The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls are a one-of-a-kind team, as the collection of talent and aura around that team is notorious until this day. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Ron Harper, Toni Kukoč, and the rest of the co stormed through the league with 72 wins, which was the best regular-season record in history until the 2016 Warriors broke that with 73 wins. But even though the Warriors beat the record, most fans still consider the Bulls the best team in history, simply because they backed it up in the playoffs and won it all.
No matter how good this team was all-around, their success couldn’t have been possible without their leader Michael Jordan guiding them with his game and mentality. MJ’s competitive nature and demanding leadership style are infamous, as it wasn’t easy to keep up with his passion as a teammate.
Former Bulls guard and part of the ’96 Bulls team, Randy Brown shared how invested and passionate MJ was about every game that season by describing how it felt to be in the locker room after their only home loss of the season:
“At some point, we were probably 50-5, everybody was upset we just lost a game. A lot of people don’t understand, we actually lost a home game. We were 40-1 at home. We actually should’ve been 73-9 and I remember losing that game and Michael [Jordan] was pissed, there were chairs thrown…Crazy situation, the locker room is quiet, and that’s when I knew this team was gonna win a championship. We were locked in as one. It was a lot of luck on our side. We didn’t have a bunch of injuries. We had the right amount of talent on our team, right amount of role players.”Randy Brown, SiriusXM NBA Radio
Brown is talking about the game in which Rex Chapman exploded for 39 points and led the Heat to upset the Bulls. Considering the Heat were a below 500. team at the time pissed off MJ for sure. Jordan hated to lose, especially when he did his part and scored 31 points, alongside 9 rebounds and 5 assists.
But all the yelling and chair-throwing would have a good effect on the rest of the team, as Brown and the co saw how passionate the superstar was about winning more championships. Considering he already had three rings under his belt, that inspired the rest of the guys to step it up and not let this kind of loss happen again, playing as a proper unit. In the end, it paid off, as they went all the way and beat a great SuperSonics team in the Finals. A great way of leading by example from MJ.