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The Most Dominant Teams of All Time

Posted by Neil Paine on March 3, 2010

Who is the most dominant team in NBA history? That sounds like a straightforward enough question -- most fans would ask themselves which team "felt" the most dominant -- but if you want an objective answer, it's difficult to approach because "dominance" can be defined in a number of ways.

For instance, in his book "Dominance", Eddie Epstein wanted to answer this exact question for historical NFL teams, so he settled on a method of comparing each team's basic performance metrics (points scored/allowed & yards gained/allowed) to the league average and accounting for competitive balance by using Z-scores (standard deviations above avg.). This yielded a group of teams that you can't really argue with -- 1958 Colts, 1972 Dolphins, 1985 Bears, etc. -- but if we apply the same standard to NBA stats, we consistently end up with an interesting result at or near the top of the list:

Highest Z-Scores, WPct
Year Team W L WPct Z
2007 DAL 67 15 0.817 2.40
1984 BOS 62 20 0.756 2.24
1986 BOS 67 15 0.817 2.21
1996 CHI 72 10 0.878 2.21
1971 MIL 66 16 0.805 2.09
1976 GSW 59 23 0.720 2.09
2006 DET 64 18 0.780 2.06
1957 BOS 44 28 0.611 2.06
1956 PHW 45 27 0.625 2.04
1992 CHI 67 15 0.817 1.99
1975 BOS 60 22 0.732 1.97
1975 WSB 60 22 0.732 1.97
2000 LAL 67 15 0.817 1.97
2006 SAS 63 19 0.768 1.97
1967 PHI 68 13 0.840 1.96
1970 NYK 60 22 0.732 1.93
1947 WSC 49 11 0.817 1.93
1987 LAL 65 17 0.793 1.90
1978 POR 58 24 0.707 1.86
2007 PHO 61 21 0.744 1.84
1985 BOS 63 19 0.768 1.83
1972 LAL 69 13 0.841 1.83
1983 PHI 65 17 0.793 1.81
2008 BOS 66 16 0.805 1.81
2004 IND 61 21 0.744 1.79
1997 CHI 69 13 0.841 1.79
1986 LAL 62 20 0.756 1.78
2009 CLE 66 16 0.805 1.77
2002 SAC 61 21 0.744 1.77
1982 BOS 63 19 0.768 1.76
Highest Z-Scores, Pyth%
Year Team PF PA Pyth% Z
1976 GSW 9002 8457 0.706 2.68
1970 NYK 9427 8682 0.760 2.35
1971 MIL 9710 8705 0.822 2.19
2007 SAS 8079 7388 0.778 2.13
1986 BOS 9359 8587 0.769 2.13
1978 POR 8829 8325 0.695 2.10
1957 BOS 7599 7213 0.675 2.09
1996 CHI 8625 7621 0.850 2.08
1986 MIL 9390 8649 0.760 2.05
1975 WSB 8585 7997 0.730 2.03
1956 PHW 7424 7117 0.644 2.02
1974 MIL 8780 8121 0.749 1.99
1992 CHI 9011 8155 0.802 1.94
1984 BOS 9194 8656 0.699 1.94
2005 SAS 7888 7248 0.766 1.91
1947 WSC 4428 3836 0.882 1.87
1965 BOS 9024 8351 0.747 1.85
2004 SAS 7501 6909 0.760 1.85
2007 DAL 8201 7609 0.741 1.85
2009 CLE 8223 7491 0.787 1.83
1987 LAL 9656 8893 0.760 1.82
1980 BOS 9303 8664 0.730 1.81
2006 SAS 7837 7278 0.738 1.81
1997 CHI 8458 7572 0.825 1.80
2008 BOS 8245 7404 0.818 1.77
1999 SAS 4640 4237 0.781 1.76
1986 LAL 9618 8983 0.722 1.76
2006 DET 7941 7394 0.731 1.75
1951 MNL 5632 5264 0.720 1.75
1962 BOS 9687 8948 0.752 1.75
Highest Z-Scores, SRS
Year Team srs Z
1976 GSW 6.23 2.77
1970 NYK 8.42 2.38
1996 CHI 11.80 2.33
1986 BOS 9.06 2.24
2007 SAS 8.35 2.21
1971 MIL 11.91 2.17
1986 MIL 8.69 2.15
1957 BOS 4.79 2.10
1974 MIL 7.61 2.10
1992 CHI 10.07 2.10
1947 WSC 8.96 2.09
1978 POR 5.92 2.09
1984 BOS 6.42 2.08
1997 CHI 10.70 2.02
1956 PHW 3.82 2.02
1975 WSB 6.54 2.01
2005 SAS 7.84 1.94
2007 DAL 7.28 1.92
2007 PHO 7.27 1.92
1980 BOS 7.37 1.91
1965 BOS 7.47 1.90
2009 CLE 8.68 1.89
2003 DAL 7.91 1.88
2004 SAS 7.51 1.87
2002 SAC 7.61 1.86
1981 PHI 7.76 1.83
2000 LAL 8.41 1.83
1987 LAL 8.32 1.81
2006 SAS 6.69 1.80
1972 LAL 11.65 1.80

