The Bulls’ intentions going into the 2000-01 NBA season was to recruit a pair of the summer’s elite free agents—a group that included Tim Duncan, Grant Hill, Tracy McGrady and Eddie Jones—to be the core players in the re-building process. However, Duncan re-signed with San Antonio, Hill accommodated his wife’s desires to go to Orlando, and McGrady and Jones both opted to play near their home towns.
“It wasn't so much a rejection of Chicago,” Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf stated, “as it was other considerations that compelled these individuals to make the decisions that they made to play for the teams they chose to play with.”
Thus, the Bulls changed gears and focused on rebuilding through the draft and with youth. In the 2000 NBA Draft, the Bulls took some steps in that direction, selecting Marcus Fizer (4th overall), and acquiring Jamal Crawford (selected 8th overall by Cleveland and immediately traded to the Bulls). Other notable off-season acquisitions included the signing of free agents Ron Mercer (Aug. 2), and Brad Miller (Sept. 7).
Opening the season with the youngest roster in NBA history—an average of 22.9 years of age and seven rookies—isn’t typically a recipe for success in the league. The Bulls finished the season with the league's worst record at 15–67 in Head Coach Tim Floyd’s second full season. The team broke the franchise record for longest losing streak at the United Center with an eight-game stretch from Nov. 11 to Dec. 19 (previous record was six games), and set a new record for consecutive losses with 16 from Jan. 8 through Feb. 6 (previous record was 13 games in 1976). In addition, Chicago endured the longest road losing streak in franchise history, dropping 25 straight on the road from Dec. 21 through Apr. 10.
The Bulls’ home sellout streak ended at 610 games on Nov. 3 vs. New Jersey, marking the third longest sellout streak in NBA history. Prior to that, the last time the Bulls failed to sell out a home game was Nov. 17, 1987, vs. Washington. Other news items from the season included second-year forward Elton Brand (sophomore team) and rookie guard Khalid El-Amin (rookie team) both participating in the Schick Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend, and Marcus Fizer being named to the NBA’s All-Rookie Second Team.