Apparently Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bull had it easy during their 6-championship run. s ran the NBA in the 90s.
Appearing on the Scoop B Radio Podcast, ex-Lakers trainer, Gary Vitti, says that Michael and the Bulls “didn’t play anybody.”
“I love Michael and respect him but I am not sure Michael changed the game as much as the game changed, which allowed Michael to be Michael,” Gary Vitti told me on Scoop B Radio.
“So when Michael got his first ring in ‘91 and the 5 that came after it, there wasn’t anybody left,” said Vitti.
“They had Luc Longley, they had Bill Levingston; I mean what were they going to do with Kareem? So he didn’t play the Lakers, the Celtics got old very very fast. Bird, Parish and McHale all got old at the same time, so the Celtics were done.”
From 1991-1998, the Bulls won six NBA championships beating the NBA Western Conference elite: the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Seattle Sonics and the Utah Jazz (twice). The Bulls were headlined by Michael Jordan and had a supporting cast of All-Stars, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant and Dennis Rodman.
Vitti was part of 12 Lakers trips to the NBA Finals as the team’s head athletic trainer. He began with the Lakers in 1984 while Pat Riley was head coach.
“The Lakers were done because Kareem had retired and then Magic [Johnson] came up 0 positive for HIV in ‘91,” Vitti told me on Scoop B Radio.
Said Vitti of MJ: “So he wasn’t challenged again by the great Laker team, the ones that because Kareem had already retired before ‘91. So he wasn’t part of that series against I don’t know what they would have done.”
So what does this all mean?
“There was no challenge there and the Pistons were done,” said Vitti. “So basically when you really look at the six rings that the Bulls won, they didn’t play anybody”
Vitti said that had the Bulls played real competitors, it would have been a different story. “They didn’t play any of the championship caliber teams of the 80s like the Lakers, the Sixers, the Celtics and the Pistons,” he said.
“All four of those teams had basically had their run and it was over and so it’s not taking anything away from him because he did what he was supposed to do. He dominated, but the game wasn’t the same game, it was different.”