The Chicago Bulls joined the National Basketball Association for the 1966-67 season and played in the International Amphitheater. That very first season the Bulls made the Playoffs—the only expansion franchise to ever accomplish that feat—and Johnny “Red” Kerr was voted “NBA Coach of the Year.”
Although the franchise struggled early, it became one of the league’s best teams in the mid-1970s led by Jerry Sloan, Bob Love and Norm Van Lier, along with future Hall-of-Famers Artis Gilmore and Chet Walker. This era of Bulls’ history was defined by smothering defense, great passion and incredible toughness.
The Bulls’ fortunes greatly elevated in 1984 with the drafting of Michael Jordan, the dominant player of his era and greatest player of all-time, along with Scottie Pippen, a perennial All-Star who was also voted among the NBA’s 50 greatest players of all-time. Jordan won five MVP awards and seven straight scoring titles while featuring a combination of exciting slam dunks and late game heroics.
In the early 1990s the Bulls added a deep core which included Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright and John Paxson, and went on to win three consecutive NBA titles 1991, 1992 and 1993 at the Chicago Stadium. Two years later Jordan and Pippen were joined by Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc and Ron Harper to win three more titles in 1996, 1997 and 1998 at the United Center. The 1996 team, which won a record-breaking 72 games, is considered by most to be the best team of all-time.
The Bulls' six NBA championships, and second “Three-peat” of the 1990s, cemented them as the “Team of the Decade” and perhaps the best to ever play. To this day the Bulls are well-known throughout the world and regularly lead the NBA in attendance.