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Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF

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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#61 » by RSP83 » Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:48 am

JohnnyKILLroy wrote:
samwana wrote:
chefo wrote:I see a lot of talk that his international success was against "scrubs", which is a very US-focused view of affairs. The mid 80s to the early 90s (when Yugoslavia and the USSR both dissolved) were the absolute, bar-none, golden age of European club basketball. Why?

Because the average NBA fan thinks that European players just became good ever since a bunch of end-of-bench kids started getting drafted in the NBA and several of them panned out. They didn't. They've been good for awhile. It's just nobody on this side of the Atlantic cared.

The late 1980s were absolutely, insanely competitive in European club ball because the 1980s had insane overall top-end talent spread around the top 6-7 clubs.

Toni's Jugoplastika team had him, Dino Radja, Tabak and Savic, and some random other Yugo national team players sprinkled in--the same that finished 2nd in 88 Olympics losing to Sabonis' USSR and then won the 1990 World Cup. Hell, Partizan in the Yugo league couldn't get a championship until Toni left for Italy and that was a team with Divac, Danilovic and Sasha Djorgevic.

Aris back then had Galis and Giannakis, and won 80 (!) straight games in Greece, despite playing against two other European power houses in Olympiakos and Panatinaikos multiple times a year. Look these two dudes up. Suffice it to say, in an era with the best ever Yugo and USSR teams that had rosters full of hall-of-famers, they won a European championship for Greece.

Real Madrid with Petrovic couldn't even beat Barcelona to compete in the Champion's League. Same for Oscar Schmidt in Italy who never won against Olimpia Milano (with old Bob McAdoo, Moustache and Dino Menegin).

In the USSR you had Zalgiris with Sabonis and Kurtinaitis who were so dominant that Moscow's darling CSKA with Volkov and half the USSR's national team couldn't beat them, and neither could Lietuvos Rytas with the Bulls' very own Lord AK and Marčiulionis, who were big stars in their own right.

The Spanish, Greek, Yugo, USSR and Italian leagues all had 2-3 absolutely superb teams from where these countries drafted their entire national teams. Then you had the best Turkish clubs and Maccabi as well.

Each of these clubs, if playing motivated, would have absolutely spanked any non-generational US college team. Toni's championship clubs for example, started three ~7 footers, two of them currently hall-of-famers. To put them in the same sentence with US high-school hoops and even US college hoops programs is absolutely laughable.

Toni was much beloved in Europe because he was the 6'11 European Magic-like prodigy and his team beat over and over teams that often had 2-3 hall-of-famers in their own right, plus another 2-3 national team players from that country as well. It was incredibly hard to win the EuroLeague once with their final 4 single-game elimination, let alone to three-peat like he did.

As for Toni himself--yeah, he had no off-court discipline and was known as a slacker his entire early career, even before coming to the NBA. That being said, had he ended up not on the Bulls where he played out of position at SF/PF, in a system without a PG, and behind the GOAT and Scottie, I could have easily seen him have a decade of averaging something like 18/9/7 with probably a random year of 21/9/7. In an era before the stats inflation of the modern day where these kind of numbers were much harder to come by. He probably would have been a multiple all-star and never won a thing... and still would have made it in the Hall-of-Fame anyways.

P.S. Just for some context:

Had Yugoslavia not fallen into civil war, here's what the Yugo team of 1992 could have looked like:

PG: Toni / Sasha (best European PG of his generation)
SG: Petrovic (best European scorer of his generation)
SF: Danilovic / Bodiroga (best wing that played in Europe of his generation)
PF: Radja / Savic
C: Vlade / Savic (one of the best European bigs of his generation)

Plus a score of athletic 7 foot stiffs to round out the roster.

Assuming Petrovic doesn't crash and die, you put that exact team in the NBA in the mid 1990s, and that's a solid second round team, if not better. There was so much hype about them facing off against the Dream Team in Barcelona... never happened, but the young, non-prime versions of these guys were absolutely destroying everybody they went up against in international competition. Their last tournament together, they won Eurobasket 1991 by an average margin of over 20 and that was without Patrovic, who was the best of the bunch. That was the golden Yugo generation and the best European team ever, and Toni was the second best player on it.
Thanks man, I enjoyed your post very much. Took me back to those amazing years of basketball in Europe. These teams where so fun to watch!

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I knew zero about Euro ball of that era - thanks for the run down it was awesome to read.


