The 1995-96 Chicago Bulls are widely considered to be one of the best teams in NBA history. The 2018-19 New York Knicks were the worst team in the NBA and set a franchise record for the fewest wins in a season.
Business Insider wants you to believe the ’19 Knicks would beat the ’96 Bulls because of rebounding and blocks. Yes, the 17-win Knicks would beat a team that went 87-13 and featured three Hall of Famers, one of which was Michael Jordan.
Why today’s NBA teams would beat the '96 Bulls pic.twitter.com/PMRcD3nVtg
— Business Insider (@BusinessInsider) April 16, 2022
This video is a few years old, but the Business Insider social team reposted it on the first day of the NBA playoffs. Scrubbing this video from the internet would have been a better idea.
In Business Insider’s defense, they admit that the Bulls would probably beat the Knicks. But they then go on to make the case for why modern-day NBA teams, including those ’19 Knicks, would beat one of the greatest teams of all time.
Trying to compare eras is always going to be a dumb, but captivating exercise. It’s why the Michael Jordan vs. LeBron James debate gets so much traction across sports media. It doesn’t matter if it’s television, radio, podcasts, blogs, or anything in between, people love to compare greatness.
But that’s the problem with this idiotic Business Insider video. The Jordan-LeBron debate is about comparing greatness. Implying that the ’19 Knicks would do anything other than lose in four non-competitive games to the ’96 Bulls is insulting our intelligence.
The Knicks rebounded well and blocked some shots that year. Great! Dennis Rodman would railroad anyone and everyone in that Knicks frontcourt.
Business Insider also makes the argument that the Knicks were tanking games that year. Their conclusion seems to be that the Knicks were better than their record would indicate when in reality, the Knicks were tanking because they were so bad already.
I was too young to fully appreciate that record-setting 1995-96 Bulls team, but I covered 35+ Knicks games in person during the 2018-19 season. I saw the futility firsthand. Clearly, Business Insider didn’t even have anyone watching the highlights of those games.
The potential matchups in this hypothetical series are laughable. Tim Hardaway Jr. would have a hard time checking Michael Jordan. Scottie Pippen would have no trouble with Kevin Knox. Enes Kanter would have changed his name after facing Dennis Rodman, but only so he could go into the witness protection program for his own safety.
They could play these games with the 1990s “anything goes” rules or by today’s standards where hand-checking is a federal offense. It wouldn’t matter in the slightest. The Bulls would roll the Knicks in four consecutive games.
I’m not against analytics or using stats to form conclusions, but there are some things that only require eyes and a fourth-grade comprehension of basketball to understand.
There is more talent in the NBA than ever before. I can agree with that much, but pretending the average modern-day NBA team is on the same level as the ’96 Bulls is moronic. Ask Jordan if his Charlotte Hornets would have any chance against his Bulls teams from the 1990s.
Comparing eras will always be a part of sports media culture. It can be entertaining when there is nothing else to talk about. If you want to argue that championship-caliber teams from today would beat the 1996 Bulls, go for it.
But when you are bending over backward to convince yourself that one of the best teams in NBA history would lose to one of the worst teams of all time, you have officially jumped the shark. Stick to business, Business Insider.