95-96 Chicago Bulls OVER the 15-16 Golden State Warriors
Debate Rounds (3)
I grew up idolizing Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and Magic Johnson. I witnessed the legendary season and run of the Chicago Bulls. Perhaps I am a good candidate to debate this topic. I'll go ahead and get started.
In the 1995–96 season, the Chicago Bulls set the NBA record for wins, finishing the season 72–10. The Bulls also became the only team to ever win 70 regular season games, easily finishing first overall in their division, conference, and the entire NBA. The Bulls swept the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs, defeated the New York Knicks in five games of the semifinals, then swept the Orlando Magic in the Conference Finals. They then defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1996 NBA Finals, winning their fourth NBA title in six seasons.
-Phil Jackson was the head coach of the 95-96 Bulls. Let's look at his career.
*Here are his stats as a player:
2× NBA champion (1970, 1973)
NBA All-Rookie First Team (1968)
2× First-team Division II All-American (1966, 1967)
*Here are his stats/credentials as a coach:
11× NBA champion (1991–1993, 1996–1998, 2000–2002, 2009–2010)
4× NBA All-Star Game head coach (1992, 1996, 2000, 2009)
NBA Coach of the Year (1996)
Named one of Top 10 Coaches in NBA History
I had the pleasure of having seen this exact Chicago Bulls team play as a younger man. Michael Jordan was the most iconic player of the time and of all time. He made people believe. He struck terror into opposing defenses. He was a brutal, ruthless, heartless assassin on the court. He would will teams to victory. Never had I seen a player before or sense with his passion, drive, and deep reason to "need to win".
I watched as Jordan hit the game winning shot to lift North Carolina to a National Championship. I watched as an amateur Michael Jordan led the U.S. to the Olympic gold medal before professional players could play. I watched as Jordan led the Bulls to an unpresidented 6 world championships. I watched as Jordan was introduced as the key figure and leader on the best basketball team ever assembled in human history, composing what was sirnamed "The Dream Team". Jordan was the iconic leader of a team made up of Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, and Carl Malone, all the leaders of championship teams. Amongst abrasive leaders, he was the leader. Amongst the best, he was the best. His overpowering presence granted him a nonstated grip on his own first name. When anyone heard the name "Michael", it was assumed you were talking about
Or the one we wanted to be like. "I wanna be like Mike," stated the commercials.
He was Michael Jordan. He feared no one. He could not accept defeat. He thrived off of the pressure. He loved the clock ticking down on him. When the sands of time began to trickle to nothing, he wanted the ball.
Jordan later stated that he had a fuel other players did not possess. His pain was his motivation. His determination was to "do it for Dad", who passed away. His drive was to live, to play for his father who could no longer live or play.
-"Michael Jordan emotional scene"
-"My pain was my motivation, the mind of Jordan"
He once stated that he had convinced the world and his opponents that it was easy for him, but that this was the trick. He over practiced his opponents. No one would practice the scenarios, dribbling, the moves, defense, or passing more than Michael Jordan would. He paid the maximum price for his greatness. He had sold his "being" to the game of basketball, and thus is known as the greatest basketball player to have ever lived.
6× NBA champion (1991–1993, 1996–1998)
6× NBA Finals MVP (1991–1993, 1996–1998)
5× NBA Most Valuable Player (1988, 1991–1992, 1996, 1998)
14× NBA All-Star (1985–1993, 1996–1998, 2002–2003)
3× NBA All-Star Game MVP (1988, 1996, 1998)
10× All-NBA First Team (1987–1993, 1996–1998)
All-NBA Second Team (1985)
NBA Defensive Player of the Year (1988)
9× NBA All-Defensive First Team (1988–1993, 1996–1998)
NBA Rookie of the Year (1985)
10× NBA scoring champion (1987–1993, 1996–1998)
3× NBA steals champion (1988, 1990, 1993)
2× NBA Slam Dunk Contest champion (1987–1988)
NBA playoffs all-time leading scorer
Chicago Bulls all-time leading scorer
No. 23 retired by Chicago Bulls
No. 23 retired by Miami Heat
3x AP Athlete of the Year (1991, 1992, 1993)
2x USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (1983, 1984)
NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
NCAA champion (1982)
2× Consensus first-team All-American (1983, 1984)
National college player of the year (1984)
ACC Player of the Year (1984)
No. 23 retired by the University of North Carolina
Here are some Lebron James highlights.
How does this apply to this discussion? Because Jordan doesn't even fear "King James", much less Stephen Curry.
Draymond Green is a top 10 player in the NBA, and Andrew Bogut is playing the best basketball of his life. When you add in Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes to the Splash Bros, you have what I consider an unstoppable team. Everything they do is effortless and effective, and Kerr (who was a better GM than player, better commentator than GM, and better coach than commentator) seems to be getting better at this whole basketball thing with age.
