Chicago Bulls Guide: Franchise History, Leaders, Retired Numbers, Social Media and More

CHICAGO BULLS FRANCHISE HISTORY

Previous Franchise Names: None

Chairman: Jerry Reinsdorf
COO: Michael Reinsdorf
General Manager: Gar Forman
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg

Best Season: 1995-96 (72-10, .878)
Playoff Appearances: 34
NBA Championships: 6 (1990-1993, 1995-98)

 

SALT LAKE CITY, UNITED STATES: In this 14 June 1998 file photo, Michael Jordan (L) holds the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player trophy and former Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson holds the NBA champions Larry O’Brian trophy 14 June after winning game six of the NBA Finals with the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, UT. The Bulls won the game 87-86 to take their sixth NBA championship. Jackson left the Bulls following the 1998 season and 12 January reports indicate that Jordan plans to announce his retirement at a 13 January news conference in Chicago. AFP PHOTO/FILES/Jeff HAYNES (Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bulls were the first team to join the NBA during a massive period of expansion that saw the league grow from just nine teams in 1965-66 to 17 to start the 1970-71 season.

The Bulls were the NBA’s 10th team at the time of their inception in 1966 and got tremendous mileage from other team’s castoffs—such as Jerry Sloan and Bob Love—while also trading for stars Chet Walker and Norm Van Lier to form a consistent contender in the early 1970s.

But Chicago was never able to break through to even reach the NBA Finals during that stretch, overshadowed by Western Conference powers in Milwaukee and Los Angeles.

The drafting of Michael Jordan in 1984 marked a turning point for a franchise that had been mired in mediocrity for much of the late 1970s and early 1980s and Chicago emerged as a fringe contender by the end of the decade.

The promotion of Phil Jackson to head coach in 1989 launched the Bulls to the next level. Chicago reached its first NBA Finals in 1991, beating the Lakers in five games, and went on to win three straight titles.

Jordan stepped away from the game after the 1992-93 season, retiring and playing minor league baseball for a year before returning to Chicago late in the 1994-95 campaign.

His return, combined with the continued presence of Scottie Pippen and the acquisition of rebounding machine Dennis Rodman, triggered another run of three straight championships from 1996-98, including posting the best regular-season record in NBA history in 1995-96 at 72-10.

The dynasty was disassembled shortly after winning their last title and the Bulls not returned to the Finals since.

Jackson is the winningest coach for the Bulls, posting a 545-193 record from 1989-90 through 1997-98 and winning at a 111-41 clip in the playoffs.

Chicago Bulls Career Leaders (as of 3/9/2016)

  • Games, Michael Jordan, 930
  • Points, Michael Jordan, 29277
  • Rebounds, Michael Jordan, 5836
  • Assists, Michael Jordan, 5012
  • Steals, Michael Jordan, 2306
  • Blocks, Artis Gilmore, 1029
(33) and Michael Jordan (23) on court during Game 5 vs Los Angeles Lakers, Inglewood, CA 6/12/1991 (Photo by John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images) (SetNumber: X41549 TK1 R8 F15)

Chicago Bulls Retired Numbers

Chicago Bulls Official Links

Official Team Site: nba.com/bulls
Official Twitter Handle: @chicagobulls
Official Facebook Page: Chicago Bulls
Official Instagram Page: Chicago Bulls
Official Arena Page: United Center

Chicago Bulls Beat Writers

Sam Smith, Bulls.com
K.C. Johnson, Chicago Tribune
Joe Cowley, Chicago Sun-Times
Mike McGraw, Daily Herald
Nick Friedell, ESPN Chicago
Vincent Goodwill, CSN Chicago
Steve Aschburner, NBA.com, @AschNBA

Related Chicago Bulls Blogs and Links

Chicago Bulls Logo History, courtesy of Chris Creamer’s Sportslogos.net
Salary Page: Chicago Bulls Salaries at Spotrac
FanSided Chicago Bulls: Pippen Aint Easy
SB Nation Chicago Bulls: Blog A Bull
HoopsHabit Chicago Bulls Archive: Chicago Bulls
Bleacher Report Chicago Bulls Team Stream: Chicago Bulls
RealGM Chicago Bulls Page: Chicago Bulls

Stats and retired number information courtesy of Basketball-Reference.com and NBA.com