The Chicago Bulls are one of the most historic teams in professional basketball history.
That said, there is a tendency to forget just how proud of a franchise the Bulls really are. Fans have been treated to some of the most memorable moments of all-time, both high and low.
For the sake of continuing the good fortune that the Bulls have been having thus far this season, we'll focus on the good.
There are many to pick from, which made these selections all the more difficult. However, from talking to die-hard Bulls fans and doing a little research, these moments are simply unforgettable.
Led by the unstoppable Michael Jordan, the Bulls delivered a series for the ages against the Los Angeles Lakers en route to their first championship, in 1991. Who can forget that emotional picture of Michael after the game?
In Game Two of the 1991 NBA finals, Michael Jordan drives into the lane, goes up with one hand, fakes, and switches it to the other while laying it in. This play had many wondering if Jordan really could walk on air and became one of the most memorable plays in NBA history.
Signaling to the bench with his shoulders, even Jordan couldn't believe how hot he was that night. In the 1992 NBA finals against the Portland Trailblazers, Jordan seemed virtually unstoppable, scoring 35 points in the first half alone, including six 3-pointers. Jordan gave Bulls fans, and NBA fans alike, a moment to remember forever.
The "core"...we've heard that phrase many times listening to John Paxson talk about the future of his team. The core of Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, and Kirk Hinrich put on a show for Bulls fans in the 2007 NBA playoffs, sweeping the defending-champion Miami Heat for their first series win since the Jordan days.
For both teams, it came down to one play. For the Boston Celtics, make the shot and win the series. For the Bulls, get a stop and save the series. Game Six, third OT—everything was on the table. Someone needed to step up and make a play, and it was Derrick Rose, stuffing Rajon Rondo's series-closing shot, to force a Game Seven. Classic moment to say the least. Watch:
Tied 123-123 with 42.1 seconds left in the third overtime, the Bulls found themselves in another dog fight with the Boston Celtics.
This game was different though.
This game meant a lot not just to the Bulls, but the city of Chicago. Facing elimination, the Bulls needed a momentum-swinging play to stay alive. It came from Joakim Noah, the last player anyone expected to make this type of play. As time ticked down, Noah intercepted a pass from Paul Pierce, took the ball coast to coast, and slammed it home for the and-1. One of the most spectacular and memorable plays in Bulls history...watch and relive the moment.
It simply wasn't supposed to happen, but it did.
Some call it fate, some call it luck.
Whatever it was, it couldn't have happened at a more perfect time for the Bulls. After struggling through the 2007-2008 NBA season, the Bulls found themselves again in the NBA lottery and needed some magic. This time, the prize was hometown kid Derrick Rose. Beating a 1.7 percent chance to land the first pick, the Bulls got their man.
In 1996, the Chicago Bulls accomplished something that no other team had—they captured the best record in NBA history at 72-10 and cemented themselves as one of the greatest teams ever assembled. Lead by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman, the Bulls buried the old record of 69-13 previously held by the '71-'72 Los Angeles Lakers. The Bulls were nearly unstoppable, winning the championship that year as well.
The greatest story-book ending ever witnessed.
The greatest consummation of one's career in one shot.
Those are the responses drawn up when reliving the final shot of Michael Jordan in a Bulls uniform. In the 1998 NBA finals, the Bulls faced a feisty and aggressive Utah Jazz team, a team who had went toe-to-toe with the Bulls for three quarters to take a three-point lead with a minute to go in the fourth. It was Jordan's time to go out with a bang, and he gave us all something to remember. With seconds ticking away, Jordan drove to the basket and scored. He then stole a pass from underneath the hands of Karl Malone, cleared out everyone, squared up Bryon Russell, crossed him over, and held his pose as the shot went in. Jordan willed the Bulls to their sixth championship and gave us one unforgettable moment along the way.
Who can forget how emotional we all were when he announced his retirement in 1993. The basketball world would miss a star, and the Bulls would lose a legend.
We all understood why he had to leave—basketball just became too easy for him. The challenge was not there anymore. Jordan, to some, was chased away by a boyhood fantasy to become a professional baseball player and, knowing Jordan, he wouldn't stop until he achieved it.
However, Jordan once again surprised us all and announced in 1994 that he would return to the game he loved.