NBA Rivalries: Chicago Bulls vs. New York Knicks

The rivalry between the New York Knicks and the Chicago Bulls is known as the Bulls-Knicks rivalry. Since the Bulls’ entry into the NBA in 1966, the two basketball clubs have faced off against one another every year. Through the late 1980s towards the mid-1990s1990s, when both teams were perennial playoff contenders, the rivalry intensified, with the New York Knicks odds growing higher.

This was caused by a number of things, including the regularity with which the teams faced off against one another in crucial games and playoff series. In addition, to well-known athletes like Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan, and John Starks. 

Read on to learn more about the rivalry between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks.

What Caused This Rivalry?

There are various reasons that caused the rivalry between these two great teams. 

The Big Apple vs. the Windy City rivalry was significant in part because it pitted the two largest cities in the East against one another for bragging rights. The clubs’ aggressive play made each game extremely intense, particularly throughout the playoffs. 

Also since Jordan and Starks were two competitive players who frequently executed highlight-reel dunks on the opposing team, thus their matchup was dramatic. When Jordan was in the league, the Knicks failed to win an NBA championship or defeat the Bulls in a postseason series. 

Yet, this rivalry was still regarded as the most heated of the decade.

Early History 

The Bulls and Knicks competed against each other in the same conferences from 1966 to 1980 because the Bulls were part of the Western Division at the time. From the late 1960s to the middle of the 1970s, both teams frequently participated in the NBA playoffs, but they never faced off in the NBA Finals.

The Bulls during that time, coached by Jerry Sloan,  Norm Van Lier, Bob Love, and Tom Boerwinkle, failed to make it far into the playoffs. This was since they frequently fell to elite squads such as the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers. 

The Knicks, on the other side, had players like Willis Reed, Bill Bradley, Jerry Lucas, Walt Frazier,  Dave DeBusschere, Earl Monroe. They all helped them reach three championship games and win two of them.

The Beginning Of The Rivalry

After joining the Eastern Conference in the 1980 off-season, the Bulls’ rivalry with the Knicks became an inter-conference contest.

A best-of-three series in the 1981 NBA playoffs first round marked the first postseason encounter between the two teams. Chicago, led by head coach Jerry Sloan, defeated New York 2-0 by winning both games.

Michael Jordan, a shooting guard, was chosen by the Chicago Bulls  in the 1984 NBA Draft. Then the New York Knicks selected center Patrick Ewing in the 1985 NBA Draft. These two players had legendary careers in both teams and enhanced this rivalry even more. 

You should keep up with how the rivalry is doing today, by keeping up to date with the NBA on FanDuel. 

The Rivalry Heated Up

The rivalry between these two teams was at its strongest during the 1990s, thanks to each team having strong players. No one was sure who would come out on top during these games. 

To begin with the Chicago Bulls would snatch victory whenever they faced the Knicks. This happened during the second time the two teams faced one another in 1989. However, the following year when the teams faced each other again it was the New York Knicks that claimed the victory. 

Overall, the Bulls have had more victories when they have faced the Knicks. However, over time, the Knicks have made a comeback which started in 1993 and 1994 

Is The Rivalry Still Going Today?

The loss of Jordan, Pippen, and Ewing caused the Knicks and Bulls to lose ground. Neither team was capable of duplicating their 1990s level of success.

However, three significant events have kept the rivalry going. Ben Gordon’s game-winning layup helped the Bulls defeat the Knicks on January 18, 2005, at Madison Square Garden. Then the Knicks defeated Chicago at home on April 8, 2012, thanks to a three-pointer by Carmelo Anthony in overtime. 

Finally, Derrick Rose finally made the game-winning field goal on October 31, 2013, to defeat the Knicks at the United Center.

The rivalry is still going today, but it is not as intense as it once was. 

Final Thoughts

The Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks have had a long rivalry, which drew a lot of attention during the 1990s. This was thanks to the iconic players of that time, which made the games between these two teams unpredictable. 

Today, the rivalry isn’t as intense as it once was, but the Bulls and Knicks commonly face one another in the playoffs. Fans still enjoy watching these two teams face one another, as you can never be sure who will come out on top. 

We hope you have found the article useful. Now you ought to have a better understanding of the rivalry between the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks. 

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