Jerry Reinsdorf: Bulls were thinking of rebuilding before sixth championship
The Chicago Bulls won six NBA championships in eight years (the middle two years were without Michael Jordan), which stands as one of the most incredible runs in sports history. But they almost didn’t even get that sixth championship.
Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf shared during “The Last Dance” documentary about the final season of the Bulls’ dynasty that the team almost began a rebuilding process after winning their fifth championship in the 1995-1996 season.
“After the fifth championship, which was ’96-’97, we were looking at this team and realizing other than Michael (Jordan), the rest of the guys were probably at the end of their high productive years. We had to decide whether we keep the team together or not. And we realized maybe this was the time to do a rebuild and not try to win a sixth championship,” Reinsdorf said in the documentary.
The team ended up winning the championship, beating the Utah Jazz in six games for their sixth title. But then they broke up after that. Tim Floyd replaced Phil Jackson as head coach. Michael Jordan retired again. Scottie Pippen was traded. Dennis Rodman was released. The Bulls didn’t reach the playoffs again til seven seasons later, and Jordan never played for the team again.