Nothing against the 1976 Warriors, but I'm not sure many fans or historians would rank them as one of the "most dominant" teams of all time; they lost in the Western Conference Finals that year, and their 59 regular-season wins wouldn't even be the league's top total in most years. However, 1976 wasn't like "most years" -- other than Golden State, only the Celtics (54 W) won more than 50 games, and 11 of the NBA's 18 teams were bunched between 38 and 49 wins. Competitive balance rarely gets higher than it did during '76, the final year before the merger, and it's impressive that Golden State was able to separate themselves from the fray so dramatically, at least during the regular season. In fact, had they managed to successfully defend the championship that year, we would probably be talking about them as an all-time great team. However, "dominance" typically means "commanding, controlling, or prevailing over all others", and Epstein's method mutes this attribute of great teams when it adjusts for competitive balance, because to a large degree, dominance is actually about destroying competitive balance and setting up as imbalanced a system as possible in the team's favor. In other words, it's about crushing the spirit of your opponent.

That's why I want to focus on "Dominating Wins" as an important indicator of team dominance, defining them as regulation wins of 13 or more points. Why 13? In NBA history, 13 is the standard deviation of single-game scoring margins, so any 13+ point win marks a team as at least 1 standard deviation above average for that game; plus, a 13-point MOV at the end of regulation basically signifies that the losing team went into the final 2:00 knowing it wasn't going to win the game (Win Expectancy = 0%), an important aspect of breaking the opponent's will. So which teams had Dominating Wins as the highest proportion of their overall games (including playoffs)?

Year Team G DomW Pct
1971 MIL 96 49 51.0%
1996 CHI 100 49 49.0%
1972 LAL 97 46 47.4%
1992 CHI 104 46 44.2%
1962 BOS 94 41 43.6%
1972 MIL 93 40 43.0%
1994 SEA 87 37 42.5%
1960 BOS 88 37 42.0%
1970 NYK 101 42 41.6%
1997 CHI 101 42 41.6%
1949 MNL 70 29 41.4%
2001 SAS 95 39 41.1%
1974 MIL 98 40 40.8%
1950 MNL 81 33 40.7%
1986 BOS 100 40 40.0%
1987 LAL 100 40 40.0%
1989 UTA 85 34 40.0%
2005 SAS 105 42 40.0%
1973 MIL 88 35 39.8%
1967 PHI 96 38 39.6%
1947 WSC 66 26 39.4%
1964 BOS 90 34 37.8%
2009 CLE 96 36 37.5%
1972 CHI 86 32 37.2%
1995 SEA 86 32 37.2%
1961 BOS 89 33 37.1%
1990 PHO 98 36 36.7%
2002 SAC 98 36 36.7%
1950 ROC 71 26 36.6%
1980 BOS 91 33 36.3%

At the same time, if you're a ridiculously streaky team you may also suffer more than your share of Dominating Losses, which are decidedly not the hallmark of a dominant team. So here are the teams that had the greatest differential between their DomW% and DomL%:

