The 90s: The Chicago Bulls
Due to the graphic nature of these events listener discretion is advised. This episode includes discussions of murder and sex that some people may find offensive. We advise extreme caution for children under thirteen. In nineteen ninety, three, thirty, year old Michael Jordan was the most famous basketball player in the world he had three NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls under his belt and no shortage of endorsement deals he was the prize of every company from Nike Gatorade On October six, hundred, ninety, three at nine. AM The bulls training facility was overflowing with reporters Jordan. Had An announcement for them and he was soon flanked by top NBA and bulls brass. It was standing room only for the crowd near the podium Jordan confirmed the rumors crushing the dreams of every reporter, aspiring actor and basketball fan in the country he said. I, have nothing more to prove in basketball. I have no more challenges that I felt I could get motivated for his retirement shocked the NBA basketball fans and the rest of the World Jordan was only thirty and in his prime he had another five years left in him if not more especially since he didn't have any chronic injuries. He was the star of a winning team. Leaving didn't make sense while questions about this puzzling development persisted fans in the press started to wonder if Jordan's retirement was tied to a conspiracy. One that threatened to completely derail the Bulls Championship Dynasty. This is the dark side of apart cast original. A show where we will delve into the CD underbelly of pop culture icons and historical events we aim to expose the ugly truth behind cultural moments and public figures we hold most dear. Proving that there is always more to this story than meets the eye I'm your host. Kate and I'm Richard. This is our eighth episode on the dark side of the nineties. As every decade brings new challenges a rosy tint has started to color these bygone years but all business Tanja obscures more unpleasant pages of nineties history. You can find all episodes of the dark side of. And all other podcast originals for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream the dark side of for free on spotify just open the APP tap browse and type the dark side of in the search bar. Today, we're diving into the Chicago Bulls dominance of ninety s NBA basketball equipped with the talent of Michael, Jordan Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman the team won six. Ships over the course of the decade, the Bulls went from failing team to one of if not the top teams in basketball, but their dynasty was plagued with vicious conspiracies, savage betrayal and fractured teammate relationships. We'll dig into how the Bulls rose to basketball dominance right after this. In one, thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, four, the struggling Chicago Bulls were in need of a superstar after the team failed to qualify for the playoffs they looked to their next season. If they could secure someone big in the NBA draft, they might just turn things around. On June nineteenth the Bulls drafted a talented twenty one year old shooting guard named Michael Jordan but Jordan wasn't at New York City's Madison Square Garden to pose for the traditional draft night photos he was training for the nineteen eighty four summer Olympics. In Los Angeles with the USA basketball team back then the International Basketball Federation did NOT ALLOW PROFESSIONAL NBA players to compete in the Games so team USA was mostly composed of college basketball stars like Jordan though he'd already won an NC double a. Ship with University of North Carolina Tar heels. Jordan wasn't content to hang back in the college league. He left school a year early to go pro and he'd start building his fame long before he joined the Bulls. Throughout the nineteen eighty-four Olympics. Jordan led the talented team in scoring and dazzled TV viewers at home. His Slam dunks defied gravity to watch him play was a show unlike any other and fans loved every minute of it. On August Tenth Nineteen eighty-four Team USA won the gold medal against Spain. Thanks to Jordan the top scorer. The victory afterglow was still fresh. Small Athletic Company named Nike offered Jordan his own shoe line air. Jordan. This was a huge deal for a rookie who hadn't even stepped foot on an NBA court yet. The Popular Legend holds that the NBA find Jordan five, thousand dollars for every game sported Air Jordan's the shoes bold colors broke the league's white sneaker rule. This isn't entirely true according to the Chicago Tribune the shoes Jordan war during the nineteen eighty five season were just regular Nike sneakers as the Real Air Jordans were still in the process of being manufactured but Nike capitalized on the controversy anyway. Ads for the sneakers told those at home that the real reason the NBA band, the shoe was because it was so revolutionary aside from the Air Jordans debacle Jordan grew frustrated for other reasons. The Detroit Pistons kept beating the Bulls in the playoffs squashing his chances of championship glory. But soon to keep people arrived in Chicago that made all the difference small forward Scottie Pippen and head coach Phil Jackson. Pippen was Jordan's favourite teammate and Jackson