The depth, however, is possibly the biggest reason the Warriors would defeat the legendary Bulls team. Please don't even try to tell me that the Bulls second team is even close to Golden State's
96 Chicago Bulls 2nd Unit
16 Golden State Warriors 2nd Unit
Of course this is not a completely new debate. CBS writer Zach Harper simulated the match on NBA 2K16, and the Warriors won 130-104 AT THE UNITED CENTER behind ball-hogging Jordan's 51
The 1992 United States men's Olympic basketball team, nicknamed the "Dream Team", was the first American Olympic team to feature active NBA players. It was described by American journalists as the greatest sports team ever assembled.
My opponent suggests that the 1995-1996 Bulls had "watered down" competition. I must admit, I snickered on that one.
Some prominant players in the NBA during the 95-96 campaign:
"Larry Bird says Jordan best ever"
Best,” said Bird. “Never seen anyone like him. Unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. Phenomenal. One of a kind.”
“One of a kind,” he repeated. “That’s what I mean about the league. With guys like him coming in from college year after year, we just can’t help but get a better image, better crowds, better TV ratings. He’s the best. Ever.”
Reggie Miller on talking trash to M.J.
In his first game in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks, Jordan received a prolonged standing ovation, a rarity for an opposing player. After Jordan scored a playoff record 63 points against the Boston Celtics on April 20, 1986, Celtics star Larry Bird described him as "God disguised as Michael Jordan."
The obvious names when thinking of the Bulls is Pippen and Jordan. When one thinks of the current warriors they could initially think of Stephen Curry and his 3 point shooting as a possible warrior advantage. Not so fast. Never forget Steve Kerr.
Here is a 3 point comparison of Kerr vs. Curry.
#1 Steve Kerr:
#2 Stephen Curry:
The "UnstoppaBulls" they were named. What set them apart? The whole team was nasty...
Steve Kerr (Guard, 3 point specialist)
Tony Kukoc (6'11 235)
Dennis Rodman (defensive and rebounding juggernaut)
Scotty Pippen (6'8 228)
Michael Jordan (6'6 215)
"Michael Jordan The Best Defender in the Game"
-Ranked #48 on the 2009 revision of SLAM Magazine's Top 50 Players of All-time
-2-time NBA All-Star: 1990, 1992
2-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year: 1990, 1991
Consecutive seasons leading the league in rebounding: 7 (1991–92-1997–98)
"Passion of the game"
"Who is the best ever?"
F: Scottie Pippen
F: Karl Malone
C: David Robinson
G: Michael Jordan
G: Anfernee Hardaway
(If 2 of the All-NBA players were from the same team, there must not be enough competition)
F: LeBron James
F: Anthony Davis
C: Marc Gasol
G: Stephen Curry
G: James Harden
I would like to add that Juwon Howard-yes, Juwon Howard-made an All NBA team, while John Wall, Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, Kawhi Leonard, Dirk Nowitzki, and Andre Drummond were not selected for any of the 3 teams.
And at this point in time, Magic was washed up and practically a statue who could pass, David Robinson had a TERRIBLE team, Penny and Shaq were too young to lead a team, Kemp and Payton had absolutely no backup, Ewing was aging with a Spree too young to be "the guy," LJ and Dikembe also played on sorry teams, Hill was too young to carry a team, and the Clyde/Hakeem Rockets could never finish the deal with MJ in the league, so the only real competition they had were the Jazz, who ultimately ended up like the Bills, never able to come up strong in the important games.
The NBA today, however, is overflowing with talent. We're no longer talking about "Dynamic Duos" like Stockton/Malone, Payton/Kemp, and Penny/Shaq, but now there is so much talent that we now have an abundance of "Big Three's" such as LeBron/Love/Kyrie, Westbrook/Durant/Ibaka, CP3/Griffin/Jordan, and (4!) Parker/Leonard/Aldridge/Duncan.
The skill level, athleticism, training, and recovery treatment has increased beyond belief in the last 20 years to the point where if the Bulls were around today, they wouldn't be able to outlast the Warriors like they did in the 90s.
Secondly, are you seriously going to even compare Curry to Kerr? Steve Kerr didn't even start a single game that season, not to mention he only averaged 6 points per game on his career and has half as many career points as Curry despite playing 15 seasons to Steph's 7. Curry's worst season in terms of PPG is still 6.1 PPG better than Kerr in his best season. Curry also has 25.9 PPG in the playoffs to Kerr's 4.3, but nice try.