Year Team G DomW Pct DomL Pct Diff
1971 MIL 96 49 51.0% 2 2.1% 49.0%
1996 CHI 100 49 49.0% 2 2.0% 47.0%
1972 LAL 97 46 47.4% 7 7.2% 40.2%
1972 MIL 93 40 43.0% 3 3.2% 39.8%
1992 CHI 104 46 44.2% 5 4.8% 39.4%
1997 CHI 101 42 41.6% 3 3.0% 38.6%
1962 BOS 94 41 43.6% 5 5.3% 38.3%
1986 BOS 100 40 40.0% 2 2.0% 38.0%
1994 SEA 87 37 42.5% 5 5.7% 36.8%
1967 PHI 96 38 39.6% 4 4.2% 35.4%
1970 NYK 101 42 41.6% 7 6.9% 34.7%
2001 SAS 95 39 41.1% 7 7.4% 33.7%
2005 SAS 105 42 40.0% 7 6.7% 33.3%
1947 WSC 66 26 39.4% 4 6.1% 33.3%
1964 BOS 90 34 37.8% 4 4.4% 33.3%
2009 CLE 96 36 37.5% 4 4.2% 33.3%
1987 LAL 100 40 40.0% 7 7.0% 33.0%
1960 BOS 88 37 42.0% 8 9.1% 33.0%
1973 MIL 88 35 39.8% 6 6.8% 33.0%
1999 SAS 67 24 35.8% 2 3.0% 32.8%
1995 SEA 86 32 37.2% 4 4.7% 32.6%
2009 LAL 105 37 35.2% 3 2.9% 32.4%
1950 MNL 81 33 40.7% 7 8.6% 32.1%
1980 BOS 91 33 36.3% 4 4.4% 31.9%
1974 MIL 98 40 40.8% 9 9.2% 31.6%
2008 BOS 108 38 35.2% 4 3.7% 31.5%
1949 MNL 70 29 41.4% 7 10.0% 31.4%
1996 UTA 100 36 36.0% 5 5.0% 31.0%
1950 ROC 71 26 36.6% 4 5.6% 31.0%
1990 PHO 98 36 36.7% 6 6.1% 30.6%

Along those same lines, two more indicators of dominance would probably be the average margin of a team's wins...

Year Team G AvMOV
1971 MIL 96 17.5
1972 MIL 93 16.6
1972 CHI 86 16.1
1989 PHO 94 16.0
2008 TOR 87 15.6
2010 GSW 59 15.5
1995 SEA 86 15.2
1973 LAL 99 15.2
1962 BOS 94 15.1
1970 PHI 87 15.0
1996 CHI 100 14.9
1989 UTA 85 14.8
1986 MIL 96 14.8
1972 LAL 97 14.8
1970 NYK 101 14.8
1991 CHI 99 14.7
1985 POR 91 14.7
1996 UTA 100 14.6
1987 LAL 100 14.6
2008 UTA 94 14.5
1986 IND 82 14.5
1990 PHO 98 14.4
1972 PHO 82 14.4
1949 MNL 70 14.4
1994 SEA 87 14.3
1997 SEA 94 14.3
1974 MIL 98 14.3
1948 NYK 51 14.3
1973 MIL 88 14.2
2008 BOS 108 14.2

...And the biggest differential between that number and the average margin of their losses:

Year Team G AvMOV AvMOD Diff
1972 MIL 93 16.6 -6.7 9.9
1971 MIL 96 17.5 -9.2 8.4
1995 SEA 86 15.2 -7.4 7.8
1989 PHO 94 16.0 -8.4 7.6
1986 BOS 100 12.9 -5.7 7.2
1991 CHI 99 14.7 -7.7 7.1
1997 SEA 94 14.3 -7.3 7.0
1992 CHI 104 14.1 -7.1 7.0
2008 BOS 108 14.2 -7.2 7.0
1959 SYR 81 13.5 -6.5 7.0
1986 MIL 96 14.8 -7.8 7.0
1996 UTA 100 14.6 -7.7 7.0
1957 BOS 82 12.5 -5.7 6.7
1972 PHO 82 14.4 -7.7 6.7
1972 CHI 86 16.1 -9.4 6.6
1962 BOS 94 15.1 -8.6 6.5
1996 CHI 100 14.9 -8.4 6.5
1989 CLE 87 14.1 -7.8 6.4
1973 MIL 88 14.2 -7.9 6.3
1995 CHI 92 13.8 -7.5 6.3
1952 MNL 79 12.9 -6.7 6.3
1980 BOS 91 12.9 -6.7 6.2
1994 SEA 87 14.3 -8.1 6.2
1990 PHO 98 14.4 -8.2 6.2
1970 NYK 101 14.8 -8.6 6.2
2004 DET 105 12.1 -6.0 6.1
2008 TOR 87 15.6 -9.6 6.1
1973 LAL 99 15.2 -9.1 6.1
1993 CLE 91 13.1 -7.2 5.9
2004 SAS 92 13.4 -7.5 5.9