had a plan to overcome Detroit the triangle offense with it. Jordan Pippen and the Bulls became absolutely unstoppable in the nineties. The Bulls finally beat Detroit in the one, thousand, nine, hundred, one playoffs and advanced to the NBA finals for the first time in franchise history. But the Bulls next opponent was none other than the winningest team of the nineteen eighties the Los Angeles Lakers. Twenty eight year old was pitted against one of his idols thirty one year old Lakers superstar Irvin Magic Johnson Jordan versus Johnson was basketball's David vs Goliath. Defying all expectations, the Bulls beat the Lakers winning its first. NBA Championship on June twelfth. Nineteen ninety-one once the champagne and confetti were gone Jordan and the Bulls were ready to defend their title against Johnson, the Lakers and the rest of the League. The Bulls wanted to make the statement that they were not a fluke. But right before the nineteen ninety, one, nineteen, ninety-two season, and the rematches that would come with it. Johnson was missing from an October preseason exhibition game hosted by the Utah Jazz. Johnson was on his way back to Los Angeles at the request of Lakers management. The results from his routine physical exam were in. And he'd failed. It didn't make sense to the team Johnson was healthy and in his prime. But on October Twenty Fifth Nineteen ninety-one. The Lakers doctor told Johnson the news. He was HIV positive. This would soon progress into eights. Back in the early nineteen, ninety s people who contracted HIV had little hope for survival long-term drug treatments for the virus didn't exist yet in nineteen, ninety-one, ten, million people worldwide contracted HIV and one million were Americans. The Myth that HIV was a game end sexually transmitted disease didn't help either in fact, even in the nineties, the public still widely misunderstood HIV. So the stigma continued even as heterosexual men women and babies contracted through blood transfusions and breastfeeding. Because there was still so much unknown about the disease. The doctors advised Johnson to stop playing basketball to protect his own immune system and his teammates the Lakers star agreed. On November Seventh Nineteen ninety-one, the thirty, two year old Johnson announced his retirement and revealed his HIV status at a Los Angeles press conference. He assured reporters that his pregnant wife Cookie, and their unborn child did not have the virus in retiring Johnson was trading one position of leadership. For another he pledged to become an advocate for V and shatter the stigma. Surrounding it naturally news of the most high profile heterosexual celebrity with HIV sent shockwaves around the sports world and beyond Johnson's Lakers, teammates and fans worried his time was limited. But in just a few weeks, public concern turned into wild speculation without a statement from Johnson on how he contracted the virus rumors swirled that he was secretly gay or bisexual but to. Be, an advocate in Johnson's mind meant telling the truth no matter. How uncomfortable a few months later thirty, two year old Johnson admitted on ABC's Primetime live that he had harems of women during the height of the Lakers one, thousand, nine, hundred eighties success he engaged in sex with them in the locker room right after games whose admissions tarnished his once wholesome. Image. But Johnson wanted to own up to his mistakes in his autobiography. My Life Johnson acknowledged his sexual debauchery was how he got infected but he still didn't know who it came from. It didn't matter though the former Lakers player moved past being the NBA's wholesome hero and embraced his new image a man working hard to reform himself and the HIV. Stigma. Meanwhile, basketball needed a new hero and Michael Jordan stepped up to that role. He was expected to be the perfect basketball player, the smiling product spokesperson and a heroic figure to everyone at all times. What could possibly go wrong Next. Jordan. Struggles under the high pressure of the spotlight. This episode of the dark sight of is brought to you by simply safe simply safe was designed to be easy to use while protecting your whole home twenty, four seven you can order it online with the click of a button. I thought they didn't excellent job of explaining how to install it all. It took just a few minutes to place the sensors and plug it in I, connected it to my Wifi, and then suddenly boom my home was protected. Not. Only is the simplisafe system sleek sleek-looking but the little beeps it makes when I opened a door or window rather nice to hear makes me feel safe something else I love is the Cameras Wide Lens when I'm away I can practically see the entire living room and that gives me some much needed peace of mind if you're looking for home. Security simply safe was named best overall home security of twenty twenty by US News and world. Report and there twenty, four, seven, professional monitoring and emergency dispatch starts at fifty cents a day head to simplisafe dot com slash dark side, and get a free hd camera. That's simplisafe. Dot Com slash dark side to make sure they know that our show sent you. Hi, it's Kate. If you haven't had a chance to check out the podcast conspiracy theories yet, there's no better time to dig into this mysterious