1987–88 Chicago Bulls season

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1987–88 Chicago Bulls season
Scottie Pippen's Rookie Season
Head coach Doug Collins
Owner(s) Jerry Reinsdorf
Arena Chicago Stadium
Record 50–32 (.610)
Place Division: 2nd (Central)
Conference: 3rd (Eastern)
Playoff finish East Conference Semifinals
(Eliminated 1-4)

Stats @ Basketball-Reference.com
Local media
Television Sportsvision, WFLD
Radio WMAQ
< 1986–87 1988–89 >

The 1987–88 Chicago Bulls season was the 22nd season of the franchise in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

NBA Draft[edit]

Main article: 1987 NBA Draft

Note: This is not an extensive list; it only covers the first round, and notable post-first round picks.

Round Pick Player Position Nationality School/Club Team
1 8 Olden Polynice C  Haiti Virginia
1 10 Horace Grant F  United States Clemson
2 28 Rickie Winslow F  United States Houston
4 79 Jack Haley C  United States UCLA


Chicago Bulls roster
Players Coaches
Pos. No. Name Height Weight DOB (YYYY–MM–DD) From
C 17 United States Brown, Mike 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 257 lb (117 kg) George Washington
C 40 United States Corzine, Dave 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 250 lb (113 kg) DePaul
PF 54 United States Grant, Horace 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 245 lb (111 kg) Clemson
SG 23 United States Jordan, Michael 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 215 lb (98 kg) North Carolina
PF 34 United States Oakley, Charles 6 ft 8 in (2.03 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Virginia Union
PG 5 United States Paxson, John 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Notre Dame
SF 33 United States Pippen, Scottie 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Central Arkansas
SF 6 United States Sellers, Brad 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Ohio State
PG 2 United States Sparrow, Rory 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 175 lb (79 kg) Villanova
SF 21 United States Turner, Elston 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Mississippi
PG 11 United States Vincent, Sam 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Michigan State
C 31 United States Waiters, Granville 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Ohio State
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Regular season[edit]

Jordan was indisputably great, and Oakley, who led the league in total rebounds (1,066), was outstanding. Still, the Bulls lacked a quality supporting cast. They took a major step toward alleviating that problem at the 1987 NBA Draft, when Vice President of Basketball Operations Jerry Krause acquired two players who would be vital cogs in Chicago's future championship machine. With two picks in the top 10, Krause selected Olden Polynice at No. 8 and Horace Grant at No. 10. He then traded Polynice and draft considerations to the Seattle SuperSonics for Scottie Pippen, whom the Sonics had grabbed with the fifth pick.

With Grant and Pippen on board the Bulls began to show their stuff in 1987-88, forging a 50-32 record, their best mark since 1973-74. Chicago finished in a second-place tie with Atlanta in a competitive Central Division won by the surging Detroit Pistons. The Bulls made some noise in the playoffs, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in a five-game first-round series, but then fell to Detroit in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

Oakley and the Los Angeles Clippers' Michael Cage engaged in a nip-and-tuck battle for the league's rebounding title, which came down to the last day of the regular season. On April 22 against Cleveland, Oakley put the pressure on Cage by pulling down 35 rebounds, the second-highest total in Bulls history behind Tom Boerwinkle's 37 in 1970. Two days later, however, Cage grabbed 30 boards in a game against Seattle, just enough to edge Oakley by the slimmest of margins, 13.03 per game to 13.00. Cage played in 10 fewer games than Oakley, however, so Oakley led the NBA in total rebounds for the second consecutive year, with 1,066.

Jordan led the league in scoring (35.0 ppg) and steals (3.16 per game). He won almost every major award, including Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, All-NBA First Team Honors and NBA All-Defensive First Team Honors. However, the finals and most important prizes eluded him until the 1990-1991 season.

Season standings[edit]

Game log[edit]


East First Round[edit]

(3) Chicago Bulls vs. (6) Cleveland Cavaliers: Bulls win series 3-2

  • Game 1 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (April 28): Chicago 104, Cleveland 93
  • Game 2 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 1): Chicago 106, Cleveland 101
  • Game 3 @ The Coliseum, Richfield (May 3): Cleveland 110, Chicago 102
  • Game 4 @ The Coliseum, Richfield (May 5): Cleveland 97, Chicago 91
  • Game 5 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 8): Chicago 107, Cleveland 101

Last Playoff Meeting: Not available (first playoff series)

East Conference Semifinals[edit]

(2) Detroit Pistons vs. (3) Chicago Bulls: Pistons win series 4-1

Last Playoff Meeting: 1974 Western Conference Semifinals (Chicago won 4-3)

Player statistics[edit]



Awards and records[edit]



See also[edit]