The Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls broke up after winning their last NBA Championship during the 1997-98 NBA season.
Coached by Phil Jackson, that team had notables like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman on that roster. Michael Jordan’s fadeaway shot over the Utah Jazz’s Bryon Russell put MJ and the crew over the top.
MJ retired for the second time that summer, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen stayed in the league and went their separate ways.
With Golden State Warriors free agent-to be, Kevin Durant potentially going his separate way during free agency this off season and Klay Thompson also being available, could the Warriors break up like the Bulls did years ago?
“You know, Kevin Durant and whether he’s going to stay or not is a big question,” NBA insider, Ric Bucher told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“They have some pieces that are just aging out in Shaun Livingston and Andre Iguodala, which is why their bench isn’t what it’s been in the past, I don’t expect Klay Thompson to be going anywhere. You know, the fact that they’re going out and they’re interested in signing Andrew Bogut to me is the biggest indicator that Demarcus Cousins has not been what they had hoped he would be. And so the idea of bringing DeMarcus back, even if he was willing to come back for 5.8 million, is that a substitute? Draymond Green is not the same physically and to me, he may be one of the most invaluable pieces that they have because of what he does defensively. He’s not an A-plus, or hasn’t been an A-plus defender, for the better part of this year, so yeah, I do think there is that feeling.”
Bucher analyzed the 90s Bulls, Warriors comparison. “With that Bulls team, that was predestined,” Bucher tells Scoop B Radio.
“They knew at the beginning of the year they weren’t coming back. I don’t know that these guys are convinced that the entire band is going to be broken up. I don’t think Steve Kerr’s going anywhere, I don’t think Steph’s going anywhere, I don’t think Klay’s going anywhere. The rest of them though, I mean there are reasonable questions as to what this team is going to look like, and part of that too is, much like the Bulls, is that when you’ve been together this long, I mean it’s like a marriage, it’s like anything, you know, it’s like a band, bands break up, no matter how much success they have, at some point, people just get a little sick and tired of each other and need to get away. And so, you know, whether some of that is informing the feel that we get from them right now, I give that some credence, but yeah, I think on some level, that’s not a bad comparison.”