For one member of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, the debate over whether the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors are a superior team is really a no-brainer. For another, it’s a topic to be tap-danced around.
Scottie Pippen, who played on the Michael Jordan team that set the NBA record with 72 wins, thinks the Bulls wouldn’t just beat the Warriors in a series, they’d sweep. Steve Kerr, who also played on that team and happens to coach the Warriors, isn’t about to go near the topic.
“First of all, it’s a really hard question to answer — not just because you’re comparing eras, but also because it’s literally tough for me to answer grammatically. I don’t know who ‘we’ is and who ‘they’ are,” said Kerr, whose team must win four of its final five regular-season games to break the Bulls’ record (via SFGate.com). “I’ll just say: If the two teams played each other, there’s no question that we could beat us and they could beat them.”
Got that? Pippen was far clearer, telling Paul Pabst of “The Dan Patrick Show,” that a best-of-seven series would go to the “Bulls in four.”
Easy for him to say. It’s a moot topic until someone invents a time machine, but Pippen was quietly emphatic, saying that Jordan’s Bulls wouldn’t be inclined to take it easy one night and let the Warriors win. As for who would match up against whom, he has an opinion there, too: It’d be Pippen on Stephen Curry and Jordan on Klay Thompson. “I think that my size and length would bother [Curry] a little bit,” he said, adding that he could keep Curry to fewer than 20 points.
The Big Guy himself, Jordan, professed in February not to care about the wins record, at least according to Thompson’s telling of the story. “‘Go ahead and break the record,’” Thompson said Jordan told him during All-Star Weekend.
Still, Kerr wasn’t about to take the bait. He went straight to the jokes, cracking that a Warriors-Bulls game would take six hours with the Bulls called for hand-checking fouls and the Warriors for illegal-defense penalties.
“They wouldn’t call traveling in either era,” Kerr said.
He might have been serious about that one. (Also, correct.)