NEW YORK—This past Saturday night the Chicago Bulls celebrated its first ever NBA Championship by bringing back the players from the 1991 team. Everybody showed up with the exception of Phil Jackson who had Los Angeles Lakers business, (they were in Dallas playing the Mavericks). He was able to address the raucous crowd via a videotaped recorded message. And center Bill Cartwright was with the Phoenix Suns where he serves as an assistant coach.
The Bulls of course went on to win five more championships and twice, won it three times. The team could have won seven in a row had it not been for Michael Jordan’s infatuation with baseball. But his hiatus did give the Houston Rockets, led by Hakeem Olajuwon, a chance to win back-to-back titles for its own bit of history.
Jordan was there in his entire Sartorius splendor rocking a light blue suit with a matching tie. He, no doubt, received the loudest applause as each player and coach from the team was introduced separately. Pippen and Jordan shared the microphone but when Jordan took it for himself, the place exploded with applause. He spoke glowingly about their time together, the fan support and all the usual niceties. But, when he said, “I feel this Bulls team can win six titles as well,” he immediately – as present Bulls star Derrick Rose said – “put the pressure on us.” Of course Jordan didn’t do it for gamesmanship, as he is the current owner of the Charlotte Bobcats; nor did he do it to jinx the team. He was simply in awe of what he had seen and wanted to show respect.
It wasn’t too long ago (about 10 days ago) when Jordan anointed Rose as this year’s league MVP. And with good reason as Rose not only held the Bulls together as his team suffered huge losses in manpower. Both big men, Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer have missed extensive time due to injury. Now that the Bulls are somewhat intact, they sit atop the Eastern Conference and are riding a seven-game winning streak.
There are many in the media that have the Bulls going head-to-head with the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals and not the Miami Heat. How odd will that be for the Heat, with the self-appointed Big 3 not in the title picture, if it should end that way?
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