How the hell should a Bulls fan feel about the Warriors’ pursuit of the 95-96 Bulls?
Nothing is more important in the NBA right now than the Golden State Warriors’ maniacal pursuit of the Chicago Bulls once-untouchable 1995-1996 regular season record of 72-10. And few things are more important to Bulls fans than that ‘95 Bulls team. With only 10 more games left for the Dubs following yesterday’s 128-120 win over the Dallas Mavericks, it’s time to ask the question: How the hell should a Bulls fan feel about the Warriors being on pace to match — or even break — the Bulls’ record?
Here are the key takeaways for Bulls fans (and all other NBA fans, because y’all are secretly Bulls fans anyways) to keep in mind going forward:
We get to remember how awesome that Bulls team was
We’re now two decades removed from the dominance of that mid-90s Bulls team, making it tough to appreciate just how physically and psychologically unstoppable that team was. They were a team that didn’t just beat you, they had you destroyed before they even stepped onto the court, before the team bus had even unloaded at the hotel where thousands were already swarming just to get a good glimpse at the team.
Watching this Golden State Warriors team lay waste to the rest of the league gives some peek into what it was like to watch to watch Jordan, Pippen et al win night after night while operating at the pinnacle of team and individual basketball, something many of us were either too young to appreciate fully at the time or have forgotten with the passing of time and Kirk Hinrich’s professional career. Watching the hair-raising, jaw-dropping, nuts-distending display that the Warriors are putting on right now can only make you appreciate more what their counterpart on the Greatest-Teams-Of-All-Time list accomplished 20 years ago.
It’s pretty fun to see a once-in-a-generation-and-a-half team play at its absolute peak
The Dubs aren’t the Larry Brown Pistons or the Big 3 Heat. They’re fun.
The Splash Brothers regularly sink the kind of shots that leave 80-year-old basketball purists writing pearl-clutching columns for a some sort of dying medium called a newspaper(?). Andrew Bogut, that great Aussie wonder of brackets gone by, is getting back on defense while Steph is still setting up his shot. And frankly, Draymond Green even occasionally provides just enough “edge” to keep things interesting.
And oh yeah, they just win. They do it methodically, crushing elite teams by 30 and never letting up. Pair that with a toddler who can quote Big Sean, and you’ve got a special team that’s just fun to watch.
We won’t have to talk about the ‘85-86 Celtics or ‘86-87 Lakers in the same breath
Those Celtics and Lakers teams were good. Those teams were great. But those teams couldn’t hold a candle to the ‘95 Bulls or this Warriors team. Just because you won a bunch of games at a time when a third of the league did cocaine like they were in the recording studio for Rumors and ripped cigarettes like Peja Stojakovic does not mean you should be qualified to be mentioned in even the same Bleacher Report slideshow as the Bulls or Warriors for NBA team G.O.A.T.S.
And, ideally, if the Warriors could run the table at home and break the ‘85 Celtics’ record 50-1 home record (40-1 during the regular season, undefeated at home during the playoffs, which is also something the San Antonio Spurs might just do as well), maybe Bill Simmons would finally shut about about Larry Bird at his peak. It’s doubtful, but we can dream.
It’s nice to remember an era before Crying Jordan
Let’s be real — the 2000s by and large were not kind to the Chicago Bulls or many of the members on the 90s Bulls. Scottie Pippen got dicked around by management and ended up relegated mostly to passing 30 Rock references. Dennis Rodman did Dennis Rodman things. Eddy Curry.
The Jordan years on the Wizards were about as bad as a Kwame Brown jumper (although surprisingly not that bad, especially when you compare his 82 games played and 20/6/4 averages in his final season to this year’s Kobe farewell extravaganza), but worst of all was this:
A Look into my soul right now…but it's all good we will be back! pic.twitter.com/fKbDjGx0on
— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) February 8, 2016
— Jordan Ramirez (@JRAM_91) November 2, 2015
— Bryce Wood (@woodymlb4) January 24, 2016
— SPUN (@SPUN) February 8, 2016
This is not how our legends should be remembered, even if they were some of the biggest assholes to ever play the game. They should go out in glory and nostalgia, left to grow old without having to manage basketball operations for Charlotte and instead give curmudgeonly interviews on local sports talk radio. Even as the Crying Jordan meme grows ever more popular, Steph Curry’s current dominance should let us remember a time when Jordan was just as incredible to watch, and only got emotional when he was sadistically berating his teammates in practice.
Plus it’s as good as an excuse as any to break out the MJ stories.
We can’t wait to see the Dubs put a beatdown on LeBron like the Bulls never could
If there’s one tragedy of the late 2000s-early 2010s Bulls resurgence besides D Rose’s knees or Carlos Boozer’s rap career, it’s that the Bulls never could beat LeBron. They lost to LeBron’s Cavs in 2010 4-1, LeBron’s Heat in 2011 4-1, LeBron’s 2013 Heat 4-1, and LeBron’s 2015 Cavs 4-2. Sad!
And if there’s one thing Chicago fans love more than Old Style and obesity, it’s schadenfreude. Watching Golden State eviscerate the Cavs and their caveman basketball style of play for a second year in a row is going to be almost as sweet as another Riley Curry postgame interview.
C’mon, it’s Steve Kerr!
On a team as whitewashed as the 90s Bulls, Steve Kerr was the greatest white guy of them all. Sure, Kukoc may have had the better stat line, Bill Winnington’s name was more fun to say, and Luc Longley was Australian before Bogut made being Australian a thing, but nobody had swag like Kerr. The man had ice in his veins, a jumpshot that Klay would commit minor felonies for, and the most beautifully flaxen hair this side of the Mississippi.
As a video game commentator Kerr made Clark Kellogg tolerable, and as a coach he’s made Golden State unstoppable. He’s a genius and a charmer and if you don’t like Steve Kerr then you don’t like America.
But if they get 72, I’m coming for them
But actually. You can’t take this away from us.