Scottie Pippen Destroyed the 73-9 Warriors for Thinking They’re the Best Team in NBA History Over the 72-10 Bulls: ‘You Can’t Win 73 Games and Lose, You Can’t Be Considered the Greatest Team, You Didn’t Win a Championship’
The 2015-16 Golden State Warriors finished the regular season with a record of 73-9, breaking the Chicago Bulls‘ 1995-96 mark of 72-10. However, Stephen Curry and Co. blew a 3-1 series lead in the 2016 Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers and lost in seven games. Meanwhile, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen led the Bulls to the 1996 championship over the Seattle SuperSonics.
Pippen, who has been speaking his mind as of late, destroyed the 73-9 Warriors for thinking they’re the best team in NBA history over the 72-10 Bulls. Even though Golden State won more regular-season games than Chicago, it didn’t finish the playoffs on top.
Scottie Pippen: 1995-96 Bulls are best team in NBA history
During an interview with Tyler Tynes of GQ, Pippen took some shots at the 73-9 Warriors. The six-time champion said they aren’t in the conversation for the greatest team of all time since they didn’t win the championship as his Bulls did in 1995-96.
“The Warriors didn’t win a championship,” Pippen said. “They lose the argument. The argument is the greatest team in the regular season. It was the Chicago Bulls. Now, that’s a challenge for them now because they’re still playing, but you can’t win 73 games and lose. You can’t be considered the greatest team. You didn’t win a championship. The team before you did. They’re better than that team because they won a championship, but the team that won 73 games for them, that wasn’t the greatest team. Something happened.”
Behind Jordan and Pippen, the Bulls defeated the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, and SuperSonics to capture the 1996 championship. Pippen averaged 19.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.9 assists for the Bulls in the 1996-96 regular season and 16.9 points, 8.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists in the 1996 postseason.
Curry won his second straight MVP in 2015-16 and helped the Warriors reach the Finals by getting past the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2016 Western Conference playoffs. However, unlike Pippen and the Bulls, the Warriors choked on the NBA’s biggest stage.
Warriors made bad NBA history
The Warriors took a 3-1 series lead over LeBron James and the Cavs in the 2016 Finals and appeared well on their way to completing the best season in NBA history. However, LeBron and Kyrie Irving wouldn’t go down without a fight.
During Game 5 at Oracle Arena, both LeBron and Irving went off for 41 points. The Cavs won 112-97, and the series shifted back to Cleveland for Game 6. LeBron dropped 41 points again in a blowout win for the Cavs, and suddenly, the series was tied at 3-3.
During the Jordan-Pippen era, the Bulls never played in a Game 7 in the Finals. To avoid an epic collapse, the Warriors would have to win Game 7 on their home floor. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The Cavs won by a final score of 93-89 and made history by becoming the first team in NBA history to erase a 3-1 series deficit in the Finals.
Thanks to LeBron and Irving, the 1995-96 Bulls’ legacy remains intact since the 2015-16 Warriors didn’t win a championship. Even though Golden State won one more regular-season game than Chicago, Jordan and Pippen finished the mission while the Dubs came crashing down.
Scottie Pippen and Bulls had “don’t mean a thing without the ring” motto
Pippen and the Bulls had a “don’t mean a thing without the ring” motto throughout the 1995-96 season. The team didn’t care about the 72 wins. They wanted to win their fourth championship since that was the main goal, and Jordan made sure to remind Warriors majority governor Joe Lacob that the 73-9 Dubs didn’t accomplish what his 1995-96 Bulls team did.
During the 2016-17 season, Lacob and Jordan met in New York for dinner, where other majority governors were as well. According to Lacob, Jordan mentioned that the Warriors’ 73 wins didn’t mean anything since they didn’t win the Larry O’Brien trophy.
“Michael Jordan, people are drinking and having a good time and all that, but there was a moment where he said, ’73 don’t mean sh*t.’ He did it. Michael Jordan did that,” Lacob said in 2017. “And I looked right at him, and I just decided not to make a big deal of it. I said, ‘You’re right, we didn’t win it. We had to get better.'”
The Warriors did get better after losing to the Cavs. They signed Kevin Durant and won back-to-back championships in 2017 and 2018.
However, Jordan and Pippen’s Bulls will always have the edge over the Dubs since they didn’t choke in the Finals.