The final 2 episodes of the Last Dance came on this past Sunday. As great as the documentary was, it left many questions to be answered. With the Bulls beating the Jazz in 6 games to capture their sixth championship in 8 years. Before the season began, we knew that it was the final season that team would be together. In the 1998 season, Michael Jordan won his 5th league MVP crown and was still on top of his game. During the final episode of the Last Dance, we learn the Bulls owner wanted to keep the team together. Bulls owner, Jerry Reinsdorff said he made a last minute offer to keep the team together for one more season. The Spurs went on to win the 1999 NBA Championship in a strike shortened season. Would the Bulls win title number 7 against Spurs in 99?
Could the Bulls bring everyone back?
After the season, most of the key Bulls players were traded or released. Michael Jordan retired, Scottie Pippen and Steve Kerr was traded, and Dennis Rodman got released. Phil Jackson left the team and we had a brand new team lead by Toni Kukoc. Michael Jordan said he would’ve signed another 1-year deal, but would others have followed suit? Scottie Pippen fought with management for years about being underpaid, would he return? Could you envision Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr and Phil Jackson do it one more year? It would’ve been hard to see Pippen returning, but if he did, he would’ve commanded a huge contract. I’m sure Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr probably would have done one more year. Phil Jackson said he was burnt out, but I’m sure Jordan would’ve convinced him.
Could the Bulls Get Out of the East?
The New York Knicks represented the East in the NBA Finals in 1999. They were the 8th seed coming into the playoffs. The Miami Heat, Indiana Pacers, Orlando Magic and Atlanta Hawks were the top teams in the East. If the Bulls came back together, the Knicks probably wouldn’t have made the playoffs. Chicago would have represented the East in the 1999 NBA Finals. The Bulls would’ve had a shot to win their 4th consecutive NBA title.
How would the Bulls match up against the Spurs?
The Spurs had the Twin Towers in David Robinson and Tim Duncan. David Robinson was on a decline but still averaged around 16 points and 10 rebounds a game. Tim Duncan was in his second season and was already becoming one of the better forwards in the game. What’s crazy is that Steve Kerr and Will Perdue were on this Spurs team. Avery Johnson, Mario Elie, Sean Elliott and Antonio Daniels were also on that Spurs team. Could this team beat the Bulls? Could Jordan go 7-0 in the NBA Finals? Chicago would’ve been a year older after they were the oldest team to win the championship. With the season being shortened because of the strike, the Bulls would’ve had a much needed break. The Bulls triangle offense would’ve given the Spurs trouble in this series. Dennis Rodman trying to slow down Tim Duncan could’ve been epic. With Jordan and Pippen, the Bulls would’ve defeated the Spurs to win the series. The win would’ve given the Bulls four consecutive championships and 7 in 9 years.
Chicago should’ve broken up after the 1999 season and rode off into the sunset then. While the Bulls would’ve defeated the Spurs, I’m not sure about the 2000 NBA Finals. Shaq, Kobe and the Lakers dominated and defeated Indiana 4-1 to win the series. Would the Bulls beat the Spurs to win the 1999 NBA Finals? Should the Bulls be allowed for one more season?