Try google search ESPN 30-for-30 documentary called 'Once Brothers', highly recommended. It's about that Yugo Basketball generation Chefo talked about. It focused on the 4 main guys: Toni, Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Dino Radja.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#62 » by RSP83 » Sat Sep 11, 2021 1:58 am

The Box Office wrote:Toni Kukoc is awesome. We now have 5 Hall of Famers on the Last Dance Bulls; Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, and Toni Kukoc. That's disgusting.

Since Kukoc is officially in the Hall, The Bulls should retire his number in the rafters.


Sssh.. I can hear them whispering in close distance....

The Lebron super fans preparing an argument that MJ played in a Super Team with 3 other HoF player for 1 HoF coach.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#63 » by dice » Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:00 am

Stratmaster wrote:
kulaz3000 wrote:
Lexluthor wrote:If Toni Kukoc made the Hall of Fame you might as well add Lamar Odom and Robert Horry. Toni was a good player but he did not live up to the hype. He was still a younger when he joined the bulls


Didn't live up to the hype?

He played his prime when he was playing with 3 first ballot hall of famers in Jordan, Pippen and Rodman, and still played a crucial role in winning the 3 championships. Without Toni, I'm not convinced that the Bulls win 3 straight - perhaps they win a championship or two, but not three straight in my opinion.

I think if you had put Toni on a lesser team instead of the Bulls when he eventually came into the league, perhaps he isn't a championship player, but his stats become a lot more impressive, but that's all projection of course. He was a special player, and in many ways ahead of his time.
This.

If Pippen hadn't been in those teams Toni's role would have been much greater, and much more crucial.

He was 6th man because the guys starting ahead of him were all-world all the time.

the problem is that his game had already begun to inexplicably deteriorate by "the last dance." he was 29 years old that year. perhaps because he was thrust into a starting role that season. his game never recovered and when he left chicago 2 years later he was never again a starter...and certainly not because he was backing up all-world players in philly, atlanta and milwaukee

for all his talent, toni didn't have "the dog" in him. that part of MJ's, scottie's, horace's, dennis's and harper's games never rubbed off on him. just as it never rubbed of on luc. or stacey. or any number of other role players on those great teams. which is why none ever lived up to their nba potential

without his considerable euro resume, there's no way in hell kukoc would belong in the HOF
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#64 » by RSP83 » Sat Sep 11, 2021 2:37 am

Jcool0 wrote:Not sure about that... But playing on the Bulls did suppress his numbers.

Read on Twitter


Don't know if he'd be as popular as Luka. Finesse type big man wasn't really a big thing back then. Dirk had Don Nelson who was a basketball modernist, and a Mavs organization that bought in to that idea.

Although I have no doubt, Toni would've posted better numbers playing for other teams in bigger role. He's basically Euro Magic Johnson, he's a big point guard who likes to run plays for his teammate, not a big scorer, but really clutch scorer. So Phil knew, Toni taking those game winning shots over Pippen was a logical decision.

Again, don't know whether he would've been better than Luka or not in today's game. But he would've absolutely kill in today's game. Easily perennial All-Star level player in today's game. He dropped to 2nd round right? If scout sees a talent like Kukoc today, skilled, clutch, in a 6'11" body, Euro Top 3 player at a young age, that alone would guarantee him top 3 lottery pick.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#65 » by JohnnyKILLroy » Sat Sep 11, 2021 8:02 am

RSP83 wrote:
JohnnyKILLroy wrote:
samwana wrote:Thanks man, I enjoyed your post very much. Took me back to those amazing years of basketball in Europe. These teams where so fun to watch!

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I knew zero about Euro ball of that era - thanks for the run down it was awesome to read.


Try google search ESPN 30-for-30 documentary called 'Once Brothers', highly recommended. It's about that Yugo Basketball generation Chefo talked about. It focused on the 4 main guys: Toni, Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, Dino Radja.


I saw it - it was amazeballs. Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#66 » by troza » Sat Sep 11, 2021 8:24 am

RSP83 wrote:
The Box Office wrote:Toni Kukoc is awesome. We now have 5 Hall of Famers on the Last Dance Bulls; Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, and Toni Kukoc. That's disgusting.

Since Kukoc is officially in the Hall, The Bulls should retire his number in the rafters.


Sssh.. I can hear them whispering in close distance....

The Lebron super fans preparing an argument that MJ played in a Super Team with 3 other HoF player for 1 HoF coach.


Do not forget both Jerrys and Tex Winter... (and we are pretty sure that someday Steve Kerr will be there, even if it is as a coach) :P I hope I'm not missing anyone.

Although I don't feel that they should retire his number. Had he stayed until the end of his career here, maybe there would be an argument based on longevity and maybe some influence on the young players but even so... I don't know.

