Before the United Center was built in 1994, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls played at the Chicago Stadium. It was located at 1800 West Madison Street and was the home of the Bulls from 1967 to 1994.
The Chicago Stadium was located in a bad neighborhood of Chicago. There was a lot of crime and gangs near the stadium, so Jordan and the Bulls players had a lot of security around them when they entered the building.
Although many of the Bulls stars weren’t fond of the Chicago Stadium’s location, Jordan actually thought it was good.
Michael Jordan and the Bulls won one championship at the Chicago Stadium
The Bulls won three straight titles in 1991, 1992, and 1993 after finally getting past the Detroit Pistons in the Eastern Conference. Jordan won all three Finals MVPs against the Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and Phoenix Suns.
The 1992 Finals was the only championship the Bulls won at the Chicago Stadium. Jordan and Co. defeated the Blazers in Game 6 on June 14, 1992. The Bulls’ championships against the Lakers and Suns were won on the road.
Crime and drugs were prevalent in Chicago while Jordan starred for the Bulls, especially near the Chicago Stadium. While he acknowledged that the stadium was in a bad location, the NBA superstar saw a silver lining.
Michael Jordan explained to Larry King the silver lining of the Chicago Stadium’s location
After Jordan retired from the NBA in 1993 for the first time, he did an interview with the late great Larry King on CNN. During the discussion, the basketball icon said it was good that the Chicago stadium was in a bad neighborhood.
“It’s in a bad neighborhood,” Jordan said. “But I mean, which is good cuz it enables those guys to see some of their stars and some of their heroes in a sense.”
When the Bulls won championships, everyone in the city of Chicago celebrated in the streets, and crime and murders weren’t high. Jordan and his teammates brought the people together and helped shine a light on the good things about the Windy City.
The United Center replaced Chicago Stadium as the Bulls’ home in 1994. Once Jordan came back to the NBA in 1995, he guided Chicago to three more championships, and two of them were won at the United Center.
The Bulls won the 1996 and 1997 titles at the United Center
The Bulls won the 1996 and 1997 titles at the United Center, the largest arena in North America. They defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in ’96 and the Utah Jazz in ’97.
The Jordan statue, which was built in 1994, used to be outside the United Center. It was moved inside the UC in 2017 and is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Jordan not only has his number retired by the Bulls, but the Miami Heat also retired No. 23 to honor his contributions to the NBA. That’s why LeBron James was forced to wear No. 6 during his four-year run on the Heat.
In 930 games with the Bulls, Jordan averaged 31.5 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 5.4 assists. He won the 1984-85 Rookie of the Year Award, the 1987-88 Defensive Player of the Year Award, 10 scoring titles, five MVPs, six championships, and six Finals MVPs.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.