Glossed over amidst the six banners earned by the Chicago Bulls is the fact that the team employees and owners didn't really have a warm and fuzzy relationship. There is a stark contrast between the mutual respect and reverence between players and the organisation like the San Antonio Spurs and the Bulls. For whatever reason, over competitive spirit or plain old mean-spiritedness
The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls were one of the most influential teams of all time. In an era where teams rode big men like Shaquille O’Neial, Hakeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Patrick Ewing who were dominant on offence, the Bulls tore teams apart with their tenacious defence. One could say that they laid the foundation for the small ball revolution which is currently taking the league by storm.
It is a misconception that the Bulls won solely because of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman. No Big 3 alone has been good enough to win a title, let alone multiple. The 95-96 Bulls team left an indelible mark on history by being the only team to win 72 games and the title in the same season. And today, that team has been flung in disparate directions as they pursue interesting careers after retirement.
Here's a look at where the main members of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls are now:
#1 Michael Jordan
Those who watched Michael Jordan compete and destroy competition and teammates alike throughout his career openly wondered how he would be able to shut his competitive instincts after retirement. By all accounts, he was uber-competitive even in his sleep, and his post-playing career would undoubtedly be torture for him.
One of the wisest and most profound moves by Michael Jordan after retiring has been to find a way to keep exerting his competitive spirit by becoming the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets. They have grown from bottom feeders to a respectable playoff team. Who knew that having a 50-year-old man beat you one on one would do wonders for your game?
Of playing against his Hornets’ players, Jordan has said, “I’m pretty sure I can (defeat them), so I don’t want to do that and demolish their confidence. So I stay away from them,”
His Airness also owns one of the most successful shoe lines, and even if he never works another day in his life, he will continue to rake in millions of dollars. Another aspect of his post-playing career has been defending his reputation as the owner of the Hornets and the sanctity of his career from those who would seek to lionise current stars over him.
For instance, Jordan and Charles Barkley have seen their relationship sour after the latter called out the contrast in Jordan's success in his playing career and managing career.
Back when the Dream Team was being formed, one of the conditions Jordan laid out for participating was that he would be able to go and play Golf whenever he wanted. He would go play 18 holes and show no trace of fatigue as he took to the court and destroyed the opponents.
He's continued to participate in charity golf tournaments in his retirement. He's also created a professional motorcycle road racing team named Michael Jordan Motorsports, as he enjoys riding superbikes himself.
#2 Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen was moulded in Jordan's own image by his Airness during their innumerable practice sessions. He is now passing on his own championship experience to the Bulls in the capacity of Team Ambassador and Senior advisor to the President and COO for the Bulls. He was appointed to the post in 2012.
Of his appointment, Bulls President and COO Michael Reinsdorf said, “Scottie's talents and unique experience allow him to add value to so many aspects of our organisation, and we wanted his title to better reflect his role with the Bulls,"
He's also been chipping in with his expert opinion from time to time, seemingly disparaging Jordan in his own way. Pippen commented that Jordan is the greatest scorer of all time, while LeBron James is the greatest player of all time. He later claimed that he had been misquoted, but the damage was done.
Pippen has worked hard to stay in shape after retiring. He even won the NBA Celebrity All-Star Game MVP in 2011.
#3 Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman was perhaps the most colourful basketball player of all time, in a literal sense. He was an extremely shy and introverted young man, and to mask that he developed a flamboyant persona which enabled him to earn millions in various endorsements. His post-retirement career has been equally colourful as his playing career.
Rodman is currently endorsing two of the most unpopular people on the planet. On one hand, he's been in the news for his friendship with Kim Jong-Un and for conducting exhibition games in North Korea. On the other hand, he's been lending his voice to Donald Trump's campaign for his presidency. He's also served as the commissioner of the Lingerie Football league.
Rodman recently reconciled with his biological father for the very first time. It turned out that his father has given birth to 29 kids through 16 different wives. Oh, and his honest to God real name is Philander.
#4 Luc Longley
In 2012 Luc Longley visited India as part of the Mahindra NBA Challenge. Being the first Australian to make it to the NBA, Longley has a unique perspective on what it takes to make it in the league from another country. He had a memorable chat with us about his
Of the Bulls' first three-peat, Jordan had said, "I loved Oakley, but Cartwright made the difference." He was referring to the impact of a centre like Bill Cartwright who enabled the Bulls to play their brand of basketball. Luc Longley was equally pivotal as a pivot for the Bulls' play.
Longley is currently working as the assistant coach of the Australian men's basketball team. In his wake, Australia has produced NBA champions like Andrew Bogut and Patty Mills
#5 Ron Harper
Ron Harper holds the distinction of winning three titles across three different decades in the league. After winning three rings with the Bulls, he won two with the Lakers in 2000 and 2001.
Harper later served as an assistant coach for the Detroit Pistons for two seasons in 2005-06 and 2006-07. His two-year contract with the Pistons was, however, not renewed.
He has had problems with stuttering for most of his life, and he contributes his time to the National Stuttering Association to help others with the same problem. He currently lives in New Jersey, with his time being occupied by his two sons and one daughter.
He was recently in the news for making a bold proclamation that the 1995-96 Bulls would sweep the Golden State Warriors.
#6 Steve Kerr
If you play NBA 2K video game series, you can have a match between Chicago Bulls of 95-96 featuring Steve Kerr the player vs Golden State Warriors of today featuring Kerr the coach, and commentated by Steve Kerr the commentator. He's had a solid post-retirement career, to say the least, having won the NBA Championship as a coach with the Warriors in his first year as a head coach in 2015.
After playing for the Bulls, Kerr won a ring with the San Antonio Spurs in 2003. He then went on to serve as the General Manager and President of Basketball Operations for the Phoenix Suns in 2007, a position he retained till 2010.
After retiring from the Suns, Kerr worked as a commentator on NBA on TNT till 2014 before taking up the mantle of Head Coach for the Golden State Warriors.
#7 Phil Jackson
The Chicago Bulls might not have reached the promised land had it not been for the calming influence of Phil Jackson. After leaving the Bulls, Jackson went on to coach the Los Angles Lakers to five titles and earned eleven rings in total as a Head Coach.
The ‘Zen Master’ had been communing with nature on his BMW motorcycle after retirement from coaching. But that would only occupy his interests temporarily. In 2014, Jackson joined the New York Knicks as President of Basketball Operations and promptly fired coach Mike Woodson and his staff after a month.
Under Jackson’s tutelage, the Knicks had the dubious distinction of setting a franchise record with 16 losses in a row. The Knicks have seen their fortunes take an upswing in the 2016 offseason with the acquisition of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Courtney Lee and Brandon Jennings. Jackson will be hoping to earn a ring as a President as well.