Skip to main content

WOULD THE BULLS WIN 8 STRAIGHT? “He didn’t feel that they could contain Hakeem”


We are all counting down to the first episode of “The Last Dance,” an all-access documentary following the ‘97/’98 Bulls. The magical second three-peat established Jordan and the Bulls as the greatest team in NBA history. As if six titles isn’t enough, many fans wonder - would they’ve gone eight for eight if MJ hadn’t retired?

The last dynasty we had, the Golden State Warriors, talked a lot about the mental fatigue and the challenge of staying motivated on such a long run. MJ and the Bulls had the same challenge. Don’t underestimate the value and importance of that break. 

But, there was also one great 90s team the Bulls never faced in the playoffs. The Houston Rockets were their fiercest opponent. The Rockets went 5-1 versus Jordan’s Bulls in six meetings between 1991 and 1993, all before his first retirement. As much as the Rockets didn’t have anyone to cover Jordan, the same can be said about the Bulls’ ability to slow Hakeem down. 

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

We never got to see the two teams battle it out in the Finals while at their peak, but it seems Jordan doesn’t think a Bulls win would’ve been a lock. Rudy Tomjanovich talked to Jordan after his retirement in 1998, and here’s what MJ said to him. 

“He gave our team great respect. He didn’t feel that they could contain Hakeem. They just didn’t have the personnel to do it. And he said he thought we were the team that gave them the most trouble.”

Rudy Tomjanovich, via The Athletic

So the next time someone tells you those Rockets titles happened “just because MJ was out of the game”, you can say to them two things. First of all, MJ was back in time to stop the second Rocket’s title but lost to Orlando Magic. Secondly, even Jordan himself always had the utmost respect for Hakeem and appreciated their two titles. 

WWE star Logan Paul and Dwight Howard

WWE legend Triple H’s dare to Dwight Howard: “Be like Logan Paul, Bad Bunny, Tyson Fury”

Dwight Howard doesn't just want to be a run-of-the-mill professional wrestler.

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Garnett

"I’m still a Timberwolf until I die, as I am a Celtic" - Kevin Garnett addresses rift with Minnesota Timberwolves

Kevin Garnett is not in good terms with the Minnesota Timberwolves but his love for the city has never changed.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Kevin Love

"It's a way to really challenge yourself" — Kevin Love talks about the hardest workout he's ever done

Kevin Love revealed the hardest workout he has ever done and it doesn't have anything to do with basketball.

BYU Cougars guard Jimmer Fredette shoots over San Diego State Aztecs forward Kawhi Leonard

“He said some things” — Jimmer Fredette on Kawhi Leonard's trash talk

En route to a 72-54 win, Kawhi Leonard approached Jimmer Fredette and talked smack to him.


Boban Marjanovic doesn't think LeBron James is "the strongest player" in the league: 'It depends on what you measure'

Boban Marjanovic thinks it's impossible to hail LeBron James or anybody as the strongest player in the league there are a lot of factors to consider in measuring strength.

Yao Ming & Steve Francis

"It was me who was bothered by it" - Steve Francis on Yao Ming's transition to NBA

Steve Francis thought Yao Ming will succumb to the pressures of being an NBA star, but he was proven wrong.


The Sixers reportedly almost drafted Kobe Bryant to team up with Allen Iverson in 1996

Drafting Kobe and AI in the same draft would've been the best draft a team had in NBA history.


"Leaders don't do that" — When Kobe Bryant shared why Shaquille O'Neal is not the leader of the Lakers

Kobe Bryant said Shaquille O'Neal didn't even reach out to him amid his legal battle.