spotify original from podcast. You know the phrase there are two sides to every story. Well, what if two sides became three or four or more, and what if some of those sides seem more logical than the explanations you've been led to believe are true Every Monday and Wednesday conspiracy theories takes a curious look at some of the most questionable and questioned happenings in history hosts. Mali, and Carter Explorer theories linked to the mind control methods of Project M. K. Ultra the time changing phantom dark age, the death and life of to punctuate Shukor and more. They also have a thrilling, four parts special coming up on the Oklahoma City bombing that you do not want to miss. From the craziest controversies, possible cover-ups, they leave no stone unturned and no skeptic on heard. Because the truth is sometimes, there's more to a story than just the truth. Follow conspiracy theories free on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Now back to the story. After a spectacular debut with the Chicago Bulls Michael Jordan was not just an exalted a rookie but a basketball icon. especially. After his own idol Magic Johnson stepped out of the spotlight to advocate for HIV awareness with Jordan as the NBA's new role model. All is in America were on him and that meant he became the face of American capitalism whether he liked it or not. Every kid woke up to a wheaties box with Jordan's Mug printed on it at the mall they I'd the latest pair of Air Jordan's at footlocker. They'd wear those new. Sneakers to play basketball and drink gatorade while humming the browns infectious jingle if I could be like Mike but not everyone wanted to be exactly like Mike he was famous but he wasn't perfect. He had his vices Jordan liked to engage in vicious trash talk to motivate his teammates and himself while the brands broadcast his nice guy smiled to the world Jordan dished out harsh insults to push the bulls to play better it often worked. Play full burn soon turned into a feud with one teammate in particular twenty-seven-year-old power forward, Horace Grant. Jordan's suspected that grant was the anonymous source who contributed to a nineteen ninety-two. Tell all book about him called the Jordan rules by journalists Sam Smith. The book painted. As a volatile player who allegedly punched teammate will perdue and sabotaged Bill Cartwright's in game passing. It was the first scandal in Jordan's career. Suddenly he had a target on his back everyone wanted to profit on his fame and take him down. But this time Jordan shut it off and his bulls teammates stood by him. They called the book pure. Fiction. Grant. Also denied providing any information to Smith. Jordan held ill-will for grant for many years, but he was skilled in using grudges to feed his. Drive to win. Jordan's competitive streak permeated his hobbies off the court. He was always itching bet money on something whether it was on a card game or a cartoon race broadcast on the arena's jumbotron. Jordan loved high stakes gambling. He'd always invite his teammates to play cards with him but his wagers were too heavy unlike his colleagues Jordan got not just a paycheck but millions from endorsement deals not being in the same income bracket as teammates made him feel a little isolated. Jordan struggled with reconciling his own identity with the idealized next spokesperson, the world new and the chasm between his two selves only grew deeper after the Chicago Bulls won their second NBA Championship on June fourteen nineteen, ninety-two. All Jordan wanted to do was be a basketball champion but each trophy placed more expectations and pressure on him. In addition to endorsing brands Jordan was soon expected to do the same for people. Rumors swirled that back in nineteen ninety he refused to endorse Harvey Gantt, a Black Democratic candidate trying to unseat the reviled Republican Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina. Dance. Campaign New Jordan's seal of approval would mean as renowned black athletes from the state. It would definitely bolster support for the former Charlotte Mayor Jordan however didn't WANNA give into this pressure. He wanted nothing to do with politics and realized speaking out could impact his nike deal. At one point on the Bulls team bus, he related his reasoning. Hey, Republicans buy shoes to. The press caught wind of the remark and Jordan received widespread criticism for prioritizing Nike sales over supporting a black politician especially, because gant eventually lost the election to Helms Jordan denied making the remark for years until recently admitting he did say it ingest he later explained I wasn't a politician when I was playing my sport, I was focused on my craft. He was caught in the frustrating microscopic nature of celebrity where his every move was analyzed and scrutinized including his off the cuff jokes. The attention was becoming too much and Jordan wished he could fade into the background. But even more prying eyes were on Jordan in nineteen, ninety two as he trained for the Summer Olympics in Barcelona Spain. Due to a rule change NBA players were now allowed to play for the US National Basketball Team, of course, the league's greatest players were invited to compete including Jordan. He enjoyed preparing for the Games alongside Scottie