When one door closes, another opens. That about sums up the 1991 NBA championship.
The door closed on "Showtime" and the Los Angeles Lakers. Prior to the Lakers and Bulls meeting in the NBA finals, the Lakers had won five championships in the 1980s. While the Lakers' dominance was coming to a close, the Chicago Bulls were putting themselves in position to become one of the greatest dynasties in American professional sports.
In 1984, the Chicago Bulls drafted Michael Jordan, a 21-year-old phenom out of North Carolina. Jordan quickly developed into a dominant force in the NBA. Following his rookie season, Jordan was named to nine consecutive all-star teams. It was just a matter of time before the Bulls assembled a cast of characters who could complement Jordan.
In the two years leading up to the 1991 championship, the Bulls came close to reaching the championship game, but the Detroit Pistons, nicknamed the "Bad Boys," would stand in their way. In 1991, the Bulls finished the regular season 61-21, a new franchise record. The Bulls would go on to sweep the Pistons in the Eastern Conference Finals. The rivalry between the teams was so bitter, the Pistons walked off the court at the end of the series, refusing to participate in the traditional congratulatory handshake.
After beating the Pistons, the Bulls advanced to their first NBA finals, where they met the Los Angeles Lakers. The Lakers were led by an aging yet talented crew including Magic Johnson and James Worthy.
After a narrow loss in game one, the Bulls and finals MVP Jordan dominated the series and won the NBA championship 4-1.