The Chicago Journal

The Chicago Bulls Navigating the Highs and the Lows of NFL

The Chicago Bulls are a Chicago-based American professional basketball team founded on January 15, 1966, and played its first game during the 1966/67 NBA season. . The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) member of the league’s Eastern Conference Central Division. The Bulls play their home games at the United Center, an arena on Chicago’s West Side shared with the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL).

The Bulls rose to prominence and experienced their greatest success during the 1990s when they played a significant role in popularizing the NBA globally. They are regarded and best known for having one of the NBA’s greatest dynasties which helped them win six NBA championships between 1991 and 1998 with two three-pears. All six of their championship teams were led by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and coach Phil Jackson. The Bulls are the only NBA franchise to win multiple championships while never losing an NBA Finals series in their history.

The Bulls held a plethora of records that included winning 72 games during the 1995–96 season, an NBA record that stood until the Golden State Warriors won 73 games during the 2015–16 season. The Bulls were the first team in NBA history to win 70 games or more in a single season and the only NBA franchise to achieve this milestone until the 2015–16 Warriors.

However, since 1998, the Bulls have failed to replicate their former success. The franchise struggled throughout the 2000s but showed promise in the early 2010s, led by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, culminating in a 62-win season in 2010–11. However, due to injuries and departures of key players, the franchise could never build on that success and has sunk back into a mid-table team.

Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose have both won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the Bulls, for a total of six MVP awards. The Bulls share rivalries with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. The Bulls’ rivalry with the Pistons was highlighted heavily during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Despite the numerous challenges and disappointments in the Bulls’ attempt at returning to NBA prominence, efforts continue to be channeled into rebuilding and repositioning the team. For example, in April 2020, the Bulls fired longtime general manager Gar Forman, reassigned John Paxson to senior advisor role and hired Artūras Karnišovas as executive vice president of basketball operations. In May 2020, the Bulls hired Marc Eversley as general manager. On June 4, 2020, the Bulls season officially came to an end when the NBA Board of Governors approved a plan to bring 22 teams back to finish the season in the NBA Bubble. The Bulls finished with a 22–43 record. Head Coach Jim Boylen was fired on August 14, 2020. 

Subsequently, on September 22, 2020, the Bulls hired Billy Donovan as head coach who was previously with the Oklahoma City Thunder. On the players and on-court personnel front, on March 25, 2021, the Bulls traded Wendell Carter Jr, Otto Porter, along with 2021 and 2023 first-round draft picks to Orlando Magic for Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu. The team also traded Chandler Hutchison and Daniel Gafford to the Washington Wizards for Troy Brown Jr. and Moe Wagner. Wagner was later traded along with Luke Kornet to the Boston Celtics for Daniel Theis and Javonte Green.

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