Skip to main content

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


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...

Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler during media day

Is Jimmy Butler the ultimate troll or a business guru?

With Jimmy Butler moving towards the latter half of his career, it seems that he wants to start building his off-court brand.

Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan on Oprah Show

“He never understand what it takes to be a winner” — When Michael Jordan humiliated Charles Barkley on Oprah

It’s hard to tell if Jordan took Barkley’s joke personally, but what he said next changed the vibe and the entire atmosphere in a few seconds.

Chicago Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan

"I don't think I could truly be happy until I retire" - DeMar DeRozan pulls the curtain back on daily rigors of NBA life

There's one thing Chicago Bulls star DeMar DeRozan is looking forward to the most when he hangs up his sneakers for good.

Venus Williams and Shaquille O'Neal

When Shaquille O'Neal lied about having affairs with Venus Williams, Cindy Crawford, and Aaliyah

Venus Williams issued a strong statement upon hearing Shaquille O'Neal's claims.

Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan is defended by Detroit Pistons center James Edwards

“The Bulls complained all the time” — Kevin McHale reveals why the Detroit “Bad Boys” Pistons hated the Chicago Bulls

Unlike Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Kevin McHale believes the physicality the Bad Boy Pistons played with was valid and it made his Celtics even better.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant and guard Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook still does the same offseason workout he and Kevin Durant used to do in OKC — “It definitely helps”

Russell Westbrook revealed that he has been running on sand dunes for about eight years now every offseason and it has been helping him a lot.

New Orleans Hornets center Chris Kaman

How Chris Kaman got Player Exclusive "Air Sasqhatuces" from Nike in 2012

After he became an All-Star in 2010, Chris Kaman triggered a clause in his Nike deal that he’d get Player Exclusives