Retired numbers are supposed to be special... really special for the Chicago Bulls... game breaking, whatever. I would say that we have several players in the recent history that could get factors in favor of them but I feel that no way they belong with Jerry Sloan, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (I must admit that I know little of the story of the retired #10). And I know that even Sloan can be debatable but his importance was magnified by the fact that we were a new franchise. Kukoc arrived here after a 3-peat.

For Kukoc to have the number retired we must consider also Derrick Rose, Noah, Grant and Rodman (at least) with maybe some of those guys that spent the majority of their career on the Bulls... and I'm not thinking yet about guys from pre-84. And some of them have even more arguments to have their number retired than Kukoc... but all of them I feel that they were great but not worth of that honor.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#67 » by dice » Sat Sep 11, 2021 7:22 pm

troza wrote:
RSP83 wrote:
The Box Office wrote:Toni Kukoc is awesome. We now have 5 Hall of Famers on the Last Dance Bulls; Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, and Toni Kukoc. That's disgusting.

Since Kukoc is officially in the Hall, The Bulls should retire his number in the rafters.


Sssh.. I can hear them whispering in close distance....

The Lebron super fans preparing an argument that MJ played in a Super Team with 3 other HoF player for 1 HoF coach.


Do not forget both Jerrys and Tex Winter... (and we are pretty sure that someday Steve Kerr will be there, even if it is as a coach) :P I hope I'm not missing anyone.

robert parish

parish won his 3rd ring w/ the celtics at age 32. i think he stuck around to get his 4th at age 43 just so he could win a bet. he could have collected another paycheck in '97-'98 but retired instead. "last dance? aw hell no. i don't need that drama. robert out"
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#68 » by waffle » Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:22 pm

LOVED TONY

HOF? Snort
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#69 » by troza » Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:52 pm

dice wrote:
troza wrote:
RSP83 wrote:
Sssh.. I can hear them whispering in close distance....

The Lebron super fans preparing an argument that MJ played in a Super Team with 3 other HoF player for 1 HoF coach.


Do not forget both Jerrys and Tex Winter... (and we are pretty sure that someday Steve Kerr will be there, even if it is as a coach) :P I hope I'm not missing anyone.

robert parish

parish won his 3rd ring w/ the celtics at age 32. i think he stuck around to get his 4th at age 43 just so he could win a bet. he could have collected another paycheck in '97-'98 but retired instead. "last dance? aw hell no. i don't need that drama. robert out"


True. George Gervin is another name that comes to mind although no championship that year.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#70 » by Ballerhogger » Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:53 pm

Congrats to TONI! big fan his i think he did a lot heavy lifting in the playoffs for the bulls
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#71 » by Ballerhogger » Sat Sep 11, 2021 11:55 pm

So how many HOF did mj play with?
Pippen
Dennis
Toni
Horce grant going to make it?

Man what stacked team that was !
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#72 » by RSP83 » Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:06 am

Ballerhogger wrote:So how many HOF did mj play with?
Pippen
Dennis
Toni
Horce grant going to make it?

Man what stacked team that was !


I don't think Horace is going to make it, same with Ron Harper (who was All-Star player prior to Bulls days). Even Toni, as much as I respect and love his game, wouldn't have made if not because of the European Committee. But Kukoc is one of the most accomplished player in Europe and he also happens to play for the Legendary Chicago Bulls as the third leading scorer for that team.

Other than MJ, Scottie, Dennis, Toni, I don't see anybody else from that team making the HoF as a player.

Out of topic, I think a thread deep-diving on Dynasty Bulls depth would be interesting. Because I think it's a myth... I remember when I followed MJ's Bulls thinking every offseason... "Who the hell are we drafting?", Even guys like Bill Wennington, Luc Longley... were head scratchers. But, I think the complete buy in to the Triangle Offense made it easier for Krause to find players that fit, despite they're maybe not sought after FAs.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#73 » by dice » Sun Sep 12, 2021 2:11 am

Ballerhogger wrote:Congrats to TONI! big fan his i think he did a lot heavy lifting in the playoffs for the bulls

toni was wildly inconsistent both in the regular season and playoffs over his career. he did have a nice scoring night in game 7 against the pacers, ensuring victory despite MJ's scoring being off
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#74 » by brentmoney » Sun Sep 12, 2021 3:21 pm

Ballerhogger wrote:So how many HOF did mj play with?
Pippen
Dennis
Toni
Horce grant going to make it?

Man what stacked team that was !


