Bulls Fans Celebrate
Sunday, June 14, 1998; 11:44 p.m. EDT CHICAGO Chicago Bulls fans by the thousands cut loose in jubilation Sunday night as their heroes clinched their sixth NBA title of the 1990s.
Honking horns echoed among the skyscrapers along Michigan Avenue, and fans packed Rush Street, heart of the city's biggest nightlife district, dancing, exchanging high fives and chanting ``We're number one'' under the watchful eye of a detachment of mounted police.
Light rain helped keep the early stages of Sunday's celebration fairly sedate. The volume of calls to the city's 911 center Sunday night was slightly lower than it was after last year's championship clincher, said Chicago police spokesman Pat Camden. He said there was one confirmed report of a man shot, but it wasn't immediately known if the shooting was related to the Bulls celebration. Figures on arrests were not immediately available.
That was a sharp contrast to the mayhem that followed the Bulls' early championships. In 1991, more than 1,000 people were arrested and looters hit stores across the city after the Bulls won their first championship.
Such violence led to what became a well-rehearsed routine for Chicago police. About 8,000 police were on duty Sunday night at a cost of $1 million; extra space had been cleared at the Cook County Jail, and authorities were prepared to close major streets and expressway exit ramps to keep crowds under control.
TV stations aired a public service announcement from Michael Jordan, coach Phil Jackson and Dennis Rodman, calling on fans to celebrate responsibly, and public school students were given a similar message in letters signed by Jordan.
© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press