Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Chicagoans are ecstatic about their Bulls now that Derrick Rose has put them back on the map, reminding fans of the Michael Jordan–Phil Jackson era.Although it may seem like those six NBA titles happened just a few years ago, the decade between Rose’s arrival and MJ’s retirement was a tumultuous one for the Bulls.
Multiple coaches, poor management decisions, bad draft picks, and a few lucky breaks in between got them to where they are today.
Chicago was officially known as 'Title Town.' Not only did the Bulls own the NBA, led by Michael Jordan they owned all of sports too.
The year after MJ was AWFUL, with Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, and head coach Phil Jackson ALL leaving too.
New head coach Tim Floyd only had scraps like Brent Barry and Dicky Simpkins to throw out there en route to an Eastern Conference worst 13-37 record during the 1999 lockout-shortened season.
Their terrible 1999 record garnered the Bulls the first overall pick of that year's draft, taking Elton Brand. The team also selected Ron Artest in the first round.
Brand would go on to average 20 points and 10 rebounds per game on his way to Rookie of the Year honours, but Chicago still struggled, only winning 17 games.
Whoa! Only two years later, a young and promising Elton Brand was traded away for Tyson Chandler and the Bulls drafted Eddy Curry. The rookie big men became the team's focal points.
Ron Artest was also sent packing for Indiana, as Chicago received Travis Best and Jalen Rose in return. The results? Worst record in the NBA.
The Bulls FINALLY returned to the playoffs in 2005 under their third coach since MJ's departure, Scott Skiles
Tim Floyd resigned midway through the 2001-02 season with a 49-190 record. His long term replacement, Bill Cartwright, was jettisoned at the beginning of the 2003-04 season. Defensive-minded Skiles took over, leading the Bulls to the postseason the following year (2004-05). Led by Kirk Hinrich and Ben Gordon, the Bulls lost to Washington in the first round of the playoffs.
Chicago could've gotten Kobe in 2007 and should've kept future superstar LaMarcus Aldridge, but they stuck with the same mediocre team and didn't get far in the playoffs
With the ups and down under coach Scott Skiles (fired on Christmas Eve 2007), major disappointments after Ben Wallace's arrival, Kobe deciding to stay in LA and not go to Chicago, and GM John Paxson trading away future superstar LaMarcus Aldridge for huge bust Tyrus Thomas on draft night in 2006, Chicago fans weren't sure where the team was going. Turmoil and all, the team still made the playoffs three times between 2005 and 2009, but only got past the first round once.
The franchise saviour arrived on draft night 2008 when Chicago took Memphis point guard Derrick Rose first overall
Rose won the Rookie of the Year award and teamed up with Luol Deng and Joakim Noah to put the Bulls back in the playoffs. They lost their first round matchup against the Boston Celtics in seven games, though.
Rose won MVP honours and led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals in just his third season in 2011
Now in 2012, unlike the last lockout-shortened season these Bulls find themselves at the top of the Eastern Conference, are allowing the third fewest points per game in the NBA, and lead the league in rebounding. All signs point to another deep playoff run and perhaps even another Larry O'Brien trophy.
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