Finally, I think it goes without saying that to be truly dominant, a team must win the championship -- a large part of dominance is the "aura of invincibility", and I can't think of any team who retained that after being bounced from the playoffs unceremoniously (I should know, after living and dying with the 2007 Patriots). So, with all of that in mind, here are the most dominant teams in NBA/BAA history:

10. 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers

Record:		81-16
SRS:		11.65 (3rd)
DomW:		   46 (47.4%, 3rd)
DomL:		    7 (7.2%, 123rd)
WinMgn:		 14.8 (14th)
LossMgn:        -10.0 (578th)

9. 1969-70 New York Knicks

Record:		72-29
SRS:		 8.42 (16th)
DomW:		   42 (41.6%, 9th)
DomL:		    7 (6.9%, 114th)
WinMgn:		 14.8 (14th)
LossMgn:	 -8.6 (219th)

8. 1990-91 Chicago Bulls

Record:		76-23
SRS:		 8.57 (13th)
DomW:		   35 (35.4%, 36th)
DomL:		    5 (5.1%, 50th)
WinMgn:		 14.7 (16th)
LossMgn: 	 -7.7 (70th)

7. 2007-08 Boston Celtics

Record:		82-26
SRS:		 9.31 (7th)
DomW:		   38 (35.2%, 39th)
DomL:		    4 (3.7%, 16th)
WinMgn:		 14.2 (30th)
LossMgn:    	 -7.2 (36th)

6. 1996-97 Chicago Bulls

Record:		84-17
SRS:		10.70 (5th)
DomW:		   42 (41.6%, 9th)
DomL:		    3 (3.0%, 7th)
WinMgn:		 13.2 (82nd)
LossMgn:	 -7.6 (64th)

5. 1961-62 Boston Celtics

Record:		68-26
SRS:		 8.25 (20th)
DomW:		   41 (43.6%, 5th)
DomL:		    5 (5.3%, 63rd)
WinMgn:	 	 15.1 (9th)
LossMgn:	 -8.6 (212th)

4. 1991-92 Chicago Bulls

Record:		82-22
SRS:		10.07 (6th)
DomW:		   46 (44.2%, 4th)
DomL:		    5 (4.8%, 41st)
WinMgn:		 14.1 (36th)
LossMgn: 	 -7.1 (32nd)

3. 1985-86 Boston Celtics

Record:		82-18
SRS:		 9.06 (8th)
DomW:		   40 (40.0%, 15th)
DomL:		    2 (2.0%, 1st)
WinMgn:		 12.9 (114th)
LossMgn:	 -5.7 (3rd)

2. 1995-96 Chicago Bulls

Record:		87-13
SRS:		11.80 (2nd)
DomW:		   49 (49.0%, 2nd)
DomL:		    2 (2.0%, 1st)
WinMgn:	 	 14.9 (11th)
LossMgn:	 -8.4 (170th)

1. 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks

Record:		78-18
SRS:		11.91 (1st)
DomW:		   49 (51.0%, 1st)
DomL:		    2 (2.1%, 3rd)
WinMgn:		 17.5 (1st)
LossMgn:	 -9.2 (341st)

Just Missed the Cut: 1957 Celtics, 1964 Celtics, 1967 Sixers

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165 Responses to “The Most Dominant Teams of All Time”

  1. Sean Says:

    Throughout his career, regardless of what team he played on (and he played on a lot) Jason J said:
    Grant did his scoring primarily three ways: finishing on cuts to the rim (was very good at this with Jordan and Penny who could draw double teams at the foul line and create space under the rim, on open jump shots from about 15 feet (generally pick and pops with MJ, Scottie, Penny, or Payton or kick outs from Shaq), and of course by offensive rebounding, which was his greatest offensive skill. He had a little bit of post game with a decent jump hook, but he took forever to get it off and had trouble doing much of anything in traffic. He shot a high percentage because he took shots he could make and rarely took difficult shots or shots he had to create for himself.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Grant had 4.4 off reb per game in 1993.... same in 1994. He shot more times per game---and at a better clip without Jordan in 1994 than in 1993 with him. SOMEHOW he was getting the ball more times (12.5 vs 10.8 shots per game) without an increase in offensive rebounding. He also shot .524 in 1994 vs .508 in 1993. She he shot more and shot better in 1994---with no Jordan. I wonder.

