Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Chicago Bulls vs. Los Angeles Lakers

Sun Dec 19 2021 At 2:30 PM

United Center

1901 West Madison Street
Chicago, Illinois 60612

United Center
Chicago, IL, 60612

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CHICAGO BULLS

The Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a memberThe Chicago Bulls are an American professional basketball team based in Chicago. The Bulls compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference Central Division. The team was founded on January 16, 1966, and played its first game during the 1966–67 NBA season. The Bulls play their home games at the United Center, an arena on Chicago's West Side shared with the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks. The Bulls saw their greatest success during the 1990s when they played a major part in popularizing the NBA worldwide. They are known for having one of the NBA's greatest dynasties, winning six NBA championships between 1991 and 1998 with two three-peats. All six of their championship teams were led by Hall of Famers Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and coach Phil Jackson. The Bulls are the only NBA franchise to win multiple championships while never losing an NBA Finals series in their history.The Bulls won 72 games during the 1995–96 season, setting an NBA record that stood until the Golden State Warriors won 73 games during the 2015–16 season. The Bulls were the first team in NBA history to win 70 games or more in a single season, and the only NBA franchise to do so until the 2015–16 Warriors.Since 1998, the Bulls have failed to regain their former success. The franchise struggled throughout the 2000s, but showed promise in the early 2010s, lead by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, culminating in a 62-win season in 2010–11. However, due to injuries to and departures of key players, the franchise was never able to build on that success and has sunk back into mediocrity since. Michael Jordan and Derrick Rose have both won the NBA Most Valuable Player Award while playing for the Bulls, for a total of six MVP awards. The Bulls share rivalries with the Cleveland Cavaliers, Detroit Pistons, Miami Heat and the New York Knicks. The Bulls' rivalry with the Pistons was highlighted heavily during the late 1980s and early 1990s.

LOS ANGELES LAKERS

The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA)The Los Angeles Lakers are an American professional basketball team based in Los Angeles. The Lakers compete in the National Basketball Association (NBA) as a member of the league's Western Conference Pacific Division. The Lakers play their home games at Staples Center, an arena shared with the NBA's Los Angeles Clippers, the Los Angeles Sparks of the Women's National Basketball Association, and the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League. The Lakers are one of the most successful teams in the history of the NBA, and have won 17 NBA championships, tied with the Boston Celtics for the most in NBA history.The franchise began with the 1947 purchase of a disbanded team, the Detroit Gems of the National Basketball League (NBL). The new team began playing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, calling themselves the Minneapolis Lakers. Initially a member of the NBL, the Lakers won the 1948 NBL championship before joining the rival Basketball Association of America, where they would win five of the next six championships, led by star George Mikan. After struggling financially in the late 1950s following Mikan's retirement, they relocated to Los Angeles before the 1960–61 season. Led by Hall of Famers Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, Los Angeles made the NBA Finals six times in the 1960s, but lost every series to the Celtics, beginning their long and storied rivalry. In 1968, the Lakers acquired four-time NBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Wilt Chamberlain, and won their sixth NBA title—and first in Los Angeles—in 1972, led by new head coach Bill Sharman. After the retirement of West and Chamberlain, the team traded for superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who won multiple MVP awards with the Lakers. While the team was unable to advance to the Finals in the late 1970s, two momentous changes came in 1979 that would inaugurate a new golden era for the franchise. First, Jerry Buss purchased the Lakers, and as the team's owner, pioneered a vision of basketball games as entertainment spectacles as well as sporting events. Second, the Lakers drafted Magic Johnson first overall in the 1979 NBA draft. The combination of Johnson, a passing prodigy, and Abdul-Jabbar provided the Lakers with two superstars to anchor their roster. The additions of head coach Pat Riley in 1981, and James Worthy through the 1982 NBA draft, established the Lakers as an NBA powerhouse in the 1980s. The team was nicknamed the "Showtime Lakers" due to its fast break, transition offense facilitated by Johnson. The team won five championships in a nine-year span, including several marquee Finals matchups against its archrival, the Celtics. After Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, and Worthy retired, the team struggled in the 1990s until it drafted Kobe Bryant and signed Shaquille O'Neal in 1996. The superstar duo, along with Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, led the Lakers to three consecutive championships between 2000 to 2002, securing the franchise's second "three-peat." After the team lost in the 2004 NBA Finals, the "Shaq-and-Kobe" era ended when the Lakers traded away O'Neal. It was not until the Lakers traded for Pau Gasol that Bryant and Jackson returned to the NBA Finals, winning two more titles in 2009 and 2010. The team failed to regain its former glory during the rest of the decade, and Bryant retired in 2016. The Lakers worked on rebuilding their team with young players such as Julius Randle, Jordan Clarkson, D'Angelo Russell, Larry Nance Jr., Brandon Ingram, Ivica Zubac, Lonzo Ball, Kyle Kuzma, and Josh Hart. However, many of these players departed after only a few years, with multiple leaving during 2018 to 2019.In 2020, the Lakers—led by LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and coach Frank Vogel—secured their 17th championship, tying the Celtics for the most titles in NBA history.The Lakers hold the record for NBA's longest winning streak, 33 straight games, set during the 1971–72 season. Twenty-six Hall of Famers have played for Los Angeles, while four have coached the team. Four Lakers—Abdul-Jabbar, Johnson, O'Neal, and Bryant—have won the NBA MVP Award for a total of eight awards.

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