With so much success in the 1990’s for MJ and the Chicago Bulls, it’s hard to leave all the rivalries he formed off the list. There’s also a couple others that are worth giving a mention to on a list like this.
Larry Bird, Boston Celtics
The 1980’s were the time when the Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers were duking it out to figure out who was the NBA’s top team. Magic Johnson led the Lakers, and Bird spearheaded the Celtics. But the Bulls were just on the rise at the time with MJ on a path to become the greatest player of all-time.
Clyde Drexler, Portland Trail Blazers
When the Bulls were the representative from the East in most of the NBA Finals that occurred in the 1990’s, a common opponent of theirs was the Portland Trail Blazers. MJ constantly battled fellow Hall-of-Famer Clyde Drexler to win two of those titles.
John Stockton/Karl Malone, Utah Jazz
The late 1990’s saw the frustrations boil over for another set of two Hall-of-Famers as point guard John Stockton, big man Karl Malone, and the Utah Jazz couldn’t top the Chicago Bulls to win it all.
Elgin Baylor/Jerry West, Los Angeles Lakers
This goes way back to the early days of the Bulls. Four of the initial six playoff runs for the Bulls in the 1960’s and 1970’s were ended by Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and the Lakers.