Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls had a historic run throughout the 90’s that resulted in the team winning 6 NBA championships in eight years.
However, there are a few people who believe the Bulls faced inferior competition as the lack of difficulty wasn’t on par as to competition of today.
Bills Simmons is one of those people.
“By the time we go to the mid-90s, they had added four expansion teams over the course of that decade. They were up to 29 teams and, honestly, I think that was one of the reasons Jordan came back. And if you read the Jordan books, he started looking at the league, how diluted it was, thinking to himself ‘wow, I could come back and steal a couple more titles.’ He told BJ Armstrong this. So I think it was an easier run, no question, the second time.”
Simmons used the Utah Jazz as an example because after years of falling short of expectations, they suddenly made the NBA the Finals in back-to-back years in ’97 and ’98. Simmons believes this was the result of the path being much easier than it had been in years’ past.
From 1981 to now, seven additional new NBA franchises had formed, beginning with the Charlotte Hornets and Miami Heat in 1988, and the Minnesota Timberwolves and Orlando Magic the following year. The NBA expanded into Canada in 1995, bringing the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver Grizzlies (now Memphis Grizzlies) into the league.