  2. Sean Says:

    Jason J said:
    Actual ability in a player is not determined by who is in the locker room with him. The team may play better with different chemistry and leadership, but actual ability is not impacted unless a player takes a special interest in a teammate and instructs him in practice like Jordan did with Pippen and Robinson did with Duncan.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    And is it ALL actual ability, Jason? Really? There aren't guys who tend to teamates better and get them better/ easier shots?

  3. Sean Says:

    Jason J said:
    As to who they replaced Horace Grant with and whether Jordan wanted low post scorers on his team, if I recall the player he really wanted was Juwon Howard, a primary low post scorer. They got Rodman because he was perfect for the team and available for a ludicrous trade for Will Perdue because he had worn out his welcome in San Antonio , and they won a ridiculous number of games and 3 titles.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Rodman was Jordan's dream PF. A lap dog to fetch the ball who required ZERO touches.

    Jasom J said:
    Who should they have traded for? Any serious scoring prospect would have cost them a major piece, and Pippen and Jordan were the only major pieces left. Previously they traded away Charles Oakley to take Bill Cartwright and give more minutes to Grant specifically because they thought Oakley had peaked as an offensive threat and that Grant, with his superior athleticism could become better - surely it wasn't because Grant was the better rebounder or defender, not in 1988.>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    How does anyone get a PF who demands the ball, Jason? Was this area just a blind spot in an otherwise genius Bulls front office, that they couldn't get a PF for Jordan that he REALLY wanted? I think he REALLY wanted one just like Rodman.

  4. Sean Says:

    Jason J said:
    Cartwright of course was known as a terrific low post scorer, and the season before Phil put in the triangle, while Jordan was playing point guard and making the on court decisions, Cartwright received by far his most scoring opportunities and averaged his highest points per game as a Bull. That's not Jordan refusing to pass to Cartwright in the post. Bill's points jumped up when he got to Chicago actually.>>>>>>>>>

    Cartwright averaged 9.8 FGA per game in 1989---his high as a Bull. Is this really an example of feeding a 'terrific low post scorer' (your words)? McHale was averaging 13-14 FGA per game off the bench before he developed his full arsenal and 17 FGA per game at the height of his career. THAT'S how other people tend to their 'terrific low post scorer'. (And please don't now go and say I said Cartwright was McHale and then insult me for it. McHale was known as Boston's low post scorer---and he was terrific. You said Cartwright was known as a terrific low post scorer yourself).

    Cartwright DID start in 72 more games the season he came over to the Bulls and he averaged about 9.5 minutes more per game. He shot about 70 points WORSE and averaged just 1.3 ppg more depsite increasing playing time by almost 50%. Now WHY did all this happen?

    Cartwright, the 'terrific low post scorer' that he was averaged 55%, 55%, 56%, 57%, 56%, 53% and 54% from the field as a Knick (all of his Knick seasons where he played more than 2 games). The only season he shot as well as 50% on the Bulls was the (yup, you guessed it) year Jordan WASN'T there (1994).

    Jordan just has to be the world's unluckiest SOB, I guess. He goes and they get more shots and shoot better........ but of course none of it is connected.

  5. Sean Says:

    Jason J said:
    They did hate each other though - Grant was very envious that Jordan got preferential treatment from management, the same treatment that Bird got but McHale didn't care about - and don't think everything was hunky dory over there either - read the new book by Bird and Magic written by Jackie McCullen. Larry was gruff and combative and big drinker (he didn't peak until his drinking buddies left the team), and he and Kevin had troubles too. The difference being there was no Sam Smith to write The Bird Rules, bringing it public and intensifying the problems. For his part Jordan rode Grant hard for being slow picking up the triangle and for complaining about not being treated the same way as MJ and Scottie by Phil and management.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    I believe I read that in 1990 or maybe 1991, McHale was critical of Bird shooting too much. It wasn't always strawberries and cream over there-----but Bird was also a diminished player and McHale was probably right... Bird might have been shooting too much at the clip he was making them.

  6. Sean Says:

    Jason J said:
    Again, I think we differ on the importance of coming out of the gate as a complete player when it comes to GOAT. To me a player who gives you 7 years as the undisputed best player in the league, never fails to make the conference finals in that time, and wins 6 rings can be forgiven for not quite getting it right away. >>>>>>>>>

    Let's not sugar coat it. It wasn't that Jordan wasn't 'quite getting it right away'..... you wrote "I'd say by 1990, he had learned that lesson to some extent". That's 6 years in. SIX.

