For over 45 years, the Chicago Bulls have easily created enough excitement for their fans to have them itching to get their hands on a piece of Chicago Bulls memorabilia. This team has the honor of touting the accomplishments of some of the biggest names in the sport, and some of the most widely known sports names of all time.
Not only are there the usual game and souvenir items of memorabilia for the team enthusiast to collect, with all of the titles, awards, records, and publicity connected to the team and the players, there are also numerous magazines and other publications that document this success. These items, especially those that have been autographed by one of the team’s high-profile players, are very valuable pieces of Chicago Bulls memorabilia and are often sought after by the fans.
The Chicago Bulls team is so popular that team enthusiasts are eager for all kinds of memorabilia items that connect them to these high-energy, high-profile players. They seek items from the many record-breaking seasons, or from the players who seem larger than life. Before purchasing one of these valuable items though, a wise collector will take measures to verify that it is a genuine Chicago Bulls memorabilia item.
Brief History of the Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls started out strong in the NBA when they joined the league in the 1966-67 season. After a decent start, however, by the late ’70s the team was struggling. Then, in 1984, the team drafted a player who would quickly become one of the superheroes of the sport: Michael Jordan. With this successful draft pick, and others that would follow, the team soon became a real force on the court.
Over the last 30 years or so the Bulls have set records, won championships, and have at many times dominated the sport.
1991-93: The Chicago Bulls First Three-Peat
The 1990-1991 season had the Bulls at the top of their game. With Scottie Pippen refining his skills and playing alongside Michael Jordan, the team just did not stop. They cleared away their opponents with a record-setting number of wins, landing in the playoffs, and winning the Finals.
The winning did not stop there. The following year the Bulls won the Finals again. Not willing to stop, in a rare accomplishment that has only happened five times in NBA history, the 1992-93 Chicago Bulls took the Finals again, winning their third straight title, their first three-peat. The power behind this winning force dissipated in the fall of 1993 when Michael Jordan announced his retirement following the death of his father. For the Chicago Bulls fan, a piece of memorabilia from this three-peat era and Michael Jordan's first retirement is a prized possession.
1995-96 Chicago Bulls
The 1995-96 season was a very memorable one, and items connected to this season are highly prized as well. Michael Jordan returned to the team late in the previous season. In his absence, Scottie Pippen had developed further into a championship player. During offseason, the team acquired Dennis Rodman.
With these three on the team, the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls are considered one of the greatest basketball teams of all time. Smashing records across the court, that season’s team still holds the NBA record for the most wins (72) in a season, and for the most consecutive home game wins (37 for 1995-96, and 44 from when the run started in the previous season), among other notable records. The players also won many individual awards for their play that year, and the team won the title.
1995-1998: The Chicago Bulls Second Three-Peat
Starting with the extremely successful and record-breaking 1995-96 year, the Bulls continued with the winning in the 1996-97 season, almost breaking the elusive 70-win season marker for a second time, but missed it by one game. They went on to again win the Conference Finals for a second year in a row.
While the following season was one filled with questions about who was or was not going to continue with the team, they managed a stellar record regardless. This Conference Finals was more challenging for the Bulls, but they did win their third in a row, for the second time, giving them not only a second three-peat, but also their sixth Conference Championship.
High-Profile Chicago Bulls Players of the Past
Some of the most valuable pieces of Chicago Bulls memorabilia are those that are connected to important people in the history of the team, including Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Dennis Rodman. These men were the power behind some of the greatest wins in NBA history. Autographs from these players are highly coveted, and even more so if they accompany a piece of memorabilia from a historic event in the team's history.
Not only one of the most popular Chicago Bulls players, but also one of the most popular players in all of basketball, perhaps all of sports even, Michael Jordan 's face is everywhere, his name attached to everything that can have a name attached to it, and rightly so. MJ, as fans know him, has proven his skill time and again. Signed by the team in 1984 with the third overall pick, Jordan started his NBA career by breaking franchise records for scoring and steals, and led the team to the playoffs. He was awarded the NBA Rookie of the Year as a result.
For Michael Jordan, breaking old records and setting new ones is just part of what he does. He has been awarded the NBA Most Valuable Player award five times, and played on two US gold medal Olympic teams. With so many successes, and such a large fan base, obtaining a valuable piece of Chicago Bulls memorabilia connected to this legend is the goal for many collectors.
Scottie Pippen joined the team in 1987 and consistently added to his skills and proficiency throughout his career. He was part of the team throughout the major victories that they experienced in the 1990s, even carrying the team through during Michael Jordan’s absence, although he never did achieve quite the same level of victory that the team enjoyed with both players on the court. While unable to bring the team to yet another championship during Michael Jordan’s first retirement after the team’s first three-peat accomplishment, Scottie performed magnificently, and some of the highlights of his career took place during this timeframe.
