COLUMN" 'Last Dance' filled a void

OFF THE MARK COLUMN
By: 
Mark Spensley
Express Co-Publisher

     Let me be the first to admit this, I am surviving the spring with no live sports. I have kept myself busy with yard work, mowing and sitting on our deck doing absolutely nothing.

     These past five weeks though I have been getting my sports fix with the Michael Jordan documentary. I believe the documentary has afforded me three columns as well. This last Sunday concluded “The Last Dance.” I am giving the whole series a 10.

     During the Bulls’ stretch of championships, I have to honestly admit to taking that all for granted. After watching this series, I now appreciate how difficult it was for the Bulls to maintain that level of success for a such a long period of time.

     After each set of episodes, I’ve done a bit of googling of different items I was curious about. This past week’s episode had me curious about Scottie Pippen’s post-Bulls career and how the Bulls have been since their last championship, the latter because I was so mad at Jerry Krause for dismantling my favorite team that I quit following the NBA/Bulls ever since.

     What I learned about Pippen’s career was he was traded to the Houston Rockets in 1999 and moved on to Portland for the next four seasons. What I found surprising was he went back to the Bulls in 2003, playing his last season and just 23 games.

     After the dismantling of the Bulls in 1998, they hired former ISU coach Tim Floyd and they were horrible. Floyd’s first team went 13-37, a shortened season due to the NBA lockout that year. The following year he was 17-65, an almost identical flip from the Bulls 65-20 championship season in 1998. The Bulls did not get back to the playoffs until the 2004 season.

     The 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 Bulls teams were good under Coach Tom Thibodeau. That team was led by phenom Derrick Rose. Unfortunately Rose never quite became the player he could have been due to injuries.

     After Thibodeau was sent packing the Bulls once again looked to Iowa State for their next head coach, Fred Hoiberg. Hoiberg did not have much success at the NBA level either.

     Since Phil Jackson last coached the Bulls, 10 different men have led the team. None of them have been as successful as Jackson. None of them had a Michael Jordan on their team either.

 

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