Coming off a disappointing second round exit to the Orlando Magic a few months before, the Chicago Bulls started off the 1995-96 season with redemption on their minds to come back to what they were just two seasons ago.
They started off the season winning five games then a loss to that same Magic team that had just won in six that past May. The Bulls responded by winning five more, losing to the Seattle Supersonics. After this loss, the Bulls went on to win 31 of its next 33 games and went halfway through the season with only two losses. 40-3. And they never faltered. The Bulls garnered winning streak after winning streak and all of those winning streak reaching at least five games. The Bulls were unstoppable during the regular season, topping off at 72-10, then the best record in regular season history.
The Bulls had no trouble in rounds one and two against the Heat and Knicks respectively. The Knicks did take a game off the Bulls thanks to a clutch effort from Patrick Ewing and John Starks and a classic game nonetheless:
When the Bulls walked passed them, they met with the Orlando Magic once again. The Bulls dominated them in Game 1 121-83 and in game 2 Orlando gained momentum and kept it until they blew it thanks to the Bulls defense. The Bulls came back from a nineteen-point deficit to take Game 2.
You didn’t even have to play Games 3 and 4 to know the Bulls were going to get past them. The Bulls took another step on the revenge tour and Chicago met with the Seattle Supersonics in the 50th ever NBA Finals.
In Game 1, the first basket of the Finals, Ron Harper makes a three so at this point you know this game is over, Bulls win 107-90.
The Bulls went up 3-0 against the Sonics before losing two in a row, but it didn’t matter as the Bulls took home the gold on its home floor. While Jordan took home the MVP as he always did whenever the Bulls won it all, it was Rodman’s strong effort which netted Chicago the franchise’s fourth title.
19 rebounds, 11 offensive rebounds along with five assists. Rodman played games within games throughout his career.
Twenty seasons later, the Golden State Warriors were in a similar position, having won 72 games already, the team led by Steph Curry was looking for the final win on game 82 against an injured Memphis squad. Curry was also a few threes shy of getting 400 and when he reached 399, he desperately kept shooting until he reached the new milestone.
The Warriors blew out the Grizzlies, Steph Curry ended up with 402 threes on the season and the 73rd win didn’t get as much attention as Kobe Bryant’s final game in Los Angeles. When Spring rolled around, the 73-win Warriors overcame a 3-1 deficit over the Oklahoma City Thunder but lost a 3-1 lead when playing the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
So let that be a lesson to you all; when you achieve the most regular season wins in a certain league, it don’t mean a thing without a championship ring.