And I would like to remind you that LeBron James is still widely considered the best basketball player in the world, and even with his Big Three, the Cavs bench was not good enough to beat Dub Nation twice this season. In a game of 3-on-3, I'm not sure if anyone in NBA history could beat your Bulls, just like I don't think anyone would beat the Cavs Big Three in 3-on-3, but that is not the debate. The Warriors have possibly the greatest bench in the history of the NBA.
Then of course there's the simple fact that they look like the Duke Blue Devils vs. the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils or the Louisville Cardinals vs. the Ball State Cardinals. The Eyeball Test. It's worked for centuries. See for yourself...
The Top 24 Plays from their win streak
And of course the insane teamwork on display
It's been a fun first debate. You're a good debater and I look forward to seeing the results.
What can happen if we simulate the 95-96 Bulls vs. the modern day Warriors? Here is a video of the Bulls winning the game in a video game simulation. Simulations are irrelavent. Simulations are not humans.
Con says, and I quote,
"If 2 of the All-NBA players were from the same team, there must not be enough competition"
Based on what? Maybe the fact that the 2015 squad did not have 2 from the same team shows there is no elite team today compared to 95-96. It's semantics.
This web page has Jordan as the best player ever and Pippen as the 40th best player ever.
This page has Jordan and Pippen ranked as the #1 NBA duo of all time.
The 95-96 Bulls went 72-10 and actually won the championship.
The Warriors are 49-5, have not pulled off a 72-10 or better season yet.
The Warriors have run a half mile at this pace, but can they run the full mile? We haven't actually seen it YET. And even if they do pull it off, that doesn't mean they could beat the 95-96 Bulls in a 7 game playoff. It's also possible that the competition today is weaker than in 95-96.
We should consider the Warriors head coach, Steve Kerr, who himself played for the the 95-96 Bulls.
"The Warriors have improved on both ends of the court. Last year, their offensive rating was 107.5 (12th in the NBA) and their defensive rating 102.6 (fourth). This year, they lead the NBA in both categories at 111.6 and 100.7.When you have the same players performing markedly better on both offense and defense under a new coach, that’s probably what’s making the difference."
So who was the difference? Steve Kerr's basketball mind and coaching philosophy has made a big difference. Now who did Steve Kerr play for in the NBA again? Answer? The 95-96 Bulls.
-Steve Kerr won the NBA three point contest in 1997.
-Kerr shot 45.4% from 3-point range over his career, which is the highest in NBA history for any player with at least 2,000 shot attempts.
-When Kerr left Chicago, he went to the Spurs and was on yet a 4th straight championship team.
-Frank Saul and Steve Kerr are the only players to win two championships with two different teams in consecutive seasons.
-Steve Kerr was a part of 5 championship teams, 3 with the Bulls and 2 with the Spurs.
"Phil Jackson is widely regarded as one of the best coaches in the league, and possibly the best in the league's history. His winning pedigree certainly speaks for itself and is a testament to that notion. Jackson has been a coach for nineteen seasons, and during those nineteen seasons he has 19 playoff berths, 13 Finals appearances, and 11 NBA Championships."
Phil Jackson coached 11 NBA World Champion teams, the most in NBA history.
Let's look at reality here:
1)The 95-96 Bulls were coached by arguably the best coach in NBA history.
2)The Bulls were led by arguably the best player in NBA history.
3)The Bulls were led by arguably the best duo in NBA history.
4)The Bulls had the best 3 point shooter in NBA history, even above Stephen Curry.
5)The Bulls had the NBA "6th man of the year", Tony Kukoc.
6)The Bulls had a giant at center in Luc Longley. Longley was a 1st round draft pick.
Height 7 ft 2 in
Listed weight 265 lb
7)The Bulls had arguably the best "2nd man" in the game in Scottie Pippen. Pippen was a first round NBA draft pick.
8)The Bulls had Ron Harper. Harper was a first round NBA draft pick. Harper won NBA championships with the Lakers after leaving the Bulls.
Harper made his NBA debut on November 1, 1986. He broke 30 points in just his sixth game, with 34 against the Sacramento Kings on November 11, 1986. He scored a season-high 40 points against the Boston Celtics on February 4, 1987.
9)The Bulls had arguably the best rebounder and defender in NBA history in Dennis Rodman.
We are trying to compare a team which already finished off an actual 72-10 season, and actually finished off a dominating playoff run that ended in a championship vs. a hypothetical finish that hasn't happened yet and could finish with no championship at all.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by TK57 12 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro lost a lot of credibility with all of the opinions he used, especially in round 1 and especially when saying Jordan is the best ever. Con's argument centralized mainly around facts while Pro's was mostly on opinions. In my opinion, I don't think this should be talked about until the season is over though.
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