57 Years Ago Today, The Chicago Bulls Franchise Was Born

Photo Credit: JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Image

57 Years Ago Today, The Chicago Bulls Franchise Was Born


On January 16, 1966, 57 years ago today, Chicago was granted an NBA franchise to be called the Bulls.

The Chicago Bulls were actually the third NBA franchise in the city, after the Chicago Stags and Chicago Zephyrs, who existed from 1946-1950 and 1961-1963, respectively.

Interestingly enough, the original Zephyrs franchise actually are now the Washington Wizards. The founder of the Bulls, Dick Klein, has been the only owner of the Bulls to play professional basketball. He served as both the president of the team and general manager for the team’s first few years of existence.

The Bulls however initially struggled in its early years, failing to make the playoffs in its first eight seasons.

In their first season, the Bulls played at the International Amphitheatre before moving to the historic Chicago Stadium. Without any success however, fan interest was starting to diminish after three, four seasons with some home games drawing less than 1,000 people.

All of that majorly changed with the drafting of Michael Jordan in 1984, which proved to be a turning point for the franchise.

Jordan, widely considered one of the greatest players of all time, led the Bulls to six NBA championships in the 1990s, as well as five MVP awards. The team’s success during this period, which also included notable players such as Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, helped popularize the NBA and made the Bulls one of the most recognizable sports franchises in the world.

After Jordan retired, the Bulls struggled to find similar success and failed to win another championship and wasn’t really successful, until the drafting of Derrick Rose in 2008. Rose, who won the MVP award in 2011, led the team to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011, but his career was ultimately hampered by injuries.

The team has since undergone a rebuilding period, with the drafting of players such as Jimmy Butler and Zach LaVine. The team also hired a new head coach and front office management in the hope of returning to championship contention.

Overall, the Chicago Bulls franchise has a rich history, with numerous Hall of Fame players and multiple championships. The team has had its ups and downs, but the legacy of Michael Jordan and the success of the 1990s teams will always be remembered as one of the most dominant dynasties in the NBA history.

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