Michael Jordan made a lot of history with the Chicago Bulls. He not only won six championships and completed two three-peats, but he and Chicago won (what was a record) 72 wins in one season in 1995-96. Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, though, later broke that record in 2015-16 when they won 73 games. Jordan, however, wasn’t impressed after Golden State failed to win the championship that year. He then later destroyed Curry and the Warriors by using just four words.
Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors broke the Bulls’ record
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ single-season wins record stood for 20 years from 1995-96 until 2015-16 when Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, who had just won the championship the year before, broke it.
The Warriors had an incredible year in 2015-16, going 73-9 in the regular season. Stephen Curry won the MVP award for the second consecutive season that year, too, as he averaged an NBA-leading 30.1 points per game to go with 5.4 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and an NBA-leading 2.1 steals.
The Warriors then dominated in the first two rounds of the playoffs in 2015-16, winning in five games in each round. However, after barely beating the Oklahoma City Thunder in seven games in the Western Conference Finals, the Warriors met LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.
Golden State then took a 3-1 lead in the series, but James and the Cavs came back and won in seven games. So, while Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors had a record-breaking year in 2015-16, they failed to win the championship.
This led to Michael Jordan absolutely destroying them.
Michael Jordan used 4 words to destroy the Warriors
During the same summer that the Warriors lost to the Cavs in the NBA Finals, Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob was on the labor committee for the collective bargaining agreement. While later talking on 95.7 The Game, he said that he had been having dinners with Michael Jordan, who owns the Charlotte Hornets, and other NBA owners.
“People are drinking and having a good time and all that,” he said, according to NBC Sports.
However, while they were out, Lacob said that Jordan came up to him and said one thing that completely destroyed the Warriors.
“73 don’t mean s****,” he reportedly said, per NBC Sports.
OK, if you write 73 out, that could technically be five words instead of four, but you get the point. Jordan’s competitiveness still lives on. Despite the Warriors breaking the Bulls’ record, Jordan and Chicago still won the ultimate prize during the year that they won 72 games — an NBA championship.
“He did it, Michael Jordan did that,” Lacob said, according to NBC Sports. “And I looked at him and I just decided not to make a big deal of it. I said, you know, you’re right, we didn’t win it, we had to get better.”
Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls still deserve bragging rights
The 1995-96 season was Michael Jordan’s first full season back with the Chicago Bulls after a stint in minor league baseball. He only played in 17 regular-season games in 1994-95, and Chicago lost in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
He was back at the top of the league in 1995-96, though.
Jordan averaged an NBA-leading 30.4 points per game to go with 6.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.2 steals. He ended up winning the league MVP award that year, and the Bulls, who also saw Scottie Pippen average 19.4 points per game and 6.4 rebounds, went 72-10. The 72 wins broke the LA Lakers‘ record from 1971-72 when they won 69.
Obviously, what made the difference for Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, though, was their playoff accomplishments. The Bulls swept the Heat in the first round, beat the New York Knicks in five games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and swept the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Finals. They then completed the record-breaking season by beating the Seattle SuperSonics in six games in the NBA Finals. The win over Seattle is what can solidify their claim as the greatest team ever.
Sure, Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors had an incredible season in 2015-16, but they didn’t win a championship. Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls did, and Jordan used four simple words to make sure the Warriors knew it.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference