Chicago Bulls


January 24, 2022

The Chicago Bulls are one of 30 franchises of the NBA (National Basketball Association), the leading professional basketball league in the United States of America and Canada.

History of the franchise

Early Years

The Chicago Bulls are the third NBA team in Chicago, after the Chicago Packers / Zephyrs (now called the Washington Wizards) and the Chicago Stags (1946-1950). The team, founded on January 16, 1966, began playing in the 1966-67 season, immediately setting the best record as a new team in NBA history and qualifying for the playoffs. During its first two seasons, the Bulls played most of their home games at the International Amphitheater, before moving to Chicago Stadium. Over the next few years, the Bulls managed to organize themselves and become a competitive team, without ever reaching the top. During the 1970s, the Bulls were known as a tough, defensive-minded team built around strong defender Jerry Sloan, winger Bob Love and Chet Walker, shooting guard Norm Van Lier and center Tom Boerwinkle. However, the team only won one division title and never made it to the Finals. From the late 1970s and early 1980s, the team hit the bottom of the league table. In 1976 the Bulls bought Artis Gilmore who found himself leading a team that had players such as Reggie Theus, winger David Greenwood and Orlando Woolridge in his quintet. After Gilmore was mistaken for San Antonio Spurs center Dave Corzine, the Bulls employed an offensive tactic whose pivot revolved around Theus, which soon also included two guards Quentin Daly and Ennis Whatley. However, the poor results led the Bulls to change course, releasing Theus in the 1983-84 season.

The beginning of the Michael Jordan era

In the summer of 1984 the team's luck changed when the Bulls received third pick in the NBA Draft after the Houston Rockets and Portland Trail Blazers. After the Rockets picked Hakeem Olajuwon and the Blazers took Sam Bowie, the Bulls secured shooting guard Michael Jordan, hailing from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The team, with its new owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Jerry Krause, decided to rebuild the team around Jordan. Jordan set his team's records, during his rookie year, as top scorer (third in the whole league) and in steals (fourth in the whole league); moreover he dragged the Bulls to the play-offs, a performance that earned him the award of best rookie of the year (Rookie of the year) and the inclusion in the second best quintet of the NBA (All-NBA second team). Post-season the team bought shooting guard John Paxson and drafted big forward Charles Oakley. With Jordan and center Dave Corzine, they provided most of the Bulls attack over the next two years. After Jordan's foot broke earlier in the season, the team bought NBA legend George Gervin to help the Bulls attack, which the player did, becoming the team's second-best scorer. Jordan returned for the playoffs and took over the Bulls, who had qualified in the round of 16, against the very strong Boston Celtics led by Larry Bird. Although the Bulls were eliminated, Jordan set a new record, scoring a whopping 63 points in Game 2, leading Bird to call him "God in Michael Jordan". In the 1986-87 season Jordan continued his assault on the record book, topping the leaderboard with 37.1 points per game and being the first Bulls player to be called into the NBA first team. Despite this the Bulls were again eliminated by the Celtics in the playoffs. In the 1987-88 season, Krause picked center Olden Polynice, eighth pick in the draft, and big winger Horace Grant

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