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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#75 » by Michael Jackson » Sun Sep 12, 2021 4:06 pm

troza wrote:
dice wrote:
troza wrote:
Do not forget both Jerrys and Tex Winter... (and we are pretty sure that someday Steve Kerr will be there, even if it is as a coach) :P I hope I'm not missing anyone.

robert parish

parish won his 3rd ring w/ the celtics at age 32. i think he stuck around to get his 4th at age 43 just so he could win a bet. he could have collected another paycheck in '97-'98 but retired instead. "last dance? aw hell no. i don't need that drama. robert out"


True. George Gervin is another name that comes to mind although no championship that year.


The Iceman contributed more than Parish did for sure but he was the same an end of the career signing. Much like Bobby Orr on the Hawks or Ken Griffey Jr on the Sox.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#76 » by troza » Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:25 pm

Michael Jackson wrote:
troza wrote:
dice wrote:robert parish

parish won his 3rd ring w/ the celtics at age 32. i think he stuck around to get his 4th at age 43 just so he could win a bet. he could have collected another paycheck in '97-'98 but retired instead. "last dance? aw hell no. i don't need that drama. robert out"


True. George Gervin is another name that comes to mind although no championship that year.


The Iceman contributed more than Parish did for sure but he was the same an end of the career signing. Much like Bobby Orr on the Hawks or Ken Griffey Jr on the Sox.


I know but the initial post talked about something and I just went with the trolling remembering guys that were great and finished the career with the Bulls.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#77 » by erlim » Mon Sep 13, 2021 6:03 am

troza wrote:
Michael Jackson wrote:
troza wrote:
True. George Gervin is another name that comes to mind although no championship that year.


The Iceman contributed more than Parish did for sure but he was the same an end of the career signing. Much like Bobby Orr on the Hawks or Ken Griffey Jr on the Sox.


I know but the initial post talked about something and I just went with the trolling remembering guys that were great and finished the career with the Bulls.


I mean Ben Wallace made the hall this year and he was a larger and more heavily featured part of the Bulls than Robert Parish and even George Garvin.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#78 » by TallDude » Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:37 am

MJ was lucky that Bird and Magic rivalry was ended. Both would be able to steal few or all of his rings at prime. There was only basically Malone and Stockton duo who i really did see could challange Bulls and of course Hakeem. Shaq and Kobe later. There was a window to win those 6 champs. Berofe or after that it would be more difficult. Anyway Bulls was easily best group in 90´s. It would be awesome to see prime Celtics, Lakers (2 eras) and Bulls match each others. I actually would pay to see those matches. Im huge Kareem fan. Kareem is my nro 1 player all time. Jordan, Bird and magiq second just behind Kareem. Hakeem i did not see so much but i have heard other players that he was EVEN better than his stats.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#79 » by troza » Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:05 pm

TallDude wrote:MJ was lucky that Bird and Magic rivalry was ended. Both would be able to steal few or all of his rings at prime. There was only basically Malone and Stockton duo who i really did see could challange Bulls and of course Hakeem. Shaq and Kobe later. There was a window to win those 6 champs. Berofe or after that it would be more difficult. Anyway Bulls was easily best group in 90´s. It would be awesome to see prime Celtics, Lakers (2 eras) and Bulls match each others. I actually would pay to see those matches. Im huge Kareem fan. Kareem is my nro 1 player all time. Jordan, Bird and magiq second just behind Kareem. Hakeem i did not see so much but i have heard other players that he was EVEN better than his stats.


Oh my, the myths the people still believe this day...

Magic vs Bird rivalry... how can we say it...the Bulls did win against Magic in 91 and destroyed the team that replaced the Celtics at the top of the East (Pistons that were looking for a 3-peat). Sure, they lost 3 times against the Pistons before (although only the last year they had a team to go for the title, I guess)... they even destroyed the team that replaced the Pistons (the Kicks in 92) and even won against the Blazzers that were supposed to be the best team in the league in 91 and went to the finals twice in 3 years.

So, unless you talk about Len Bias "what if", the only thing that history is showing is that rivalry or those players in the teams they were at that time would way more likely made no difference for the Bulls in those years.

And how fun that you talk about the Lakers... how would the Lakers do with Phil Jackson still on the Bulls? I guess that's the question.

The window included some very good teams that are dismissed all the time... I already talked about the Lakers and the Blazzers... the Suns had Kevin Johnson and MVP Barkley, the Sonics (that eliminated the Jazz in 96) had Payton, Kemp, Hawkins and Schrempf (won 64 games that year) and we can talk about the opponents in the east (including Shaq and Penny... and I see this as the only what if story - what if Shaq stayed in Orlando - that could have lead for the Bulls to not win that second 3-peat).

