Kenny Smith claims Michael Jordan era Bulls wouldn’t have won eight straight because they were too small
NBA on TNT analyst and former Houston Rockets guard Kenny Smith has come out with a definitive statement explaining why he believes the Chicago Bulls would not have gotten eight straight championships if Jordan hadn’t retired in 1993.
In a recent interview on ESPN’s First Take with Stephen A. Smith (no relation), Kenny Smith stated his belief that the Bulls would not have won the title in 1994 and 1995 simply because they lacked height on their team.
“First of all, [Jordan] was wearing number 45, the year that they lost,” Smith said, via Ben Dubose of USA TODAY SPORTS. “And he was actually in the league. People forget that. But they (Bulls) were just too small. No Horace Grant. He was in Orlando. Dennis Rodman was still in San Antonio. That’s why they lost to Orlando Magic.
“We would’ve done the same thing. The team that they lost to 4-2, we swept. It wasn’t Jordan wasn’t the best player. That wasn’t the best team. So if they didn’t keep Horace Grant or they didn’t get a Dennis Rodman with Michael, they would’ve been too small on the inside. I don’t think they would’ve won eight straight.”
Fair point from Smith here. The 6-foot-3 point guard was part of the Rockets’ back-to-back title-winning squad in ’94 and ’95, and in his mind, Smith thinks that his Rockets could have easily defeated the Bulls had they met in the Finals.
Chicago had no answer to Orlando’s Shaquille O’Neal in the second round of the playoffs that season, so Smith argues that the Bulls would have stood no chance against Hakeem Olajuwon and the Rockets.
Then again, who knows what the Bulls front office would have done if Jordan opted to stay on in 1993-94. Perhaps they could have added a legitimate big man to fill their need in the frontcourt. We’ll never know at this point.