The Chicago Bulls’ history

The Chicago Bulls have had a career filled with highs and lows – do their players top the list? (Royalty-free photo by Bk Aguilar via

By Ray Gonzalez, Reporter

From obscurity to the spotlight, then back into obscurity. This back-and-forth description can only apply to the Bulls team, and the way the franchise has been able to evolve, but also devolve in its nearly 60-year history.

Beginning of the Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls were founded by ex-professional basketball player Dick Klein in 1966, and actually played well that season, winning a high number of games (33-48). The team gained their players by an expansion draft, and were able to obtain Jerry Sloan, a top player at the time. But the team experienced little to no recognition for about two decades.

The Chicago Bulls take on the Pacers in 2011 at United Center. (Royalty-free photo by Tony (no last name provided) via Flickr)

Michael Jordan Era:

When the Bulls drafted a rookie during the 1984 draft, Michael Jordan, their notoriety changed. The team would reach their peak during the 90s, as the franchise picked out players who fit into Jordan’s game. They even reached a win/loss record of 558-230 between 1989 and 1999. At their peak in the 1995-96 championship season, they won 72 games out of 82, an impressive feat.

Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan moves in for the lay-up during a 1992 game. (Photo by Jordan Elgrafico via Wikimedia Commons)

What Went Wrong

The Chicago Bulls’ biggest loss was that of Michael Jordan, who decided to retire for the second time in his career; he left the Bulls in an awkward position. The franchise had to decide whether to trade away their star players in hopes of landing a high draft pick in the future, or go for a championship with a team that was structured around Jordan. The franchise decided on the former. They traded away Scottie Pippen to the Houston Rockets, and released Dennis Rodman the day Jordan retired. Other pivotal players who helped the team win the championship the past few years were also let go. After Jordan’s final retirement, the Bulls only experienced failure with their next two seasons, barely winning more than 20 games (1999-2000: 17-65 and 2000-2001: 15-67).

Present Day Chicago Bulls

The Chicago Bulls, right now, are a mediocre team. In the last 10 years, they have made the playoffs five times  and have lost in the first round three out of the five times (and suffered two Eastern conference losses). The team has never been able to make it to the finals again – not once in more than 20 years, even with their decent young superstars, Zach Lavine and DeMar DeRozan. The extremely average roster surrounding those two superstars result in the team’s failure to get far during the playoffs.

The Chicago Bulls franchise has achieved some of the greatest wins in basketball history, but at their worst, are the most horrendous team ever assembled. Right now, they are in the bottom half of the eastern conference. because of their below 500 win percentage. With a 11-15 record obtaining them an eleventh seed (as of December 13, 2022)