NBA Championships: 6
Last NBA Championship: 1998
Claim to Fame: Michael Jordan and the Bulls were practically unbeatable in the 1990’s, cruising to six titles.
Claim to Shame: Everything after Jordan?
The 1966 Bulls are still the only expansion team in NBA history to make the playoffs in their inaugural season.
Chicago muddled through 14 more seasons before things changed dramatically. In the 1984 draft, the Bulls selected Michael Jordan with the third pick. He would, of course, go on to become arguably the greatest player in the history of the NBA.
Jordan’s first breakthrough came in the 1991 season, when the team, under head coach Phil Jackson, was able to finally end the Detroit Pistons’ dominance in the East. They would go onto win their first of three straight titles, before Jordan retired in 1993 to pursue a baseball career.
Jordan returned in 1995, and in his first full season back the Bulls became the first team to win 70+ games in a season. They won the first of another three titles before Jordan retired a second time.
The Bulls suffered through some lean years but appeared to find a worthy successor to Jordan in the late 2008, when they drafted Derrick Rose. The Chicago native went onto win MVP in 2011, but injuries derailed his promising career, forcing the Bulls into another reset.
Chicago traded All-Star Jimmy Butler last summer for a package that included two former first round picks (Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine) and a first round pick in last summer’s draft that netted them Lauri Markannen.
The Bulls only won 27 games a season ago, but Markannen is a piece to build around, and the team is high on this year’s pick, Wendell Carter. They also took a flier on talented but oft-injured Jabari Parker.
Head coach Fred Hoiberg has some interesting pieces to cobble together. He may be able to find a successful formula if he can mesh the talent in the weakened Eastern Conference.