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Kenny Smith says "No Rodman, no Grant? Oh, we smackin’ them!" on hypothetical Chicago Bulls vs. Houston Rockets matchup from 1990s

Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls
Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls of the 1990s were one of the most dominant dynasties in NBA history. With superstar Michael Jordan, Chicago won six championships from 1991-1998.

But during two of those seasons, the Houston Rockets won back-to-back NBA championships. The Rockets at the time were led by Hakeem Olajuwon, who is considered one of the greatest all-time centers.

Houston won titles in 1994 and 1995. Those happened to be the two seasons in which Jordan had retired from basketball.

Jordan stepped away from the Bulls in 1994 to play minor league baseball. In the following season, he returned in March 1995 for the final 17 games of the season, and the Bulls fell to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

That Magic team lost in the NBA Finals to Kenny Smith and the Houston Rockets. On "The Draymond Green Show," Smith was asked if he believed that the Rockets would have defeated the Bulls if Jordan had never retired. Smith said he thought the Rockets would have taken care of business.

"People forget, the reason they lost to Orlando wasn't (Magic center) Shaq (O'Neal)," Smith said. "It was Horace Grant was gone."

He said that Chicago struggled when Horace Grant left to join the Orlando Magic. Smith later admitted that if the Bulls had Dennis Rodman (who joined Chicago in 1995-96), it could have been a different story.

"Now, if they had Rodman, they would have beat us probably," Smith said. "But no Rodman, no Grant? Oh, we smackin' them"
"No Rodman, no Grant? Oh we SMACKIN' them"—@TheJetOnTNT says his Rockets would have beaten the Bulls even with Michael Jordan https://t.co/FVs8khgrtD

Kenny Smith comments on Chicago Bulls

Bulls and NBA legend Michael Jordan
Bulls and NBA legend Michael Jordan

Basketball fans often look at the 1990s as the era of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. What often gets forgotten is that the Houston Rockets won back-to-back championships in the middle of the Bulls' run.

Houston had an impressive roster featuring Hakeem Olajuwon, Kenny Smith, Sam Cassell and Clyde Drexler. After winning the NBA Finals in 1993-94 against the New York Knicks, the Rockets swept young Shaquille O'Neal and the Orlando Magic in the 1994-95 Finals.

Michael Jordan | 36 Points Chicago Bulls vs Orlando Magic February 25, 1993📍Orlando Arena, Orlando, Florida #NBA #BullsNation https://t.co/GhE9dNg8vR

When Michael Jordan returned to the NBA after his first retirement, he joined the Bulls after the second half of the season. He struggled to get his conditioning back into NBA game shape, which saw the Chicago Bulls struggle in the second round against the Orlando Magic.

After a full offseason to get back into shape and the addition of Dennis Rodman, the Bulls went on to win the next three championships. And the 1995-96 team set a then-NBA record regular-season mark of 72-10.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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