One of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ biggest rivals in the 1990s was Isiah Thomas and the Detroit Pistons.
The documentary chronicles the Bulls’ last season of their epic dynasty that headlined the NBA throughout the 1990s.
Guided by head coach, Phil Jackson and headlined by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, the Bulls finished the 97-98 season with a 62–20 record. The Bulls’ supporting cast included Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr and Luc Longley.
One of the Bulls’ biggest rivals were two-time NBA Champions, the Detroit Pistons.
Led by their star, Isiah Thomas, the Pistons also had Joe Dumars, Bill Laimbeer, John Salley, Dennis Rodman, Vinnie Johnson on their roster.
The Bad Boys were guided by late great head coach, Chuck Daly.
Appearing on the Heavy Live With Scoop B Show, I asked Isiah Thomas what was the biggest surprise in watching The Last Dance.
“I didn’t know there was so much turmoil within their team,” Thomas told me.
“With his teammates, with Jerry Krause… I didn’t realize it was that chaotic. I come from an era where the Lakers were tight, the Celtics were tight, the 76ers were tight. We as the Pistons team, we still got group chats, we’re still tight. When I watch The Last Dance, them as a team, even though they won a lot, didn’t seem to be as tight in and close as we were. I found it fascinating but also unique that they could overcome all of that and still win it.”
The Bulls went 15-6 in the NBA Playoffs. The Bulls swept the Kendall Gill, Sam Cassell, Jayson Williams-led New Jersey Nets in the first round. In round two, the Bulls beat the Anthony Mason, Glen Rice-led Charlotte Hornets 4-1 and in the Eastern Conference Finals, Chicago beat Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers 4-3 to advance to the NBA Finals.
The Bulls met the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals. The Bulls went toe-to-toe with Karl Malone, John Stockton, Jeff Hornacek’s team and got the victory in six games.
That series was magical.
Michael Jordan hit a game-winner against Bryon Russell in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals which sealed the deal for the Bulls. Jordan’s shot against the Jazz turned a one-point deficit into a one-point win for the Bulls who after the ’98 Finals did not return to the postseason again until 2005.