Scottie Pippen

On this day in 1991 the Bulls dynasty began


On this day in 1991 the Bulls dynasty began

A dynasty was born.

On this day June 12, 1991, Bulls legend Michael Jordan won his first NBA championship and Finals MVP, capping off a 4-1 series win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

This was no easy task for the Bulls going up against the Lakers Big Three in Magic Johnson, Vlade Divac and James Worthy.

The Lakers did, however, win Game 1 of the series 93-91, at the old Chicago Stadium – now the United Center -- despite Jordan’s game-leading 36 points.

The leading scorer trend was no small feat for Jordan in the series, besides Scottie Pippen leading all scorers in Game 5 with 32.

Jordan averaged a double-double in the series, leading the Bulls in scoring with over 31 points per game and 11.4 assists. Pippen followed suit with nearly 21 points and six assists.

This was just the beginning for Jordan and the Bulls dynasty. The Bulls would eventually win again in 1992 and 1993, marking the first such “three-peat” since the Celtics won eight straight from 1959-66.

After Jordan retired in 1993 to join the White Sox, he came back in 1995. And beginning in the 1995-96 season another three-peat was cemented into the history books, with Jordan leading the Bulls to three consecutive championships from 1996-98.

Jordan, Rose, Pippen, Gibson, LaVine: The five best dunks in Bulls history

Jordan, Rose, Pippen, Gibson, LaVine: The five best dunks in Bulls history

The five best dunks in Bulls history. Pretty straightforward. Chek them out in the video above, and put them in context with the text below.

- Michael spins back on Starks/Oakley, goes baseline over Patrick Ewing

The Knicks led the Bulls late in the second quarter of Game 3 of the playoffs' first round. Then Michael Jordan added an iconic moment to what was quickly becoming an illustrious career, reversing course on John Starks and Charles Oakley, driving baseline and dunking all over Patrick Ewing (this will come up again later). Jordan finished with 33 points as the Bulls completed a sweep of the Knicks, closing New York out in Madison Square Garden. They would go on to win their first title later that summer.

- Zach LaVine sends JaKarr Sampson back to the G-League

The most recent of the dunks, and we really wanted to get a current Bulls player in the list. LaVine was in the midst of his best stretch in his early tenure with the Bulls, averaging 26.5 points over a four-game span. And the most emphatic pair of points was scored in Sacramento, when LaVine rose up on JaKarr Sampson to put the Bulls ahead by 14 right before half. LaVine finished that game with 27 points on 9 of 18 shooting. And the funniest part? Sampson was sent back to the G-League the following day. Rumor has it he's still down there.

- Goran Dragic fails to get the memo on Derrick Rose

It could be the best dunk on this list. The Bulls held a lead on a Suns team that was 16-4 up until that point. That's when Rose went upstairs off a half-court pass from Tyrus Thomas, dunking all over 23-year-old Goran Dragic, then a rarely used reserve behind Steve Nash. And Stacey King was up to the task of hyping up a dunk of such ferocity. The Bulls would go on to win the game, with Rose finishing with 32 points on 15 of 21 shooting.

- Taj Gibson welcomes home Dwyane Wade

Oh, what a time. In the midst of the Bulls rocking the Heat by 21 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals, Taj Gibson set the tone for the series by going all the way upstairs in dunking over Dwyane Wade early in the second quarter. The best part of it all was Wade's tweet the following afternoon.

- Scottie Pippen disrespects Patrick Ewing

It's Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Bulls' final game in Chicago Stadium. And, boy, did Scottie Pippen ever close it down with a thunderous boom, dunking all over Patrick Ewing, who finished the regular season fifth in blocks. But he didn't add to his tally on this fast break, with Pippen going up top for the slam and then ruthlessly standing over the 7-footer. The Bulls won 93-79.

NBA 2K18 releases the all-time Bulls roster...sort of

NBA 2K18 releases the all-time Bulls roster...sort of

NBA 2K18 released its all-time Bulls roster on Tuesday. Well, most of it. We think.

Check out the players below and we'll break down each one (including the mystery legs in the background)

From left to right:

Joakim Noah: A fairly easy choice considering his entire career. Noah played nine seasons in Chicago, averaging 9.3 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.4 blocks in 572 games. He won Defensive Player of the Year in 2014 and was named First Team All-NBA. He also finished fifth in MVP voting and became the face of the franchise post-Derrick Rose injuries.

Jerry Sloan: Another easy choice. Sloan spent 10 seasons as a player for the Bulls, averaging 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 696 career games. He was an All-Star twice and made six All-Defensive NBA teams. He was an assistant in 1978 before becoming head coach in 1979. He spent four seasons with the Bulls before beginning his illustrious Hall of Fame career with the Jazz.

Derrick Rose: You knew he was going to be on the list. The youngest MVP in NBA history was simply breathtaking in his seven seasons with the Bulls. He was a three-time All-Star, averaged 19.7 points and led the Bulls back from one of the ugliest stretches in franchise history. The knee injuries slowed him down entirely, and he'll never be what he once was, but his spot in Bulls history is cemented.

Artis Gilmore: The best left-handed player in Bulls history is also the best center in Bulls history, averaging 19.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks over seven seasons. He led the NBA in field goal percentage twice, was a four-time All-Star and led the Bulls to a pair of playoff appearances.

Luol Deng: We see you back there, Lu. One of the most recognizable (and probably tired) Bulls was an absolute fixture of the organization for 10 seasons. He averaged 16.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 637 games. He was twice named an All-Star (while leading the league in minutes both years) and made the All-Defensive Second Team in 2012. An all-time Bulls team wouldn't feel right without him.

Michael Jordan: Um, yeah.

Dennis Rodman: The Worm was another easy choice for this list. His three-year stay in Chicago resulted in three championships for the Bulls, where Rodman averaged 15.3 rebounds (leading the league all three seasons) and set the tone every night for Phil Jackson's squad.

Scottie Pippen: Another no-brainer. Let's keep moving.

Horace Grant: The power forward for Scottie and MJ averaged a cool 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds in seven seasons, winning three titles in the early 90s while donning his famous goggles. He made the All-Star team in his final season before taking a big payday from the Magic in 1994.

Toni Kukoc (we think): This could be one of two players: Kukoc or Pau Gasol. But seeing as he's just a smidge taller than Jimmy Butler (to the right) we'll guess it's the 6-foot-7 Kukoc and not the 7-footer Gasol. All Kukoc did in seven Bulls seasons was average 14.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists out of primarily sixth man role. He was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 1996, and he was instrumental in the Bulls' second three-peat. He's littered across the Bulls all-time record books, including 3-pointers (9th), assists (10th) and steals (10th).

Jimmy Butler: The youngest player on the all-time Bulls team is the third of three current players no longer with the Bulls. Butler became a star during his six seasons in Chicago, improving his scoring in each season, being named to three All-Star games and earning All-NBA Third Team honors this past season. He didn't leave on the best of terms, but a player of his caliber deserves a spot on this squad.

Mystery guys in the back: To the right of Rodman in the back, we're going to guess that's Steve Kerr. The second digit looks like a "5." It's also a good bet that on the left side Bob Love is behind Artis Gilmore. Chet Walker may be back there, too. We're still holding out hope that Captain Kirk Hinrich took the team photo and is part of the team.