Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson and the Bulls first Championship
Before the Chicago Bulls became one of the greatest teams of all time there were hurdles to over come.
The Bulls had lessons to learn in order to become a team and develop the heart of a champion.
Assembling a championship team is no easy task. You need the right collection players as well as the right coach.
Episode three and four of the last dance take you through that journey.
The Dennis Rodman effect
Episode three recounts just how important Dennis Rodman was to the Bulls.
Rodman’s contribution to the Bulls cannot be understated.
His toughness, rebounding and defence were paramount to Chicagos success.
While Rodman was integral to the Bulls, the Bulls were just as important to Rodman.
Characterized as eccentric, wild, and a bad boy, Rodman’s time in the NBA was turbulent.
Starting his career in Detroit, Rodman was a member of the ‘bad boy’ Pistons, until some trouble with the law ended his time there.
In 1995 the Bulls traded for Rodman after Jerry Krause’s assistant convinced him that the Bulls needed Rodman’s rebounding and defence.
Krause agreed, betting on the leadership of Jordan and Pippen to keep Rodman in check.
Episode three shows that while the Bulls needed Rodman, the team embraced him for who he really was.
Rodman’s antics and differences caused him trouble with other teams but with the Bulls they were accepted.
He came to work, did his job and his special relationship with coach Phil Jackson made for a perfect fit with the Bulls dynasty.
Episode three and four of ‘the last dance‘ shows the build up to how Jackson became the Bulls head coach.
Winning two championships with the New York Knicks as a player in 1970 and 1973 Jackson knew what winning took.
Jackson worked his way up through the coaching ranks after his playing career ultimately becoming the Bulls head coach in 1989.
Replacing Doug Collins as the Bulls head coach in 1989 Jackson had big shoes to fill.
Collins had taken the Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals the previous season but his inability to expand the team beyond Michael Jordan was his downfall.
Jackson’s ability to marry a team game with the Bulls star players lead the Bulls to success.
Jackson and the legendary Tex Winter developed a special bond while Jackson was an assistant under Collins.
Jackson and Winter came together to develop and implement the Triangle offence.
Krause saw this developing and realized the Bulls needed the team game the triangle would provide in order to be successful.
The 1991 Championship
The ultimate culmination of the Bulls dynasty forming was their ability to finally win in 1991.
Episode three and four shows just what the Bulls had to overcome in order to win in 1991.
The Bulls long time struggle to beat the ‘bad boy’ Pistons finally came to an end in 91.
Jacksons insertion as coach and the development of Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen played a key role in the Bulls winning.
Combined with the toughness developed after multiple playoff exits at the hands of the Pistons the Bulls finally succeeded.
Before the Bulls became the Bulls certain pieces had to fall into place and the team had to develop.
Episode three and four shows just what that journey was and how important Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson were to the Bulls success.