Scottie Pippen believes 1995-96 Bulls are still the best: ‘We live on’
It was not just Cleveland fans that were hoping to see the Cavaliers win a championship on Sunday night. There were a fair few people in Chicago who were eager to see the Golden State Warriors defeated to secure the legacy of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls.
While this year’s Warriors surpassed those Bulls by one win to break the regular season record, the belief of many was that its significance would be lessened if Golden State failed to win a title. Now that they didn’t, former Bull Scottie Pippen is rather pleased that the team’s legacy is secure in the minds of many observers.
“We live on,” Pippen told Mike & Mike on Monday after the Cavs dethroned the Warriors. “For sure, I was pulling for the Cleveland Cavaliers. I would only hope that as a part of that ’96 team that you have if they don’t win the Finals is you keep your legacy going by them losing. You can’t take nothing away from what their team did in the regular season. They do have the record, but I just think that we saw a really good team in Cleveland rise through the playoffs. Golden State was definitely the best team all regular season, but I felt like in the playoffs, this Cleveland Cavalier team really got their swagger, meaning on both ends of the basketball.
“You can’t be considered a great team until you win a championship,” Pippen added. “No matter how well you do in the regular season, it has to be capped off with a championship to really mark your legacy in the game, and that’s where Golden State had some failure there because they lost their dominance in the playoffs. Let’s go back and look at where they were in the Oklahoma series, and where they were in the Cleveland series. They never brought that dominance they had throughout the regular season into the playoffs.”
The 2015-16 Warriors occupy a strange spot in history. They set the single-season wins record, but like the 2007 Patriots and 2001 Mariners – both of whom had the best regular season teams in their leagues’ respective history – they’ll ultimately be remembered for not winning the championship. Just as Michael Jordan said, Golden State still had work to do, and they weren’t able to finish the job. Pippen is probably right. The Warriors will be remembered as a great team with an incomplete resume, while those 1995-96 Bulls will be remembered as the team that closed the deal.