Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chicago Bulls, By Sharon Powell, 2010

The Bulls first season began in 1966 under the direction of three time nationals all-star, Johnny “Red” Kerr. Before signing with the bulls, “Reds” professional career came when playing with the Syracuse Nationals and Philadelphia 76e’s. Kerr led the Bulls to a 33-48 record, which was considered the best for an NBA’s first year team. Kerr spent several years as a television commentator prior to his coaching career with the bulls in 1966. Throughout his high school career, Kerr played the game with a passion fulfilling the position of center. His 6’ 9” stature and weight made him an excellent player for the team. He was impressive, both on and off the floor, and well educated in the game of basketball.

Attending the University of Illinois, Kerr played on the varsity team for three years before leading them onto the big ten championship in 1952; and later advancing to the NCAA final four. Kerr remained with the Bulls staff fulfilling various positions until retiring as commentator in 2008.

Like most NBA teams, the Bulls have had their share of difficulties. Proving their worth during the first year of play, the team moved from “McCormick Place Amphitheatre” to the “Chicago Stadium.” Although spectators were not enough to fill the stadium, the Bulls shared the site with the National Hockey League’s, “Chicago Blackhawks” who played a major role in the team’s future survival.

The General Manager and coaching staff believed in the Bulls ability to weather any storm and continued supporting their efforts despite the current trend. Hopes were to make the Chicago team a smashing success for basketball enthusiasts. By the end of 1970, the “Bulls” were showing significant signs of improvement and finished the season 39-43, competing in a Standoff position for 3rd place in the Eastern conference. Bull’s followers began to take notice, and had surpassed fan expectations and completed the season with 10,000 or more attendee’s.

The Bulls continued to struggle throughout the better part of eighteen years. Surviving through NBA draft picks and coaching staff alterations was not an easy task for the team. The Bulls transition finally came with the 1984-85 seasons when “Michael “Air” Jordan” arrived at training camp. Jordan signed with the Bulls during the summer of 1984 after playing three seasons with the University of North Carolina. The Bulls understood “Jordan” to be the glimmer of hope they had searched years to find. Dominating the scene during the 90’s, “Jordan’s” talent paved the way to several NBA championships.

Another significant move for the Bulls came during the 1987-88 seasons. NBA all-star “Scottie Pippen" joined the league. Combining the skills of “Air Jordan” and “Pippen” proved successful for Chicago. The combined strengths positioned the Bulls where they had hoped to be in the NBA conference. Over the next few years, the dynamic duet made significant improvements into the team’s game. It was not until the 1992-93 seasons that the “Bulls” were considered pro-basketballs greatest team by winning the NBA championships for three consecutive years. Another two years passed before the “Bulls” ruled once again, winning the NBA Championship in 1996, 97 and 98. During the 1992 season the dynamic duet were chosen to compete in the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, bringing home two gold medals for America.

Today the “Bulls” accredited status for being the only team to win at least 70 games in a single season proves the competitive strengths involved with the organization draw a following, igniting pro basketball fans from around the world.
The thunderous roar of the crowd sets the stage for some of NBA’s finest basketball performances. The Bulls starting line-up introductions are also unique and are a traditional format says announcer “Ray Clay” who incorporates the strength of music into the team’s spotlight introductions.

Pictured from left to right, are “Centers, “Brad Miller,” followed by “Forward, Taj Gibson,” and “Center, “Joakim Noah.” Miller spent his college basketball career attending Purdue University, before turning pro in 1998. Miller stands 7’0 and averages 6.5 points per game with 5.4 rebounds. He also holds a two times NBA All-Star record for 2003-2004. “Taj Gibson” attended the University of Southern California before turning pro. Standing 6’ 9” and averaging 7.6 points per game and 7.0 rebounds, Gibson is a credit to the Bulls game. Featured far right is “Joakim Noah.” Noah understands the game of basketball and loves to play street ball, and has played plenty of it while growing up in inner city New York. “Noah” is a graduate of the University of Florida, and compliments the Bulls with a 6’11 stature, while averaging 14.8 points per game and 13.0 rebounds. For additional game highlights go to….S. Powell, 2010


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