Michael Jordan dropped an easy 27 points against the Charlotte Hornets while Dennis Rodman grabbed a whopping 6 offensive rebounds.
Michael Jordan returned to the NBA from Minor League Baseball in 1995 only to have his Chicago Bulls kicked out of the Playoffs at the hands of Shaquille O’Neal and the Orlando Magic. This was the first time the Bulls (with MJ) had lost in the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals since they did so in 1988 to the Detroit Pistons.
With it being clear that they needed to strengthen their defense and their rebounding, Jerry Krause and the Bulls turned to one man: Dennis Rodman. He made All-NBA in 1995 and that same summer would get pried away from the Spurs to join Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in Chicago to form perhaps the greatest defensive big-3 in league history.
The Bulls that season started their campaign off by going 23-2. Their only two losses were to the team that defeated them in last year’s Playoffs (Magic) and the team they would eventually face in the 1996 NBA Finals (Seattle SuperSonics).
Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman against the Charlotte Hornets.
The Charlotte Hornets were on the verge of Playoff contention in 1996 but posted a 41-41 record which wasn’t good enough to make it in. One of those 41 losses came against Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls, on January 4th, 1996, would jump out to an early lead and never really give it up. Jordan dropped 27 points and dished out 5 assists on the night while Dennis Rodman had a low rebound game (11 was below average for ‘The Worm’) but grabbed 6 offensive rebounds in the process. He would also go 6-7 from the field.
Charlotte would win 54 games in ‘97 but would get swept by the New York Knicks in the first round. They would face the Chicago Bulls in 1998 in the ECSF and would lose 1-4 while Chicago went on to win it all.