Breaking Down The ’95-96 Bulls vs. ’15-16 Warriors Debate


The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls against the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors has become a hotter debate than if “The Dress” was blue and black or gold and white. Here’s a look at the debate that’s taken over the NBA scene.

Disclaimer: This debate is highly irrelevant and doesn’t matter because it’s a hypothetical situation that will never come to fruition, but for the sake of good fun, let’s break it down.

There’s no debate about it: the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls were the greatest team in NBA history. Led by NBA MVP Michael Jordan, the Bulls became the first team to win 70 or more games in an 82-game season and won the franchise’s fourth championship in a six-year span.

ALSO AT PIPPEN AIN’T EASY: Rumor: Joakim Noah in a package deal to the Dallas Mavericks?

In today’s day and age of the NBA, the new gold standard of the league happens to be one of the teams that resides in the Golden State of California. Reigning league MVP Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors have been an unstoppable machine in the first 15 games of the current season. Not only did Curry and the Warriors win 67 games and the NBA title last season, they have tied the best start to a season with a 15-0 run this season.

Here’s a little catch: the ’95-96 Bulls started their historic season at 13-2. The Warriors are 15-0 and haven’t shown any signs of slowing down this year.

More from Bulls News

The Warriors are the new era’s version of the once-dominant Bulls. They virtually have no weaknesses, along with a “small ball” lineup that strikes fear into every team in the NBA.

Oh, and Stephen Curry is averaging 32.7 points per game this season on 51.4 shooting through 15 games. (Michael Jordan did that for three straight seasons from 1987-1990, but it doesn’t take away from Curry’s historic start.)

The key with this discussion is to realize that both teams have completely different identities. The ’95-96 Bulls were a well-oiled machine on offense as well, but what made the Bulls that much better than everyone else was their ability to take over games with defense, specifically the times where they would utilize full-court pressure.

Sure, that may sound like the Warriors — being that they’re the best offensive and defensive team in the league — but this is a different era. The three-point shot has become the key component in this era and no team shoots it better that Golden State does. It helps when you have potentially the greatest shooter in the NBA history as your lead guard, but the Warriors have so much versatility in their roster. It’s basically not fair.

There’s so many factors that would go into a hypothetical meeting between these two outstanding teams:

  • What era’s rules would the game(s) be played under? (Legal hand-checking on defense, no “halo” under the rim, etc.)
  • Where would the game take place? Would it be at United Center, Oracle Arena, or a neutral building? (It would definitely make a difference. The Warriors have lost twice at home since the start of last season.)
  • Steve Kerr would be coaching the Warriors, so that would factor into the ’95-96 Bulls rotation. (But for the sake of fun, his younger self plays, too.)
  • Would Luc Longley win MVP of a potential series between the two teams? The answer is, “Of course.”

Personally, I know some are like me: this discussion is rather silly and provides no sense of clarity or a true answer to the question of who would win. As much as I’ve tried to avoid the topic, it’s basically unavoidable at this point.

Of course, there’s been plenty of opinions on the matters.

  • Ron Harper said the ’95-96 Bulls would sweep the new-age Warriors (which is a completely biased opinion for obvious reasons). I don’t agree with Harper, but everyone’s had an opinion of this and here’s his thoughts.
  • Dennis Rodman could care less about the Warriors possibly breaking the 72-10 mark set by him and the ’95-96 Bulls because “we did it first“.
  • Zach Harper of CBS Sports simulated a game between the ’95-96 Bulls and the ’15-16 Warriors on NBA 2K16. Michael Jordan scored 51 points … and the Bulls lost by 26 points at United Center.
    • Harper also broke down a Bulls-Warriors showdown for SportsLine using matchups and statistics between the two teams. According to his simulations, the Bulls won 52.4 percent of the time.
  • ESPN’s Ethan Strauss spoke with Steve Kerr about the thought of the ’95-96 Bulls meeting up with his Warriors and the two had a hilarious conversation about the debate.

Final thoughts:

It’s a fairly frustrating topic. There’s no doubting how great the ’95-96 Bulls were in their day. I mean, they were 42-5 at the 1996 All-Star Weekend in San Antonio and had three(!) win streaks of 13+ games in the first half alone during that season.

But, what these current Warriors are doing is pretty historic in their own right as well. The disrespect shown towards the Warriors at times is almost laughable. Including last year’s postseason, the Golden State Warriors are 98-20 to their current point of this season.


“Lucky” wouldn’t be a word to describe them.

In a seven-game series, would the Bulls win? With Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Toni Kukoc and Dennis Rodman on the same roster, it would be tough for the Warriors to overcome. That part’s clear.

Next: Bulls-Warriors Film Room: Good, But Not Good Enough Against The Champs

But, it certainly wouldn’t be a sweep like Ron Harper’s personal projection had it. This Warriors team is the real deal and has a legitimate shot to join the ’95-96 Bulls and reach the 70-win plateau this season.