a success the moment you do a successful act, so these acts have to be repeated all the time…"
— Ferial Govashiri (@FerialGovashiri) July 24, 2020
Scott Williams provided valuable minutes at power forward or at center while winning three NBA Championships in his four years with the Bulls. Williams averaged 5.9 points and 6.4 rebounds in 19.3 minutes over 71 games in 1992-93.
He played one more season with the Bulls and then spent 11 more years in the league, with teams like the 76ers, Bucks, Nuggets, Suns, Mavericks and Cavaliers.
Since his retirement, he was a coach and commentator for a variety of NBA Development League and NBA. teams. He is the current color analyst for the Grand Canyon Antelopes at the NCAA Division I level.
Stacey King is a three-time NBA champion with the Bulls. Like Scott Williams, he was a backup power forward and center. He averaged 5.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in 13.9 minutes over 76 games in 1992-93.
In 1994, King was part of the trade with the Timberwolves that brought Luc Longley to the Bulls. He retired in 1997 after spending three seasons with the Timberwolves, Heat, Celtics and Mavericks. King is now a color commentator for Bulls television broadcasts on NBC Sports Chicago and WGN-TV. He is very popular because of his enthusiasm and signature catchphrases and nicknames.
John Paxson played with the Bulls from 1985 to 1994 and won three NBA Championships. He averaged just 4.2 points in 17.5 minutes over 59 games in the 1992-93 season but he shot 46.3 percent from beyond the arc and hit the game-winning 3-pointer in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals against the Suns.
Paxson has served the Bulls in various roles for more than three decades. He retired from the league in 1994 and after years as Vice President of Basketball Operations for the Bulls, he is moving into a new role as Senior Advisor of Basketball Operations.
June 20, 1993. NBA Finals. Game 6. Bulls trail by 2 to the Suns in the final seconds of the game. Ball goes to John Paxson… pic.twitter.com/zCt8VUyiOM
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) June 20, 2017
Will Perdue was the backup center for the Bulls for eight years. Perdue won three NBA championships with the Bulls and one with the Spurs. He averaged just 4.7 points and 4.0 rebounds in 13.9 minutes over 72 games in the 1992-93 season.
Perdue was part of the trade with the Spurs that brought Dennis Rodman to the Bulls before the 1995-96 season. He is now a Studio Analyst for NBC Sports Chicago during their pre-game and postgame Bulls broadcasts.