Charlotte Hornets

Terry Rozier didn’t know Michael Jordan, Bulls 3-peated twice until ‘Last Dance’

Terry Rozier didn’t know Michael Jordan, Bulls 3-peated twice until ‘Last Dance’

It’s as shocking as it is true.

Terry Rozier, 26 years old and an established NBA player employed by the Charlotte Hornets, did not know that Michael Jordan and the Bulls three-peated twice in the 1990s until viewing “The Last Dance.”

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He confessed as much to Jonathan Abrams of Bleacher Report:

"Just actually seeing this documentary, I learned so much," Rozier told Abrams. "I didn't even know that they (the Bulls) won three straight [championships two times]. I'm just being honest... To do things like that in this league, you have to be super special.”

 

Fact check for all of the above: true. And while undeniably humorous to hear Rozier admit this, the larger piece offers a heartwarming testament to Jordan’s influence from the perspective of Rozier, backcourt-mate Devonte’ Graham, Cody Zeller and other members of the team the Bulls’ great now owns. It's an engaging, worthwhile read.

Rozier even said he could have foreseen himself fighting MJ if, in another life, they somehow found themselves on the same team. “The Steve Kerr route,” as he put it.

The feature also touches on Jordan and Jordan Brand’s $100 million commitment to social justice causes.

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Adam Silver: Michael Jordan ‘clearly the most respected voice’ in NBA meetings

Adam Silver: Michael Jordan ‘clearly the most respected voice’ in NBA meetings

The NBA’s resumption bid in Orlando, Fla. kicking off July 31 will involve 22 teams. All 22 will finish out their respective regular season slates with eight games each, followed by potential play-in series for each conference’s eighth seed, followed by a traditional (or as traditional as is possible) 16-team playoff.

That plan came after months of deliberation between commissioner Adam Silver and a litany of voices across the league. And in those deliberations a number of creative solutions were discussed — from a World Cup-style group stage first round to a 30-team play-in tournament.

The compulsion to face an unprecedented situation with unprecedented ideas is an understandable one. And the resolution of the NBA’s 2019-20 season will be without historical comparison. 

But Silver said in an appearance on Inside the NBA on TNT Thursday night that Michael Jordan, owner of the Charlotte Hornets, was one of the swing voices that pushed the league to pursue a traditional postseason format after the 16 playoff teams were established. Jordan’s voice evidently carries a lot of weight in such discussions.

“This was a point made by Michael Jordan — whose team, the Charlotte Hornets are not one of the 22 teams, but he’s clearly the most respected voice in the room when it comes to basketball — he felt it was very important that after we established the 16 teams we not be gimmicky,” Silver said. “Because there were a lot of proposals on the table to do unique tournaments and pool play like you see in international competition. And we took many of those proposals very seriously. 

“Ultimately, I agreed with Michael that there's so much chaos in the world right now, even before the racial unrest we’re experiencing now, let’s come as close to normal as we can. And as close to normal as we can is top eight in the West, top eight in the East playing four rounds of seven games. So that’s what we intend to do and our goal is to crown a champion.”

And so, here we are. Even with many questions still to be answered, the NBA is on a fast track to returning.

RELATED: Explaining the NBA's plan to resume the 2019-20 season

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Bulls close out Charlotte Hornets behind vintage night from Michael Jordan

Bulls close out Charlotte Hornets behind vintage night from Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan could taste blood. Honey-sweet, the nectar of victory.

He stung the Charlotte Hornets for 33 points on 15-for-29 shooting in the Bulls’ Eastern Conference semifinals-clinching 93-84 victory on May 13, 1998. 25 of those came in the first (14) and fourth (11) quarters. The United Center was abuzz. That game airs on NBC Sports Chicago Tuesday at 7 p.m.

As nostalgic as it is to relive these games, especially with “The Last Dance” chronicling the 1997-98 Bulls, we won’t mind putting this bumbling slog of a series in the rearview. By its end, each team will average below 90 points per game (the Bulls 89.8, the Hornets 80.2). It was 1990s smashmouth basketball at its… finest. 

But tonight’s affair should be a fun watch, as the entire Bulls colony came to play. Comb over the box score, and you’ll see 21 Dennis Rodman rebounds, five Scottie Pippen steals, 15 Steve Kerr points off the bench, and a stat-sheet-stuffing 13 point, six rebound, five assist, four block performance from Luc Longley.

What’s next should inspire apprehension and excitement; the legendary seven-game 1998 Eastern Conference finals against the Pacers, widely considered the toughest test of the Bulls’ second three-peat. Games 1 - 3 of that series will run on NBC Sports Chicago from Wednesday through Friday. Games 4 - 7 will run next Monday through Thursday.

Then, it's on to the Finals and the Utah Jazz. We’ll continue to wax poetic throughout.

Through May 15, NBC Sports Chicago is airing every 1998 Chicago Bulls NBA Playoff game (21 total). Find the full schedule here.

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