1993–94 Chicago Bulls season
|1993–94 Chicago Bulls season|
|Michael Jordan's first retirement
Toni Kukoč's rookie season
Horace Grant's final season with the Bulls
Final season playing at the Chicago Stadium
|Head coach||Phil Jackson|
|Place||Division: 2nd (Central)
Conference: 3rd (Eastern)
|Playoff finish||East Conference Semifinals
(eliminated by Knicks 3–4)
|Television||SportsChannel Chicago, WGN|
The 1993–94 NBA season was the Bulls' 28th season in the National Basketball Association. In the offseason, the Bulls signed free agents Steve Kerr and Pete Myers, who would become the team's starting shooting guard. Despite the retirement of star guard Michael Jordan, the Bulls, who were now led by Scottie Pippen, continued to play solid basketball winning ten straight games after an 8–8 start. Midway through the season, they traded Stacey King to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Luc Longley. The Bulls posted another 10-game winning streak between March and April finishing second overall in the Central Division, and third overall in the Eastern Conference with a 55–27 record. However, they would not be able to win a fourth consecutive NBA championship. After sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in three straight games in the first round, they would lose in the second round of the 1994 NBA Playoffs to the New York Knicks in seven games.
This was also the Bulls' last season at Chicago Stadium before moving to the United Center. Following the season, Horace Grant signed as a free agent with the Orlando Magic, Bill Cartwright signed with the Seattle SuperSonics and John Paxson retired.
On October 6, 1993, Michael Jordan announced his retirement at age 30, citing a loss in his desire to play the game. Jordan later stated that the murder of his father earlier in the year shaped his decision. James R. Jordan, Sr. was murdered on July 23, 1993, at a highway rest area in Lumberton, North Carolina, found in a creek on August 3, murdered by two teenagers, Daniel Green and Larry Martin Demery. The assailants were traced from calls they made on James Jordan's cellular phone, caught, convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Jordan was close to his father; as a child he had imitated his father's proclivity to stick out his tongue while absorbed in work.
Those close to Jordan claimed that he had been considering retirement as early as the summer of 1992, and that the added exhaustion due to the Dream Team run in the 1992 Olympics solidified Jordan's burned-out feelings about the game and his ever-growing celebrity status. Jordan's announcement sent shock waves throughout the NBA and appeared on the front pages of newspapers around the world.
Jordan then further surprised the sports world by signing a minor league baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox. He reported to spring training and was assigned to the team's minor league system on March 31, 1994. Jordan has stated this decision was made to pursue the dream of his late father, who had always envisioned his son as a major league baseball player. The White Sox were another team owned by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who continued to honor Jordan's basketball contract during the years he played baseball. He had an unspectacular professional baseball career for the Birmingham Barons, a Chicago White Sox farm team, batting .202 with 3 HR, 51 RBI, 30 SB, and 11 errors. He also appeared for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the 1994 Arizona Fall League.
|1||25||Corie Blount||PF||United States||Cincinnati|
|2||41||Anthony Reed||F||United States||Tulane|
Chicago Bulls roster
Most experts did not predict the Bulls to even make the playoffs after winning their third straight championship the season before because of Jordan's departure. But the team, led by Scottie Pippen and an increased role from both Horace Grant and B. J. Armstrong were able to lead the Bulls to a 55-win season, only 2 wins less than the 1992-93 team, which had Jordan. The Bulls finished two games behind the Atlanta Hawks in the Central Division and earned the 3rd seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Pippen and Armstrong were both voted to start in this season's All-Star game, and Grant was also picked as a reserve.
Record vs. opponents
|1993-94 NBA Records|
Player starters and stats
Note: GP= Games played; REB= Rebounds; AST= Assists; STL = Steals; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points; AVG = Average
|C - Bill Cartwright||42||152||57||8||8||235||5.6|
|PF - Horace Grant||70||769||236||74||84||1057||15.1|
|SF - Scottie Pippen||72||629||403||211||58||1587||22.0|
|SG - Pete Myers||82||181||245||78||20||650||7.9|
|PG - BJ Armstrong||82||170||323||80||9||1212||14.8|
East First Round
- Game 1 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (April 29): Chicago 104, Cleveland 96
- Game 2 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 1): Chicago 105, Cleveland 96
- Game 3 @ The Coliseum, Richfield (May 3): Chicago 95, Cleveland 92 (OT)
Last Playoff Meeting: 1993 Eastern Conference Semifinals (Chicago won 4-0)
East Conference Semifinals
- Game 1 @ Madison Square Garden, New York City (May 8): New York 90, Chicago 86
- Game 2 @ Madison Square Garden, New York City (May 11): New York 96, Chicago 91
- Game 3 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 13): Chicago 104, New York 102
- Game 4 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 15): Chicago 95, New York 83
- Game 5 @ Madison Square Garden, New York City (May 18): New York 87, Chicago 86
- Game 6 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (May 20): Chicago 93, New York 79
- Game 7 @ Madison Square Garden, New York City (May 22): New York 87, Chicago 77
Last Playoff Meeting: 1993 Eastern Conference Finals (Chicago won 4-2)
Awards and records
- Scottie Pippen, NBA All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award
- Scottie Pippen, All-NBA First Team
- Scottie Pippen, NBA All-Defensive First Team
- Horace Grant, NBA All-Defensive Second Team
- Toni Kukoc, NBA All-Rookie Team 2nd Team
NBA All-Star Game
- Scottie Pippen
- B.J. Armstrong
- Horace Grant
- Berkow, Ira. "A Humbled Jordan Learns New Truths", The New York Times, April 11, 1994, accessed January 16, 2007.
- Mitchell, Alison. THE NATION; "So Many Criminals Trip Themselves Up", The New York Times, August 22, 1993, accessed March 23, 2008.
- Thompson, Ian and Ted Rodgers. Europe loses a role model; even in countries where basketball is a minor pursuit, Jordan's profile looms large - includes related article on Jordan's stature in Japan, The Sporting News, October 18, 1983, available at findarticles.com, accessed March 7, 2007.
- Michael Jordan Chronology, sportsillustrated.cnn.com, January 12, 1999, accessed March 15, 2007.
- Michael Jordan A Tribute, sportillustrated.cnn.com, accessed March 7, 2007
- Araton, Harvey. BASKETBALL; "Jordan Keeping the Basketball World in Suspense", The New York Times, accessed March 23, 2008
- Michael Jordan: The Stats, infoplease.com, accessed March 15, 2007.