  7. Sean Says:

    I also think that this:

    "He was saying he was tired of teamates complaining of his preferential treatment and how the other guys on the team didn't appreciate all that he was doing for them and all the times he had to carry them and come from behind for them... he said something like Pippen was doing a good job carrying the team earlier in the 1994 season, but then he wasn't at the end of the season... and now Scottie knows how hard it is, etc. Didn't the Bulls, with Pete Myers in the starting lineup instead of Jordan just win 55 games that year?"
    Jason J said:
    sounds like an athlete who considered it his job to turn around a franchise, who always wanted to win more than his teammates and had to push everyone to work as hard as he did, who was in touch with a few Bulls that season, one of whom was Pippen, was probably just saying what he felt and making an ass out of himself because he's not the least bit tactful, particularly when filtered through the memory of someone trying to find a way to denigrate him.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    You're misunderstanding. The LA Times printed that column on July 30th, 1994. These were quotes made by Jordan about the season that had JUST ENDED for a team he wasn't even on anymore. He wasn't turning around a franchise anymore on a team full of guys who didn't want to win. The team just won 55 games without him. It wasn't 1985 or even 1988 when he said this------and nobody had a memory that was fuzzy. The AP quoted him from a recent interview.

  8. Sean Says:

    Jason J said:

    I'm just still differing on the criteria of GOAT and some of the specifics I'm seeing used to say why Jordan, whom teammates like BJ Armstrong, Ron Harper, Scottie Pippen, and Steve Kerr all considered a great leader and the best ever, didn't understand how to win team basketball.>>>>>>>>>

    Jordan at least as late as 1994 was still referring to what he did on the Bulls as 'carrying them' and 'bailing them out'.... these are HIS words. In 1994, im Jordan's mind-----it was still HIM and THEM.

  9. Sean Says:

    Jason J said:
    Actual ability in a player is not determined by who is in the locker room with him. The team may play better with different chemistry and leadership, but actual ability is not impacted unless a player takes a special interest in a teammate and instructs him in practice like Jordan did with Pippen and Robinson did with Duncan.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    And is it ALL actual ability, Jason? Really? There aren't guys who tend to teamates better and get them better/ easier shots?

    Also I'll add that McHale shot .604 with 2.5 off reb/ game in 1988 with Bird... and .546 with 2.9 off reb/ game in 1989 without Bird. No Bird/ more off rebs/ shot worse in 1989. And McHale was healthier in 1989. Bird not being there have ANY effect on McHale's FG%? Nah.... it's all about McHale's ability and not at all about anything Bird did. These fluctuations with Bird and Jordan are just crazy coincidences.

  10. Sean Says:

    Jason J said:
    Bird and Magic used to tear into their teammates too. Larry called the team a bunch of pansies in the press. Garnett has done the same.>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Bird called his teamates (and he may have included himself in there) as sissies back in the 1984 Finals to motivate them. They responded. Jordan was retired. For a year. He was still talking about how he bailed the Bulls out and how he carried them-----who was he motivating during what series with that?

    Regardless, the point was to illustrate that even as late as 1994------it was still HIM and THEM for Jordan.

  11. Sean Says:

    Here's that Jordan LA Times/ AP/ NY Post interview article from 1994:
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Jordan Gets His First Good Cuts of the Season

    Basketball: He rips Pippen and Grant but says he won't come back.

    July 30, 1994|From Associated Press

    NEW YORK — Michael Jordan ripped former Chicago Bull teammates Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant and said he could average 32 points after only two weeks of preparation if he decided to come back to the NBA.

    In an interview published Friday by the New York Post, Jordan said pride prevents him from even considering an NBA comeback, though, because "I'd never want the media to think they were right."

    The three-time most valuable player, who retired from the Bulls before last season to pursue a professional baseball career, spoke after his Birmingham Barons lost, 3-2, in 10 innings to the Orlando Cubs on Tuesday night.

    Jordan, whose father, James, was murdered on July 23, 1993, said his father's death had no bearing on his retirement.

    "I had totally lost interest," he said, adding he told teammates of his plans in the second half of his last season. "I knew I had to give it up."

    Then, speaking about Pippen and Grant, Jordan said his father encouraged him "all that season" to retire because "he felt my teammates didn't appreciate what I was doing for them.

