As WGN TV celebrates 75 years, we’re looking back with a series of stories on the history and the memories.
CHICAGO – Seeing the Bulls back in France to play a game this week brings back memories of a great time for the franchise.
When they took the floor in Paris just over 25 years ago, the dynasty was still going, though it was starting to come to an end. In fact, you could say that the Bulls’ started “The Last Dance” in France.
That’s when the team hit the floor for a pair of games as part of the McDonald’s Championship, a collaboration between the NBA and FIBA. The Bulls, who were two-time defending league champions and had won five titles in seven seasons, arrived in Paris as superstars, with Michael Jordan garnering the most attention.
It was not a full team, however, as Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen were not along for the two-game trip against two of Europe’s best teams. Still, the Bulls found a way to come out on top during the semifinals and finals of the six-team tournament that was played at Palais Omnisport de Paris-Bercy.
On October 17, they defeated PSG Racing 89-82 and the next day knocked off Olympiacos, which featured current Bulls executive VP Arturas Karnisovas, 104-78 to win the McDonald’s Championship.
Like a lot of the moments of the 1990s Bulls, “Channel 9 Was There,” as WGN sports director Dan Roan covered the leadup to the tournament along with the games in Paris. As part of the 75th anniversary of the station, WGN News Now is taking a look back at how Channel 9 covered the Bulls’ trip to Europe in October 1997.
You can see more on that from the WGN archives and Larry Hawley in the video above.