Skip to main content

The month that capped the Bulls' 95/96 season at 72 wins

Bulls

Had the last month of the 95/96 season played out differently, the Bulls record for most regular-season wins might've proven to be an unattainable threshold for the 15/16 Golden State Warriors. Instead, the Bulls closed out the season going 12-3 in what was their worst 15-game stretch of an otherwise historic NBA year.

Don't get me wrong, those three losses don't make their run any less historic, the same way the Warriors being the new record holders doesn't diminish how high the Bulls set the bar in 96. But flip any of those three losses into wins and the bar might've been too high for anyone to reach - Golden State included. And while this belongs to the NBA's alternate history edition, the best part is history doesn't have to be too alternated for it to work, since Chicago lost all of the three games by an average margin of one point.

The first one came on March 24, when the Bulls lost to the Toronto Raptors 109-108. This one was hard to swallow since Steve Kerr's open-three miss was followed by Michael Jordan's "game-winning" fadeaway jumper seconds after the final buzzer had sounded. MJ finished the game with 36, Toni Kukoč added 23 and Kerr had 17 off the bench but failed to deliver when the game was on the line. The Raptors were led by Damon Stoudamire's 30 point-outing for their 15th win of the season.

" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen="">

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Two weeks later, after winning six straight, the Bulls fell to the Hornets 98-97. And no, this one wasn't on Michael's miraculous shot after the buzzer. This was on the inability of the entire Bulls unit - Steve Kerr excluded - to tip the ball in after Kukoč's spin layup miss with around 5 seconds left on the clock. Michael couldn't do it, Pippen couldn't do it, Rodman couldn't do it, and Chicago lost their 9th game of the season, despite MJ's 40-point performance.

After losing to the Hornets, the Bulls went on another six-game winning streak before falling to the Pacers for the second time of the season. This was also Chicago's second home loss of the year, and it came in the penultimate game of the year. The way it happened some would describe as controversial, as Indiana's game-winning free throw came after a questionable foul-call on MJ with 0.5 left on the game clock. Six Pacers scored in double figures, as they beat the Bulls 100-99 handing them their 10th and final loss in what was at the time a record-breaking NBA campaign.

And while the record was broken by the Dubs, that doesn't take away from how historically great the 95/96 season was for the Bulls. But think about it; they were two seconds, one tip-in, and one foul-call away from perhaps still being called the record holders. You can't help but wonder...

Wiggins has been phenomenal on defense throughout this series, but he turned the tables in Game 3 with a stellar offensive outing

Andrew Wiggins's vicious dunk on Luka Doncic brings Golden State Warriors close to the NBA Finals: "I just saw rim”

Wiggins has been phenomenal on defense throughout this series, but he turned the tables in Game 3 with a stellar offensive outing

Doc Rivers nearly left the Clippers for the Lakers

Doc Rivers once nearly left the Los Angeles Clippers for the Los Angeles Lakers

If Doc Rivers did end up moving to the Lakers, would they have beaten their opponents the way they did in 2020? No one knows, but it's fair to say Frank Vogel was the better coach in the Bubble.

Difference between Jimmy Butler and Ja Morant

Difference between Jimmy Butler and Ja Morant -- one soldiers on while the other whines about dirty plays

Jimmy Butler and Ja Morant received the same borderline dirty fouls that resulted in injuries. But their reactions were different from one another.

pistol-pete-maravich-min

Pete Maravich shares who is the greatest basketball player of all time

"He is not really the best passer, I don't think, he's not the best dribbler, he's not the best shooter, he's not the best scorer. He's just the very best."

From being undrafted to a Playoff starter: The journey of Miami Heat guard Max Strus for everyone

From being undrafted to a Playoff starter: Max Strus' NBA journey is a lesson for everyone

Miami Heat are the only team that decided to gamble on Max Strus, and safe to say that ended up paying dividends

skip-bayless-wife-lebron-james

Skip Bayless's wife is a fan of LeBron James: "I would like to meet him"

You know this one hurts deep for the most notorius LeBron hater out there.

LaVar Ball wants Kyrie Irving to join the Big Baller Brand

LaVar Ball invites Kyrie Irving to join Big Baller Brand: "You can have all the control you want!"

As Nike and Kyrie Irving appear to head in different ways, Lavar Ball uses this opportunity to lure the Brooklyn Nets star and join the Big Baller Brand.

Trae Young reacts to Ben Simmons passing up the wide open layup against him

Trae Young defends Ben Simmons for passing up the layup on him: "I hate how people talk about how bad of a player he is"

It's comical to think Ben Simmons got intimidated by Trae Young but the Atlanta Hawks point guard offers a different view on why the Philadephia 76ers forward passed up on a wide-open attempt.