Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dominated the 1990s by winning six out of 10 NBA championships. The only teams that won during the decade aside from the Bulls were the Detroit Pistons in 1990, Houston Rockets in 1994 and 1995 and San Antonio Spurs in 1999.
One of the most raging debates in NBA history is whether the Bulls could have won eight straight titles if Jordan didn't retire in 1993. The Rockets were able to capitalize in 1994 and 1995 by winning back-to-back NBA championships, led by the great Hakeem Olajuwon.
Jordan missed all of 1993-94 but unretired in March 1995, with the Orlando Magic beating Chicago in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
On the "Parkins & Spiegel Show" on 670 The Score, Robert Horry discussed the what-could-have-been matchup between Chicago and Houston in the mid-90s. Horry acknowledged that Jordan was the GOAT but claimed the Bulls wouldn't win against the 1994 or 1995 Rockets. Horry, a seven-time NBA champ, started for the Rockets in those seasons.
"I think you should go back and look at that and understand that I know MJ is the GOAT and I played for Phil (Jackson) and I know how Phil coaches," Horry said. "There's no way the Chicago Bulls would've beat the '94 or the '95 Rockets. So take that.
"I think, sometimes, people realize Michael Jordan is the GOAT, but the GOATs can be beat. You forget in '95, he was back. … He wasn't in shape? You just dropped a double nickel (55 points) in New York and you're trying to say you wasn't ready? Your team wasn't good in '95?"
From 1991 to 1993, Jordan and the Bulls were 1-5 against Houston. Without Mike in 1994 and 1995, the season series was split 2-2. But between 1996 and 1998, MJ and Chicago were able to turn the tide to go 5-1.
The possibility of the Bulls winning eight straight NBA titles if Jordan never retired is one of the greatest what-ifs in history. Fans were robbed of a prime MJ going up against a prime Hakeem Olajuwon in the NBA Finals.
Houston beat Patrick Ewing's New York Knicks in seven games to win the 1994 title. The Rockets then swept the Orlando Magic, powered by Shaquille O'Neal and Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, in 1995.
What did Michael Jordan think of the Houston Rockets?
Michael Jordan was reportedly a fan of the Houston Rockets in the 1990s. MJ rarely gives any interviews, so these comments came from former Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich. The Hall of Famer led Houston, known as "Clutch City," to their NBA titles in 1994 and 1995.
In an interview with The Athletic, Tomjanovic revealed that Jordan told him the Bulls would have a hard time defending Hakeem Olajuwon. The reason was that Chicago did not have the right roster to go against the Rockets at the time.
"He gave our team great respect," Tomjanovich said. "He didn't feel that they could contain Hakeem. They just didn't have the personnel to do it. And he said he thought we were the team that gave them the most trouble."