Pippen Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, and an unretired magic Johnson. They were nicknamed the Dream Team after practices, Jordan nightly poker games with Pippen Barkley, and Johnson that often went past midnight. Jordan was always looking to buy the pot meaning. He made bet so rich, it forced other players to fold. But part of him was thinking about life beyond the Olympics and Basketball Jordan had been talking veteran sports journalist Mark Van Zyl about writing a book on his career. After an Olympic practice. That's summer Jordan advances in a stairwell confided in him he wanted to quit the NBA and play baseball. The book needed to happen sooner than later to drum up interest in Jordan MLB run. Jordan wanted to continue playing sports, but he also wanted to be on a team where he wasn't Michael Jordan the hero. He just wanted to be one of the guys again he felt physically worn out by basketball and mentally exhausted by the public scrutiny. He later said I'm at that stage in my career and my life that I'd rather get behind closed doors than to be out. There, in the spotlight to be taking shots from everyone that don't know you as a person, it wasn't a question of if but when he'd retire I, Jordan wanted to win his second gold medal at the nineteen ninety two Olympics. Then a third NBA championship with the Bulls, he accomplished the first goal on August eighth. Nineteen. Ninety two when the Dream Team defeated Croatia and the championship game. But on the way to his next NBA Championship, Jordan, faced the biggest threat to his role model reputation yet. In February of Nineteen ninety-three Jordan's gambling habits were exposed to the public of fifty seven thousand dollar check. He wrote to drug dealer and Hustler James Slim Buhler surfaced, and he was eventually questioned in court. Buhler was on trial for money laundering and conspiracy charges and Jordan's check was certainly suspicious. Initially. The basketball star claimed the check was a business loan. But under oath he changed his position. He admitted the money was meant to pay off a gambling debt. Soon. The buzz about his off the court vice only got louder on May first nineteen ninety-three sports executive and Jordan's Gulf Buddy Richard A skegness published an incriminating book called Michael In me our gambling addiction my cry for help. In. It S keenest claim. Jordan. Owed him a staggering one point two, five, million dollars from. Gulf bets. Jordan denied this a feared ruining his meticulously crafted inge and losing his millions in endorsement deals. Nike wouldn't want a Gambler to be the face of their shoes amid the chatter about his gambling Jordan turn the blinders on and focused on the NBA post-season. The Chicago Bulls were poised to win their third championship in a row fans and the media dubbed it a three peat. But late in May of nineteen ninety-three, the Chicago Bulls faced an unfathomable situation they fell behind in the eastern conference finals. The defending champs lost the first two games in a best of seven series against the hard charging new. York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. On Me Twenty Seven Nineteen ninety-three New York Times columnist Dave Anderson blamed the Bulls losses on Jordan's gambling the article detailed that instead of prepping for game to the Bulls Star went to Atlantic City New Jersey with his father James Jordan reportedly lost five thousand dollars playing blackjack at bally's grand casino until two thirty am then headed back to Manhattan. The report set off a media firestorm while rumors of Jordan's gambling had been circulating for a while. This was the first time his extracurricular habit directly threaten the Bulls Championship Dynasty. Jordan admitted to taking the trip but clarified he was back in bed at eleven and denied that it impacted his play during game two despite the fact that the Bulls rebounded to beat the Knicks and eventually achieve a championship three peat during the June nineteen ninety-three NBA finals Jordan's gambling was all anyone talked about the thirty year olds perfect role model persona was shattered the speculation snowballed from there if Jordan bet on golf games and blackjack did he Gamble on NBA Games. After. The season concluded in June nineteen, ninety three, the League appointed former Federal Judge Frederick Lacey to investigate Jordan's off court activities but ultimately cleared him of any wrongdoing. The nineteen ninety-three offseason was one allocated to damage control in July nineteen ninety-three Jordan famously told journalists Connie Chung in an interview, I can stop gambling I have a competition problem. Jordan denied he had an addiction though the media and fans speculated otherwise he resented the scrutiny more than ever as it encroached on his endorsement deals, he hadn't lost any of his brand spokesperson. But he was on shaky ground. The media frenzy caused Jordan to further contemplate his retirement with his father James. The Jordan. Always supported his son's basketball career but had long held in his heart that Michael would be baseball star. James encouraged his son to retire from basketball to try baseball if that's what he really wanted to do. It was the last conversation Jordan had with his father. On July twenty third nineteen ninety, three, fifty, six, year