    "I covered their (butts) when they got tight at the end of games and I had to overcome fourth-quarter deficits all by myself. It bothered my father a lot, just as it bothered me, to hear them (complaining) about not getting enough credit, or not getting enough shots, or squawking about the supposed preferential treatment I was getting from (Coach) Phil (Jackson).

    "They had no idea how much pressure and grief I had to put up with off the court while carrying them on the court.

    "Scottie found out the hard way what it's like to be under the microscope 24 hours a day. For the first half of the season he did great carrying the team; the second half not so great."

    Then, referring to Pippen's refusal to play the final seconds of a playoff game against the New York Knicks because he was to be a decoy on the play while Tony Kukoc took the final shot, Jordan said Pippen made a big mistake.

    "I don't think he'll ever live that down," Jordan said.

    Although Jordan has a .188 batting average and 10 errors in right field for Birmingham, he said he still "can't come up with a single reason to change my mind" about returning to basketball.

    Then he came up with one.

    Noting that Reggie Miller said recently that Dream Team II is better than the first Dream Team of Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, Jordan said he would love to play a charity game matching the teams.

    "Those guys are on the right team, because they're definitely dreaming," he said. "Not only was Dream Team I better, but we could beat them right now."
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    This just doesn't sound like a guy who 'got it' regarding TEAM... as least not as of the date of this interview in 1994. So when DID he 'get it'?

    1996? That's a little S----L----O----W......... if you ask me. That's covering like 3 different Presidential administrations.

  12. Sean Says:

    Here's the main part that makes me question if Jordan 'got it' regarding TEAM
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    "I covered their (butts) when they got tight at the end of games and I had to overcome fourth-quarter deficits all by myself. It bothered my father a lot, just as it bothered me, to hear them (complaining) about not getting enough credit, or not getting enough shots, or squawking about the supposed preferential treatment I was getting from (Coach) Phil (Jackson).

    "They had no idea how much pressure and grief I had to put up with off the court while carrying them on the court.

    "Scottie found out the hard way what it's like to be under the microscope 24 hours a day. For the first half of the season he did great carrying the team; the second half not so great."
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Not a real good supporting piece for an argument that he DID 'get it', if you ask me.

  13. Allen Says:

    A couple other things to consider about the early Bucks of the 1970s. 1) It should improve the legacy of Kareem. Oscar was on the team, but way past his prime. Bobby Dandridge was the other great player, but certainly not a superstar. Can you think of any superstar who did more with less? I mean, Lew singlehandedly improved that team from 28 wins to 56 wins (I think) his rookie year 2) The 1970 Bucks team shot over 50%. The TEAM shot over 50%. Think of that. 3) The Bucks drafted Julius Erving in the first round. He had already been plucked from college by the ABA as the league's first "hardship" case. Bucks drafted him in what would have been his graduating class. If the team had been able to wrangle him away, well, you'd have Dr. J and Kareem and Oscar and Dandridge on the same team. It would be fair to say that team would have won more than one championship.

  14. Michael Says:

    Russell and Chamberlin would easly average at least 18 rebounds in today's NBA. back in the day rebounding was consider a very glamorous skill, not a somewhat grunt skill as it is now. Wilt, Russell, Jerry Lucas, Walt Belamy, Nat Thurmond, Willis Reed, Elgin Baylor were horses on the boards. Even Oscar was rebounding big time from the guard position. Remember Wilt and Russell were track guys, good all-around athletes. And the thing about Russell is that he had uncanny timing, blocking shots and intercepting passes with his left hand. Also Wilt gets a bum rap as far as the 1970's finals goes. He was playing practially on one leg just like Reed. He had missed most of the regular season that year. i think he played only in `12 games. He had injured his leg the previous year in the 1969 finals against Boston and was never really quite the same.

  15. Big Legend Says:

    Just talking Chamberlain here. Some of you have no clue. This guy was a legit 7'1" and 275lbs with unmatched athletic ability - WORLD CLASS. You are talking about a guy with Garnett type athletic ability at 7'1" and 275lbs. Shaq of course was often compared to Wilt, not in his class as an athlete or basketball player. Chamberlain came to the Lakers as a dominating scorer and then changed his style to benefit his new team and led the league in assists - remarkable and one of the top 5 sports feats of all time - Wilt doesn't get enough credit for this - REMARKABLE!

    BL