He was a constant during the 1990s when the team seemed to dominate. Pippen and Jordan made the All-NBA First Team in the 1995-96 season, and in the same year, he, Michael Jordan, and Dennis Rodman made the All-Defensive First Team. This was the only team in history with three players on the All-Defensive First Team.
Other High-Profile Players, Past and Present
Through the years, many Chicago Bulls players have achieved awards, set records, and helped the team to succeed. Among the most high-profile people connected to the team that many fans seek memorabilia from are Jerry Sloan, Bob Love, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, and Joakim Noah .
What Chicago Bulls Memorabilia to Collect
As popular as the Chicago Bulls are, the team enthusiast will have no difficulty in finding many quality memorabilia items. Wise collectors will educate themselves beforehand about each item in order to ensure the item’s authenticity and value. The main things to consider are whether or not the item is accompanied by a credible Certificate of Authenticity (COA), if the item matches what is expected for an item from the era or game it is supposedly from, and if any autographs appear to be genuine.
Credible COAs either come from someone directly connected to the item or from someone who has a stellar reputation for authenticating similar items. Many sports memorabilia items have holographic COAs attached to them that help assure the collector that the item is genuine.
Sports memorabilia items that are connected to high-profile players or important events have great value attached to them. Bargains in this area are not a good sign that the item is authentic. If the value of the item is so low that it seems unreal, it is possible that it is. This is why the wise collector researches to know what to expect an item to be worth before purchasing.
Chicago Bulls Uniforms
There have been only minor changes in the typical Chicago Bulls uniform over the years. Their home uniform is traditionally white with red lettering and black detail. Their away uniform is red with black lettering and white detail. They also occasionally wear an alternate black away uniform with red lettering and white detail.
For the collector who is considering a piece of uniform memorabilia from a specific game, it is important to determine if the article matches the one worn during that game. To be thorough, it is wise to research the subtle changes that have occurred over the years and to know the exact look of the uniform worn for the game in question.
One notable oddity with the usually consistent red, white, or black Chicago Bulls uniform is the occasional green uniform that has been worn to celebrate St. Patrick's day. This uniform is usually worn for a couple of games per year.
Chicago Bulls Autographed Basketballs
With autographed basketballs, as well as other autographed items, it is important to determine if the signature is authentic before purchasing. For many items, determining this is easily done by considering the price at which the item is being offered. An autographed ball from a high-profile player is very valuable, so if the price seems like an amazing deal, it may not be worth the hassle of determining the autograph’s authenticity.
For signed items that do seem worth the hassle, it is important to compare the autograph to known authentic examples of the player’s signature. These are generally widely available on many autograph collecting hobby sites and through other publications. A genuine signature will have a smooth flow that matches the known signature, but not exactly, as no one signs their name the exact same way twice.
Many celebrities have consistent characteristics that appear on every signature. For example, they include the date every time, they never dot the i, or they only use their first initial and full last name. These characteristics are usually consistent regardless of the item or when the player signed it, and can help to determine authenticity.
Where to Find Chicago Bulls Memorabilia
Finding Chicago Bulls memorabilia can sometimes be a matter of being in the right place at the right time. It is easier to find locally in Chicago, but the popularity of the team is so widespread that memorabilia items are also available outside of the Chicago area. Finding a great piece of memorabilia can take years to hunt down. Some of that time can be shortened by looking to online resources, such as sports memorabilia store fronts and auction sites like eBay.
Buying Chicago Bulls Memorabilia on eBay
eBay offers a wide range of Chicago Bulls memorabilia items to suit any fan’s preferences and budget. Buyers can find these items by going to eBay’s Sports Mem, Cards & Fan Shop category. From there, there are a number of subcategories to choose from, including Cards, Fan Apparel & Souvenirs, and Game Used Memorabilia. Alternately, buyers who have a specific memorabilia item in mind can use the search bar to enter in relevant keywords and then browse listings from all categories.
An important part of buying any piece of Chicago Bulls memorabilia on eBay is to make sure that the item is authentic. Wise buyers thoroughly research the item, any claim that is made about the item, and the seller. Most eBay sellers are very open to questions about a listing, so if there are any concerns, just ask. They will often provide extra photos or closer images when asked.
Check the seller's rating and feedback. Make sure they have a good reputation with selling similar items. By taking these and the other steps previously mentioned, most Chicago Bulls fans can have a great experience acquiring team memorabilia.
The Chicago Bulls are arguably the most loved basketball team of all time. Fans have watched as these amazing players break record after record and win title after title. Many sports fans desire to own a piece of the Chicago Bulls, and there are numerous items available to own. For the wise fan, though, taking the time to really evaluate the item and consider its true worth will help ensure that each item is genuine. It is great to own an exciting piece of memorabilia from such a fantastic team as the Chicago Bulls. It is even better to be confident that it is the real deal.