old James. Jordan holdover on North Carolina highway to take a nap. While he slept two teenagers shot and killed him dumped his body in a nearby swamp and stole the car in a random act of violence. James's body was found several weeks later on August thirteenth nineteen ninety-three. Jordan was devastated his number one fan, his own father was brutally murdered. But Michael Sadness, soon, turned to frustration when the sports media speculated that James was killed over Jordan's gambling debts. Amidst his grief Jordan was insulted that people were blaming him for his father's death. He emphatically denied any connection between the two subjects. Despite his comments, the media relentlessly probed this theory in August of nineteen ninety-three. Newspapers and tabloids ran headlines like is Michael Somehow tied to DADS bizarre death. Mentions of Jordan's gambling were inserted into every story on his father's passing including when two suspects were arrested and charged with the murder. The last straw though was when federal investigators admitted they were looking into the theory. The conspiracy had taken on a life of its own Jordan was deeply hurt and his trust in the media fell to an all-time low. By October sixth. Nineteen Ninety three thirty year old Jordan. Had enough of the scrutiny and the spotlight. At nine, am he arrived at the Chicago Bulls training facilities for a press conference with coach Phil Jackson and NBA Commissioner David Stern. Next. Jordan reveals he's done with basketball now back to the story. In the early nineteen nineties, the Chicago Bulls established themselves as the best team in the NBA, three years in a row and Michael Jordan emerged as a superstar. But the pressure and scrutiny of being the most valuable player, perfect role model and Nice Guy Brand spokesperson soon, became too much. On October Sixth Nineteen ninety-three Jordan announced his retirement effective immediately at a press conference. It would take years for Jordan to finally feel comfortable enough with journalists to admit that the media blitz surrounding his father's death pushed him out of basketball. On that Fall Day. All he said was that he was done. For now. Jordan didn't rule out an NBA comeback though he said, if the urge comes back if the Bulls will have me if David Stern, let's be back in the league. I may come back the public was shocked at first but soon, the rumors and theories focused on that Jordan quote. Stern was the longtime NBA Commissioner and he had the final say on the barring and reinstatement of league players. Speculation. Abounded that Jordan's retirement was actually a secret gambling suspension. The prying sports media hypothesized the NBA's investigation into Jordan's gambling did reveal wrongdoing. To keep the reputation of its superstar intact the NBA allegedly kept it under wraps and forced Jordan to retire as punishment. When asked about this theory both Jordan and Stern denied that there was any truth to it but it was proved that gambling rumors would continue to haunt Jordan. If he stayed in basketball fully committed to baseball Jordan announced, he signed with the Chicago White Sox on February seventh nineteen ninety-four. Par, for the course, he goes through the team's minor league system and start playing for the double a Birmingham, barons? He relished in just being one of the guys again and learning the intricacies of the sport. But just as Jordan started improving on the field, a storm was brewing in baseball on August Twelfth Nineteen ninety-four mlb players including Jordan, went on strike. During the work stoppage Jordan's progress stopped dead in its tracks. The strike continued into the next year and the MLB searched for replacement players. Jordan refused to cross the picket line and wanted to escape any coercion or media scrutiny. So on March second nineteen ninety five Jordan packed up his belongings and left baseball for good. Meanwhile during Jordan's absence, the Bulls looked at twenty nine year olds Scottie. Pippen to lead the small forward was an integral part of the teams three championships. But when Jordan had been on the court, his shadow was hard to escape. It was finally Pippen's time to be the star and build his own legacy or so he thought instead Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause touted twenty six year old Tony coup coach a rookie from Croatia as the team's new star Pippen quietly grew resentful and he reached his breaking point during the nineteen ninety-four. Playoffs. On May Thirteenth Nineteen ninety-four the Bulls in Knicks were tied at one hundred and two points. Only one point eight seconds remained on the clock at Chicago Stadium. The Knicks claimed the first two victories of the Eastern Conference finals the Bulls needed this win to quell the talk about how the team was only successful because of Jordan. During the time out coach Phil Jackson devised a play that setup coup coach to take the final shot who coach had sunk several buzzer beating baskets during the regular season. But pippin took offence he saw himself as the most dangerous player on the Bulls and thought he should get the shot. Pippen reportedly told Jackson. I'm. Tired of. This. He sat on the bench as his teammates returned to the court for the final second they called out for him