The journey into Bulls history this week highlights some memorable games and interesting events of the 1980s and 1990s. I began looking desperately for a game in which either Michael Jordan or Scottie Pippen played injured during the 2nd week of November but because I found none, you will have to settle for a week of buzzer beaters, fines, film premiers, and new uniforms.
November 13, 1984: Rookie Michael Jordan scores 45 (the first 40 point game of his NBA career) in a 120-117 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Chicago Stadium. The full game is below and you should watch, if only to check out John Paxson’s (who played for the Spurs) mustache.
November 14, 1986: The Bulls lost to the Celtics 110-98 in Chicago Stadium in a Jordan/Bird duel in which Jordan scored 48 points and Bird 37.
November 14, 1989: So many memorable Bulls games in the 80’s and 90’s ended with a Michael Jordan buzzer beater but here is one from Scottie Pippen to defeat the Sacramento Kings 96-94.
November 11, 1992: The Bulls defeated the Detroit Pistons 98-96 in Chicago Stadium on a Jordan 3 pointer in overtime.
November 10, 1993: In what began a string of 3 games decided by 1 point, Toni Kukoc, in his 4th NBA game, beat the Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center with a 3 pointer in the final seconds.
Besides spectacular finishes, the 2nd week of November also saw the following…
November 16, 1994: The NBA hit Phil Jackson with a $10,000 fine, the largest on a coach in a decade, for his remarks directed at referee Hue Hollins. On November 12, 1994 Jamal Mashburn scored 50 points in Dallas’ 124-120 victory over Chicago in overtime. According to the Chicago Tribune Jackson’s comments, which included calling Hollins “brutish” and “irresponsible,” accused the referee of carrying an anti-Bulls bias into the game which resulted in bad foul calls against Scottie Pippen. The comments were part of the hostility that still existed following Hollins’ controversial foul call on Scottie Pippen at the end of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against New York the previous year.
November 13, 1995: The trial for the men that murdered Michael Jordan’s father in 1993 got underway in North Carolina.
November 14, 1995: The Bulls debuted their new black road uniforms with red pinstripes in a 94-88 loss to the Orlando Magic, one of only 10 times they would lose during the 1995-96 season. Perhaps the loss contributed, but the players did not have great things to say about the newest addition to the wardrobe. Some of their comments can be read here in the Chicago Tribune.
November 15, 1996: Michael Jordan’s Space Jam premiered in theaters. It made $27.5 million opening weekend to which I contributed at least $30.
November 11, 1997: The Bulls played their first game, a 101-80 loss in Cleveland, with Violet Palmer, the NBA’s first female referee, officiating. Phil Jackson said she made a lot of mistakes, Michael Jordan gave the best speech on gender equality, and Dennis Rodman simply responded with “she’s the man.”
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