Throughout NBA history, several teams substantially impacted the game, winning multiple championships and asserting themselves as true dynasties. The Warriors were that team recently, getting to the NBA finals in five straight seasons, winning three titles. One group that is still considered the best and most dominant in NBA history is the Chicago Bulls from the ’90s, especially from their second three-peat. They completely outplayed all of their opponents and set a benchmark of greatness that is hard to achieve.
Fantasy matchup between the Lakers and Bulls
An exciting discussion among NBA fans is how would, for example, that Bulls squad match up against other all-time great teams from different eras. It’s hard to assess which squad would be more successful, but it’s interesting to hear what players who played for those historically significant teams think of this topic.
During the 1996 NBA finals game between the Bulls and the Supersonics, Bob Costas interviewed Magic Johnson and asked him how the ‘Showtime’ Lakers would be from the 80’s matchup against the 90’s Bulls. Both teams had plenty of talent, and it would be an even matchup, but for Magic, the advantage would be on the Lakers’ side because of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
"I think they are one of the best teams in basketball only because they can go and full-court press you, denying you and taking your offense. They are definitely one of the best teams of all-time. Kareem is the x-factor because there is nobody on their team that can stop him. He would set up shots for everybody else. It would be great finals, great series, but at the end, I think Kareem would end up winning for us in game six or seven."
Kareem would be the X-factor
Magic’s reasoning makes some sense even though Kareem was past his prime during those Lakers championship runs in the ’80s. He was still a dominant player capable of scoring points and getting rebounds, and there would be hardly anyone on that Bulls squad who could stop him. However, the Bulls' dynamic duo of Jordan and Pippen would present many problems for the Lakers because of their ability to be equally efficient on both ends of the floor. When the Bulls played the Lakers in the 1991 finals, it was evident how many problems they created for Magic, who had a hard time orchestrating the offense.
Whatever the outcome may be in this fantasy matchup, there is no question either team has its advantages over the other. Even though Magic is convinced the Lakers would win in six or seven games, my personal opinion is that the Bulls' versatility would enable them to win that fantasy series, even though it would probably be a close contest.