Michael Jordan explained how the Chicago Bulls were inspired by Larry Bird and his Boston Celtics’ mindset during their 1991 championship run.
The Chicago Bulls are one of the greatest organizations in NBA history. Especially the 90s Bulls, the squad led by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, among many others, is considered to be the greatest team ever assembled.
During the 1990s, Chicago was the team to beat. Phil Jackson’s boys successfully won 6 championships in an 8-year span, managed to finish the 1995-196 season with a flawless 72-10 record, and virtually dominated each and every team in the association.
However, success didn’t come knocking at the Bulls’ door right from the start. His Airness faced a tough Celtics team during his early days, losing to them in back-to-back round one playoff appearances (1986 & 1987). And finally, when the dominance of the Cs start to fade, the “Bad Boy” Pistons became the toughest matchup for MJ and co., knocking them out of 3 consecutive postseasons (1988,1989 & 1990).
However, the Bulls finally got the better of the Pistons in 1991 and went on to win their maiden title. A couple of years later, Jordan revealed the mindset he and his team played with during that championship season.
“Boston Celtics would come in and beat us no matter how we’d start the game”: Michael Jordan
In a 1993 documentary called “Air Time”, Mike explained how he along with his teammates were inspired by the 80s Celtics’ mindset. Using the similar mentality and Larry Bird and co., the Bulls definitely found the successes they were looking for. In the same documentary, Michael credited Chicago’s winning mindset to that of Boston’s. MJ explained:
“When I was growing up, the Celtics would come in and… they knew they were gonna beat us no matter how we’d start the game. They just knew that we were gonna fold and they were gonna come back and beat us. Kevin McHale would talk more trash than anybody you’ve ever seen, and Bird as well. But they knew they were gonna win, and I think we’ve had that same attitude.”
The Bulls went on to achieve the unthinkable with that mentality. And, undoubtedly, credits must be given to the Boston team, who inspired the Bulls and instilled them with the right mindset to be a successful squad.