The Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan dominated the 1990's. Winners in six of the 10 years, the dynastic Chicago Bulls defeated some of the greatest players of the era by claiming definitive championships that define legacies. The Chicago Bulls, in claiming those six NBA titles, were never tested in a seventh Game. Winning in six was the constant, and that teams were able to take the Chicago Bulls to six games is merely a testament to either how talented the teams the Chicago Bulls faced or the supreme talent of the individuals the Chicago Bulls had to go up against. Michael Jordan was Finals MVP in each of the six title runs. How do the Chicago Bulls NBA Finals teams rank?
#6 1991 - Chicago Bulls defeat Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers
After all the losses and learned lessons leading up to the Chicago Bulls' first appearance in the NBA Finals, the fact that Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers stood in the way was apropos. The Los Angeles Lakers and Magic won five titles between 1980 and 1988, and were their own NBA dynasty. The Lakers limped into the Finals and lost Hall of Fame 4 James Worthy to injury in Game 4. It seemed like both a celebration of what Magic Johnson had contributed to the NBA over his career and also a Michael Jordan coronation. Magic was incredible as usual - posting numbers of 19 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, and his 1991 season is definitely Magic's most underrated and resilient. I personally think the shot Michael Jordan made in the lane that has become so iconic is one of the most overrated of the many he's made, yet it's one of the most signifying of his championship efforts.
#5 1992 - Chicago Bulls defeat Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trailblazers
Clyde Drexler, a prominent mixture of Hall of Famer Julius Erving, elite versatility and athleticism of the 1990's was often compared to Michael Jordan. It was something that Michael Jordan absolutely abhorred, and in the 1992 NBA Finals, Jordan put any and every comparison to Clyde the Glide to rest. The Jordan shrug has become a social media fixture since social media platforms exploded across the internet, and the meme originated in Game 1. Michael Jordan hit an NBA Finals record six three-pointers in the first half of Game 1 to essentially alert the world that this series would not be much of a problem for the Chicago Bulls. Game 5 was a game in which Scottie Pippen became an NBA superstar with a flurry of offensive and defensive plays in the clutch, and suddenly the Chicago Bulls were more than simply Air Jordan.
#4 1993 - Chicago Bulls defeat MVP Charles Barkely and the Phoenix Suns
Charles Barkley was traded to the Phoenix Suns in the offseason from the Philadelphia 76ers, and his dominant play led the Suns to the best record in the NBA, and him winning NBA MVP. The Phoenix Suns were a precursor to Chris Webber's Sacramento Kings and eventually Steph Curry's Golden State Warriors. The Suns shot the three at every opportunity and bullied teams with Barkley's inside presence. Rookie Richard Dumas was a jumping gym all by himself; Cedric Ceballos was a baseline killer; Kevin Johnson was a super athletic scoring point guard in Barkley's support and the Thunder's Dan Majerle hit the three from deep and played above-average defense. The problem is, Barkley and Ceballos were injured and Dumas had his own issues. Michael Jordan had a double nickel performance in Game 4 and averaged a whopping 41 points in the entire series. He and Charles Barkley were very good friends at the time, yet as Michael Jordan has done with all of his peers when it mattered most, Charles Barkley also did not win an NBA title. This was a year where the Chicago Bulls were simply much better defensively, and though the Suns' Oliver Miller provided sparks here and there, Michael, Scottie and Phil Jackson's team of three point shooters were just too much.