This week we look back at the last week of November for the Chicago Bulls, a week that traditionally sees the Bulls on the road for their annual “Circus Trip.” This week features injuries, plenty of great games, and some unhappy players.
November 24, 1973: Some reports called it a 30-foot jumper while others shortened it to 22-feet, but Bob Love’s shot with 1 second left in double overtime beat the Pistons 114-112 in a nationally televised game that the Chicago Tribune described as “one of the wildest National Basketball Association games ever staged.” Fans witnessed 24 lead changes, 11 ties, the Bulls Chet Walker’s game-tying foul shots with 2 seconds left in regulation, Bob Lanier’s 32 points and 21 rebounds, and Bob Love’s game-winning basket.
November 26, 1974: Bob Love ended his 2-month standoff with Bulls ownership after they refused to renegotiate his contract. Love rejoined the team against the Milwaukee Bucks on November 30th and scored 16 points in the 101-99 loss.
While we are on player contract controversy,
The week of November 24-30, 1997 was marred by Scottie Pippen’s trade demand during the team’s road trip. Some speculated the injured Pippen was only on the trip to scout potential suitors, and what followed was a week of headlines like the ones below…
“Does Pippen Want Out?” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 25, 1997
“Bulls Are Not Shocked by Pippen’s Trade Demand” Orlando Sentinel, November 25, 1997
“Pippen: My Trade Demand is ‘Very Serious'” Chicago Tribune, November 25, 1997
“No Kidding, Pippen Wants to Be Traded” Los Angeles Times, November 26, 1997
November 28, 1984: There was nothing extraordinary about a 109-103 loss to the Golden State Warriors except for the fact that Warrior fans were not so much happy that their team won, as angry that Bulls coach Kevin Loughery benched Michael Jordan along with the rest of the starters after poor play in the 3rd period. Fans and media alike were not pleased. According to the Chicago Tribune, one fan shouted “I didn’t pay all this money to see Michael Jordan sit,” while a local writer implied that the Bulls had ripped off fans who had fallen for the “lure of Jordan.”
November 28, 1986: Michael Jordan scored 41 points in a 110-103 loss to the Lakers. It was 1 of only 4 games that Michael Jordan attempted 40 plus shots in his career.
November 26, 1988: Michael Jordan lit up the Denver Nuggets for 52 points, which unfortunately did not prevent a 128-123 loss. Jordan’s final stat line was 52 points, 19/27 from the field, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, and 1 steal.
November 29, 1991: Remember when the Bulls could win in Portland? Here Jordan scored 40 points in a 116-114 double overtime victory on the undefeated “Circus Trip” in 1991.
November 30, 1993: Scottie Pippen (a.k.a “Chief Sitting Bull,” according to the Chicago Tribune) returned from ankle problems that caused him to miss 10 of the first 12 games of the season. He returned against the Phoenix Suns with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 6 assists in the 132-113 win.
November 30, 1995: Michael Jordan scored 19 points in the final 6 minutes of this game to steal a victory from the Vancouver Grizzlies.
November 24, 1996: Luc Longley separated his shoulder body surfing in the Pacific Ocean on a off day during the Bulls’ road trip. He was projected to be out 8-weeks and when asked what Phil Jackson thought responded with, “his first five or six words were pretty ugly.”
November 30, 1996: Michael Jordan scored 35 points t0 hit the 25,000 point scoring mark of his career. The milestone occurred on the last shot of a 97-88 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.
November 24, 2004: The Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 101-99 ending the 37-game losing streak on the annual “Circus Trip” going back to 1999.
November 25, 2005: Bulls beat Spurs 106-99, which ended a 7 year drought against San Antonio going back to March 14, 1998.
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