Throwback Thursday: Michael Jordan to Derrick Rose

October has arrived, leaving one thing on my mind: the Chicago Bulls! As a HUGE Bulls fan (see my bio), this is my favorite time of year. Before I get worked up and start ranting about what I’m most excited about this season, let’s take a look at how far the team has come; after all, it is Throwback Thursday.

The 1990s was not only a great time for cool trends, films and TV shows such as denim overalls (with one strap down), backwards snapbacks, neon windbreakers, slap bracelets, Air Jordans, Wayne’s World, Hocus Pocus, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Boy Meets World, All That and Friends, but this was also a decade of great basketball.

Founded in 1966, the Chicago Bulls stand as one of the greatest teams in the history of basketball. The Bulls dynasty began in the ‘90s when the team won six NBA championship titles. Led by Michael Jordan (MJ), Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson, the team had its first three-peat, in 1992-93. No team had done that since the ’60s Celtics.

Our Space Michael JordanIn 1993, Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time, shocked the basketball community when he announced his retirement a few months after his father, James Jordan, a lifelong baseball fan, was murdered. At the age of 30, MJ tried playing professional baseball, but in 1995, more than a year after “retiring” from basketball, Jordan announced his return to the NBA through a two-word press release: “I’m back.” The team won three more titles (1996, 1997 and 1998), resulting in the Bulls’ second three-peat of the decade. That’s six NBA championship trophies! Boy, am I glad MJ came back, but that wasn’t for good. Jordan retired for a second time in 1999. He returned to the NBA again in 2001-2003 (in a Wizard uniform), finishing his career with 32,292 points–the third-highest total in league history– and a career average of 30.12 points per game– the best in NBA history.

Our Space Derrick RoseTen years later, the Bulls won the NBA Draft Lottery, reigniting the dynasty.  The 2008 NBA Draft led the Bulls to point guard Derrick Rose, the team’s first pick. Rose (like Jordan) has made quite an impact on the team. The 24-year-old, Chicago native star has many fans (me being #1).

During the 2011-12 season playoffs, Rose tore his ACL–once again shocking the Chicago basketball community. Fans were left anxiously awaiting #TheReturn. After a year, Rose’s doctor finally cleared him to play, yet #TheReturn didn’t happen last season. One fan’s extreme emotions led him to even sue Rose (wait, could I have done that?). It didn’t matter who supported his decision (including Coach Tom Thibodeau) or didn’t, Rose didn’t have the clear mindset to come back then. He just wasn’t ready. Reporters and fans alike expressed their opinions on his decision. That sounds familiar–wasn’t Jordan’s decision a popular topic when he decided to “retire” more than once?

Jordan and Rose are very much alike. For one, Jordan and Rose have both won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. In Rose’s third season, he became the youngest player in NBA history to earn MVP honors. Perhaps most evident, both players have dedicated themselves to basketball.

“I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win.” – Michael Jordan

Just like Jordan, Rose has similar thoughts about the game: winning.  After practice yesterday, Rose expressed how he plans to show no mercy to whoever comes his way, not even his beloved mother. Earlier this week, Jordan confidently stated that he could beat LeBron James when MJ was in his prime (I back that up for sure, 100%). As for Rose vs. Jordan, I don’t want to think of how that fantasy match-up would play out; they’re both too good.

So Chicago fans, sport your throwback jerseys and snapbacks, basketball season is near and #TheReturn is finally happening! Go Bulls!

Cover Photo Source: Chad Horwedel via Flickr
Photo Source 1: Diegoestefano97 via Wikimedia Commons
Photo Source 2: Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Nicole Hernandez is the social media manager at SJG. She’s a Chicagoan who graduated from DePaul University with a B.A. in Public Relations & Advertising and minor in Journalism. Nicole is known to her peers as being online all the time –  while on her spare time you can find her taking footage on her phone while she’s rocking out at music festivals. She’s also training to be the new water girl at Chicago Bulls games (in her dreams).