to join. Pippen shook his head and refused. Coup coach made the game winning shot, but the media didn't care. They wanted to know why pippen was benched in the final second. It was proof. Pippen was indeed the star this small moment plagued him for the rest of the season. His reputation with his teammates fans and the media was tarnished pippen eventually apologized to his teammates. Despite the win, the Bulls lost to the Knicks, the rest of the series, their bid for a fourth NBA championship and their first without Jordan fell short. It was more evident than ever the bulls needed. Jordan in order to win. Luckily, the superstar was ready to make a comeback. In March of Nineteen, ninety, five, Jordan started attending practices with the Chicago Bulls, his teammates and the media wondered is Jordan coming back to basketball an answer finally arrived on March Eighteenth Nineteen. ninety-five. Jordan issued a short statement to the sports media via fax. I'm back. The message was simple but monumental Jordan. Wanted to be back on the roster and the NBA was glad to oblige he returned to his former team and the Bulls honored his old three point eight, million dollar a year contract on the court. Jordan slid back into the lineup and helped the team rebound from tough season. But reuniting Jordan with twenty nine year old Scotty Pippin on the court didn't recreate the championship winning magic had. The Bulls advanced to the NBA playoffs in late April one, thousand, nine, hundred five but were defeated by the Orlando Magic on May eighteenth nine thousand, nine, hundred, ninety, five. After the loss, the Bulls lineup was retooled during the off season power forward horace grant's contract wasn't renewed and the team searched for a new front court player. On October third. Nineteen ninety-five the team acquired the bombastic controversial Dennis Rodman, the thirty four year old was the NBA's best rebounder. But adding Rodman to the Bulls was a huge risk because he was better known for his wild antics off the court. Rodman bleached his hair blond partied all the time and received fines for headbutting several players. He famously dated pop singer Madonna for two months in Nineteen ninety-four and claimed she paid him to million dollars to impregnate her during the nineteen ninety four season the San Antonio Spurs paid Rodman two point five, million dollars to play. But he spent the majority of the time making trouble from throwing a bag of ice at his coach to arguing with refs in getting adjusted from games. By. The end of the season Rodman and the spurs management had had enough of each other prompting the nineteen, ninety, five trade. To the Bulls Rodman's liabilities were worth gaining his talent. Coach Phil Jackson found a way to manage Rodman's behavior for the most part. Rodman and coach Phil Jackson even bonded which further helped the Bulls return to dominance and win their fourth NBA. Championship in June of that year oddly as Rodman. Became less of a liability thirty-three-year-old Jordan as one especially when a nike expose was published in the spring of Nineteen ninety-six. The article described children as young as twelve years old making Nike Products for two dollars and twenty cents a day in sweatshops a pair of Air Jordan's at the time cost one, hundred and fifteen dollars, which was the amount a Nike factory worker earned in one month in Asia. The report made sweatshops and child. Labor practices an international concern. Nike faced protests and constant scrutiny regarding its factories in Indonesia and Vietnam. And there'd be no shoes without the man behind their top-selling sneaker Michael Jordan. The scrutiny came for him in waves. The sports media called on Jordan to join the masses in protesting Nike talk show host. Kathy Lee Gifford's clothing brand also faced a similar backlash for using sweatshops. She wanted Jordan to join her in standing up for unethical labor practices. But again, he wasn't interested in speaking out or risking his million dollar endorsement deal Nike had invested in him when he was an unproven rookie. In light of that, Jordan stayed loyal to the brand when asked about Nike's abuses in June of Nineteen ninety-six, he said. Hopefully. Nike will do the right thing whatever that might be. As Nike considered reforms to its business practices, Jordan signed a one year contract with the Chicago Bulls for thirty point one, million dollars after he and the Bulls won their fifth NBA Championship in one thousand, nine, hundred, eighty, seven, Jordan resigned for thirty three point one, million dollars Scottie Pippen's obvious high numbers and became even more resentful of the Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause. He was top defensive player and crucial part of the teams five NBA. Championships yet pippen was only paid two point eight, million dollars a year he was locked into a seven year eighteen million dollar contract that he signed in one, thousand ninety-one. And while NBA salaries of other star players, climbed upwards, Pippen's stayed the same in the one, thousand, nine, hundred, Ninety, seven, nineteen, Ninety, eight season. He was only the sixth highest paid player on the Bulls rookies earned more than him. He was embarrassed that he was spending his best years in the sport as underpaid and