Could Michael Jordan & Bulls have won more rings?

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Could Michael Jordan have won more rings during his career? Some NBA fans reading this from the title are assuming that I’m referring to if M.J played today. I am not.

I’m referring to if Jordan played exactly when he did against the same competition but with today’s rules. Could Michael Jordan have won 7-8 rings?

Today’s NBA is different

Maurice Lucas squares up with Darryl Dawkins

Today’s NBA is different. I know that younger fans out there accept this. Do the majority really understand the difference of the changes and the increased scoring it has created?

The photo to the right is of Maurice Lucas squaring up with Darryl Dawkins in game 2 of the 1977 NBA Finals.

This looks like 2 fighters squaring up in the ring or octagon. some fans out there are thinking “come on, that photo probably looks worse than what the situation really was”

What this photo looks like is exactly what it was.

What I’m going to do is provide the video of this, so you know what this looks like is exactly what it is. BTW there weren’t any ejections made or suspensions handed down.

Michael Jordan Gear

Marcus Morris’ Flagrant 2 on Luka

Most NBA fans remember Marcus Morris getting ejected in game 6 of the 2020 Western Conference 1st round series between the Clippers and Mavericks for a flagrant 2 foul on Luka Doncic.

If you didn’t watch it live or hear about it on SportsCenter later that night, then you knew about it because every sports outlet in every arena of journalism talked about it incessantly for 3 days.

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This play wouldn’t even be considered a hard foul back in the day, let alone bringing about cause for a player to be ejected.

What was a hard Foul?

This was a hard foul back in the day

Kurt Rambis clotheslined

Lakers vs Celtics. McHale vs Rambis. NBA Finals. No easy layups happening round here. Nice clothesline, right? If basketball didn’t work out I think McHale could have had a strong career in the WWE.

No ejections. No suspensions. This type of thing happened more than you think. You’ll see more examples soon.

Kevin McHale playing basketball like he's in the WWE

Bulls Vs Pistons: NBA East Finals

The Detroit Pistons defeated the Chicago Bulls in the 1989 & 1990 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

Michael Jordan would have more rings if the Pistons couldn't play bully ball

In 1989 Detroit was down 2-1 to Chicago before advancing to the NBA Finals in 6 games. In the Finals, the Pistons swept the Lakers. This was revenge for the Bad Boy Pistons as they had lost in seven games the year prior to Los Angeles.

The Pistons went up 2-0 vs. the Bulls in the 1990 East Finals. The Bulls would lose again but after falling behind the defending NBA champions, Chicago stretched the series, losing in 7 games.

The Pistons went on to defeat Portland in 5 games to claim back-to-back championships.

These were series’ of players squaring up, clotheslining the opposition, and every thing in between and beyond.

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To give you a good grasp of the climate of these games check out the video of the most physical plays this series delivered from 1988-1991 below.

What’s it all mean

I believe Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls would have reached the NBA Finals in 1989 and/or 1990. Basically the Bulls boasted the same roster that won the NBA championship in 1991.

Michael Jordan would have more rings if he played today

Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen weren’t as refined offensively in 1989, as they would be in 1991.

Defensively and athletically both players were who they were in the three championship seasons of 1991-93, back in 1989.

Bill Cartwright probably better in the seasons before 1991.

In 1989, Magic Johnson got injured in game 2 of the Finals. He would miss the final 9 quarters of the Pistons four game sweep.

It would be unknowledgeable for me to say Magic would still get injured against Chicago.

I can however make an educated opinion that Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan would give Magic more trouble than he faced ever before defensively.

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The Chicago wings would have done in 1989 what they wound up doing in 1991, when nearly every expert thought the Lakers were going to defeat the Bulls in the same fashion that the Bulls beat them.

In 1990 it took Detroit 7 games to dispose of the Bulls. They turned around and soundly beat the Blazers in five games.

The Portland lineup was basically the same lineup that Chicago beat for their second title in 1992.

What about Detroit?

If the game was played back then and called by the referees how it is today, the Pistons wouldn’t be able to use their physicality how they did.

Do you want to know what would happen if they tried?

The Bulls would have been on a power play. I don’t know how else to explain it. It would be most of Chicago facing off against Isiah Thomas, Vinny Johnson and Mark Aguirre because the rest of the Pistons would have been hit with flagrant 2’s. Most of them probably facing suspensions to boot.

John Salley chops Scottie Pippen in his neck
Scottie doesn’t even have the ball. This is a 180 in county jail

This isn’t a joke, I’m not playin

Bill Laimbeer would be suspended more than he’d be on the floor playing. Dennis Rodman, John Salley, and Rick Mahorn would get hit with a flagrant 2 ejection almost every game. James Edwards and Joe Dumars would miss some time too. Isiah Thomas would walk off the court stomping his feet like after being swept by the Bulls in 1991.

Bill Laimbeer try's to hurt Michael Jordan and stop him from winning rings

I’m Not saying the Bulls would beat the Pistons

I’m not saying the Bulls would beat the Pistons. Not necessarily.

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I believe under the rules of today’s NBA that the Detroit Pistons wouldn’t make the Eastern Conference Finals at all.

I was going to say the Bulls who barely lost in 1989 & 1990 would have defeated the Pistons.

As a broke this scenario down deeper, I really don’t think Detroit would make it to face Chicago in the ECF.

Watching Isiah face off against Bernard King in 1984, Detroit wasn’t too tough.

If the Bad Boy Pistons played under today’s rules the things that made Laimbeer, Mahorn, Salley, and Edwards so effective wouldn’t be allowed.

Jordan at least 7

Michael Jordan gets at least 7 rings. At least. Its not insane to think he wins 8 titles. I feel strongly that in both 1989 & 1990, Michael would have been playing in the NBA Finals.

The Detroit Pistons stopped Michael Jordan from winning more rings
DETROIT – 1989: Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls drives to basket against the Detroit Pistons during the 1989 season NBA game in Detroit, Michigan

Maybe Jordan doesn’t win the championship in 1989 or 1990. The Lakers relied mostly on Magic and Worthy in 1989 just like they did in 1991.

The Blazers were very much the same team in 1990 that they were in 1992. I find it unlikely Jordan doesn’t snatch one of those. Chicago didn’t have much trouble with either western conference champion when he actually faced them.

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Michael Jordan is getting one of those rings, in my opinion. He’s probably getting both.

Michael Jordan would definitely be playing for those rings though. He was nearly in the Finals facing the Pistons bully ball. These games from the late 80’s played with 2020 referees and rules means the Bulls dominance starts sooner than it did.

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