Was a window opened? Tell me a champion that does not win taking advantage of an opportunity? But winning 6 in 8 years, they just conquered that window in a way that we haven't seen a team do that again (even the mighty super teams of Heat and Warriors failed to win 3 in a row once... and the window was there).

It would be awesome to see those teams face off... but it would also be amazing to see so many other matchups. We were lucky that, in terms of individual duels, we had almost them all. As for Jordan, he doesn't have a playoff series against Kareem, Julius Erving, Olajuwon, David Robinson, Duncan, Iverson and Kobe (I hope I'm not forgetting anyone)... we could include some others from his time on the Wizards (Pippen, Vince Carter, Dirk...) but the majority of them would not be possible with both player and teams on the prime level but that's life.
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Re: Toni Kukoc named to the Basketball HOF 

Post#80 » by TallDude » Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:42 pm

troza wrote:
TallDude wrote:MJ was lucky that Bird and Magic rivalry was ended. Both would be able to steal few or all of his rings at prime. There was only basically Malone and Stockton duo who i really did see could challange Bulls and of course Hakeem. Shaq and Kobe later. There was a window to win those 6 champs. Berofe or after that it would be more difficult. Anyway Bulls was easily best group in 90´s. It would be awesome to see prime Celtics, Lakers (2 eras) and Bulls match each others. I actually would pay to see those matches. Im huge Kareem fan. Kareem is my nro 1 player all time. Jordan, Bird and magiq second just behind Kareem. Hakeem i did not see so much but i have heard other players that he was EVEN better than his stats.


Oh my, the myths the people still believe this day...

Magic vs Bird rivalry... how can we say it...the Bulls did win against Magic in 91 and destroyed the team that replaced the Celtics at the top of the East (Pistons that were looking for a 3-peat). Sure, they lost 3 times against the Pistons before (although only the last year they had a team to go for the title, I guess)... they even destroyed the team that replaced the Pistons (the Kicks in 92) and even won against the Blazzers that were supposed to be the best team in the league in 91 and went to the finals twice in 3 years.

So, unless you talk about Len Bias "what if", the only thing that history is showing is that rivalry or those players in the teams they were at that time would way more likely made no difference for the Bulls in those years.

And how fun that you talk about the Lakers... how would the Lakers do with Phil Jackson still on the Bulls? I guess that's the question.

The window included some very good teams that are dismissed all the time... I already talked about the Lakers and the Blazzers... the Suns had Kevin Johnson and MVP Barkley, the Sonics (that eliminated the Jazz in 96) had Payton, Kemp, Hawkins and Schrempf (won 64 games that year) and we can talk about the opponents in the east (including Shaq and Penny... and I see this as the only what if story - what if Shaq stayed in Orlando - that could have lead for the Bulls to not win that second 3-peat).

Was a window opened? Tell me a champion that does not win taking advantage of an opportunity? But winning 6 in 8 years, they just conquered that window in a way that we haven't seen a team do that again (even the mighty super teams of Heat and Warriors failed to win 3 in a row once... and the window was there).

It would be awesome to see those teams face off... but it would also be amazing to see so many other matchups. We were lucky that, in terms of individual duels, we had almost them all. As for Jordan, he doesn't have a playoff series against Kareem, Julius Erving, Olajuwon, David Robinson, Duncan, Iverson and Kobe (I hope I'm not forgetting anyone)... we could include some others from his time on the Wizards (Pippen, Vince Carter, Dirk...) but the majority of them would not be possible with both player and teams on the prime level but that's life.


I know. I have seen all these eras. You are right that it pointless to argue these things. We never know. It just would be so amazing. And Kareem i just dont know why he is my all time favorite. I was a kid when he quit. But still there was something in him and still is why he tops Jordan. Perhaps it is bc im not a Jordan fan. I think he might be goat? Even i dont think goat exist but i just was never a fan. I just think it was superpowered group like Edmonton Oilers was in NHL in 80´s. Of course they have Gretzky to make even bigger impact in there than Jordan did bulls. His stats are insane. Jordan should avarage like 50 points in game and 20 assists to compare him. Also in 90´s Basketball was not that big thing in Finland. NBA is not big even today but Finland national team is very popular. Most talents choose different sports. But last 8 years or so its starting to get well deserved attention. Also players getting better. Lauri is 2nd best Finnish player but only one in NBA. Koponen is still the MVP in Finnish national team. NBA should shorten regular season to 60 games. Too many pointelss games. I prefer more Fiba basketball. Its more fun to watch Eurobasket than NBA regular season game. Playoff of course is hole new story.

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