1991 NBA Finals
The 1991 NBA Finals was the championship round of the 1990–91 NBA season. It was the very first NBA Finals.
The Chicago Bulls of the Eastern Conference took on the Los Angeles Lakers of the Western Convention for the title, together with Chicago having home court edge. It was Michael Jordan’s first NBA Finals appearance, Magic Johnson’s final, and also the last NBA Finals for the Lakers until 2000. The Bulls would win the series. Jordan averaged 31.2 points on 56% shooting, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.4 blocks en route to his first NBA Finals MVP Award.
The show was not the first time that Lakers and the Bulls faced off at the playoffs. Prior to 1991, they met for four postseason series (1968, 1971, 1972 and 1973), all Lakers successes. Chicago was a part of the Western Conference at the moment and moved into the East in 1981. The first time the Bulls defeated the Lakers was indicated by the 1991 Finals.
This series would indicate the Lakers Showtime era’s conclusion and the start of the Bulls’ dynasty. After winning five championships in eight finals appearances in the 1980s, the Lakers would struggle for the remaining 1990s before winning five championships involving the 2000-2002 and 2009-2010 seasons.
The 1991 Lakers were led by Johnson, who was 32 and acting in what would be his final full season, in addition to fellow All-Star teammate James Worthy; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had retired two seasons before. The Bulls, led by NBA MVP Michael Jordan and superstar small forward Scottie Pippen, would win five more championships after 1991 at a seven-year span, cementing their status as a dynasty.
As it was all said and done, Michael Jordan became only the third man in NBA history (after George Mikan and Abdul-Jabbar) to capture the scoring title and the NBA Finals Championship in the exact same season.
Until 2015, the Bulls were the last group to win an NBA championship despite having a complete roster lacking in championship or championship experience. Not one of the Bulls players had logged even a moment of NBA Finals encounter prior to this.
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