underappreciated. But Krauss refused to negotiate pippen's contract and in the summer of Nineteen Ninety, seven, the Bulls made it clear they intended to trade pippen the top brass didn't think that the Bulls could win another championship because the roster was filled with older players in their thirties out with the old in with the young new talent. So the night before the NBA draft it looked like pippen would be traded to the Toronto Raptors but once Jordan found out about it he called Krause and refuse to play without pippen he all but deadlocked the Bulls future season if Jordan refused to play without pippen the Bulls had little chance at fielding a winning team. There wouldn't be a sixth championship let alone the dynasty that krause dreamed of Krause realized this and nixed the trade pippen remained with the Bulls but the almost betrayal simmered within him loyalty from one teammate didn't change the fact that the Bulls had nearly kicked him off the team for an unproven rookie. And that he was still underpaid for staying. Right before the nineteen ninety-seven, nine, hundred, Ninety, eight seasons started pin decided to get his passive aggressive revenge. After rupturing the tendon in his foot during the nineteen ninety-seven season, pippen had been considering a repair surgery but hadn't found the best time granted the lengthy recovery and rehabilitation process. But in light of the contract, Saga Pippen decided October nineteen ninety seven was the best time for it to happen. Barely, a month before the season began. He'd end up missing half the season to recover, but that was his way of making a point. He definitely hadn't forgotten or forgiven, and while Jordan understood the root of Pippen's decision. He still disagreed he personally wouldn't have put his own self interest before winning or at least that's what he claimed. But Pippen, had spent almost a decade in Jordan's shadow. He wanted to do things on his own terms now. Pippen returned in January of Nineteen Ninety eight fully aware that this was his final season with the Chicago Bulls. And he wasn't alone. In light of the knowledge that coach Phil Jackson wouldn't likely return either Jordan was readying for his own last season to the thirty five year old star player refused to play for another coach as for thirty eight year old Rodman his future with the Bulls and the NBA was up in the air. The wildcard was considered an old player close to NBA retirement. Age. Plus Rodman had started acting out again, he reigned in his wild ways while he was filling in for Pippin but once his teammate returned Rodman returned to well normal. He requested a forty eight hour Las Vegas vacation in January of Nineteen, ninety eight and skipped postseason practice to wrestle. Hulk Hogan in a Professional Match, the Well Oiled Chicago Bulls machine was collapsing on itself. Jordan Pippen. Jackson, and Rodman knew that this was their final chance to solidify their own legacies as they prepared for the future. With one more win the Bulls could become the first NBA team to achieve two three peats. They'd not only be known for being part of a winning team but a full-fledged dynasty. This was it. On. June Fourteenth Nineteen Ninety eight the team won their sixth NBA Championship. They got their second three peat and their legacy. But once the win was secured and the season was over the Chicago Bulls that fans knew and loved were ripped apart. Pippen stuck around in the NBA but without their identities with the Bulls Jordan and Rodman's time in the sport faded Fast Rodman briefly played for the Dallas Mavericks, but soon, traded basketball for wrestling and Jordan retired from the NBA for the second time. Krause tried to rebuild new and improved shot goebbels team in the two thousands but he never recreated that Magic Johnson ship formula that vaulted the team to greatness in the ninety s in truth many winning teams are created through hard work but there's also an undeniable mixture of luck and sheer talent that builds extraordinary teams. The Bulls found that medium in Michael. Jordan. But even superstars have their limits and it seemed like Michael hit his own breaking point long before his comeback one can't help but wonder what the nineteen nineties bowls would have looked like without Jordan's departure for the MLB, his gambling scandals or the scrutiny over his endorsement deals. But unfortunately will never know the Bulls. Heyday is done for good and all we have left is the memory of their former glory. Thanks for listening to the dark side of next week we're delving into teen culture in the nineties you can find more episodes of the dark side of for free on spotify not only despite if I already have all of your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all of your favorite podcast originals for free from your phone desktop or smart speaker just open the APP and type the dark side of in the search bar. We'll see next time. The dark side of was created by Max Cutler and is a podcast studios. Original executive producers include Max Ron, cutler sound design by Michael, Langner with production assistance by Ron Shapiro Carly Madden, and Travis Clark. This episode of the dark side of was written by Mallory Kara with writing assistance by Kay Gallagher and stars Kate Leonard and Richard Rosner.