1998 Bulls Or 2018 Warriors?

29 teams out of the league hate them. They tend to get the most media attention. Every person that barely knows anything about basketball immediately jumps onto their bandwagon. What are they? The S-word of the NBA: Superteams.

When most people think about historic superteam dynasties, they might consider the Showtime Lakers, Larry Bird’s Boston Celtics, the early 00’s Spurs, or the Shaq and Kobe Lakers team. But when it really comes down to business, two superteams (on a single-season basis) emerge on top: the Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors of 1998 and 2018, respectively.

For a quick refresher, here are the complete rosters of both teams:

1998 Bulls:

  • 22. Keith Booth (SF)
  • 1. Randy Brown (PG)
  • 30. Jud Buechler (SF)
  • 24. Scott Burrell (SF)
  • 35. Jason Caffey (PF)
  • 9. Ron Harper (PG)
  • 23. Michael Jordan (SG)
  • 25. Steve Kerr (PG)
  • 53. Joe Kleine (C)
  • 7. Toni Kuko─Ź (SF)
  • 5. Rusty LaRue (PG)
  • 13. Luc Longley (C)
  • 33. Scottie Pippen (SF)
  • 91. Dennis Rodman (PF)
  • 8. Dickey Simpkins (PF)
  • 42. David Vaughn (PF)
  • 34. Bill Wennington (C)

2018 Warriors:

  • 2. Jordan Bell (C)
  • 25. Chris Boucher (PF)
  • 18. Omri Casspi (SF)
  • 4. Quinn Cook (PG)
  • 30. Stephen Curry (PG)
  • 35. Kevin Durant (SF)
  • 23. Draymond Green (PF)
  • 9. Andre Iguodala (SF)
  • 15. Damian Jones (C)
  • 34. Shaun Livingston (PG)
  • 5. Kevon Looney (C)
  • 0. Patrick McCaw (SG)
  • 1. JaVale McGee (C)
  • 27. Zaza Pachulia (C)
  • 11. Klay Thompson (SG)
  • 3. David West (C)
  • 6. Nick Young (SG)

There are some obvious differences between the two teams. For instance, the 1998 Chicago Bulls finished their regular season with a 62-20 record, whereas the 2018 Golden State Warriors finished 58-24. The Warriors beat the Cavaliers in a four-game sweep, whereas the Bulls beat the Jazz in a 6 game series (winning four games and losing two). Multiple stats can be brought up that elevate both teams above each other, but what it comes down to is the breakdown of their key role players and their differences in chemistry among their roster,

The Chicago Bulls in the 1997-1998 NBA Season have been considered by many to be the most dominant basketball team ever because their players and accomplishments are the stuff of legends. For starters, this championship marked Chicago’s sixth championship in eight years. In the same season, Michael Jordan earned his fifth and final NBA MVP award while also winning his sixth Finals MVP award, and his third consecutive championship. This marked the last year that Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, and head coach Phil Jackson were on the Chicago Bulls. A lot was at stake, and Chicago capitalized in the clutch.

The Golden State Warriors of the 2017-2018 NBA Season were certainly a force to be reckoned with. Winning their second consecutive championship, the Warriors quickly began to elevate themselves above all other teams, and were exclusively challenged against James Harden, Chris Paul, and the Houston Rockets — only to find themselves winning in the seventh game against a Rockets team that was without Chris Paul (due to a hamstring injury). But after that, Golden State swept out Cleveland like it was nothing, and Kevin Durant earned his second consecutive NBA Finals MVP Award.

But when it really comes down to business, what team emerges as the best?

In my opinion, the 2018 Golden State Warriors were better than the 1998 Chicago Bulls. It isn’t necessarily fair to judge teams that competed in two decades different of another, but in terms of dominance and overall competitive level, the Warriors take the cake. This is because of the multitude of raw offensive talent that can be found across the whole team. Kevin Durant is a unicorn in that he’s a big man (being able to destroy defenders in the paint with his 6’10” height) and can hit dagger threes in crunch time — just as consistently as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson could. Curry and Thompson are like a really good one-two punch at the running back position in football, they are always an easy fallback if other components of the offense aren’t working — the magnitude of Golden State’s wins and losses (the margin of points) tend to be associated with them, meaning both players have been considered to be the foundation of the team. Draymond Green is known for his incredible defense and willingness to get dirty in order to win. With exception to maybe Curry, Green has the strongest presence on the court and can help influence his team’s spirits through his extremely competitive attitude.

What some don’t understand is that Golden State was already a title contender before they received Kevin Durant. Once they landed KD, it was game over for every team that attempted to stand in their way. Durant’s arrival is the main reason for why I believe the 2018 Warriors roster to be better than the 1998 Bulls roster.

Even though I have the Warriors over the Bulls in terms of competitive level, there is a major difference between the two in terms of their fanbases. For instance, Golden State only had fans in their own franchise, and others that hopped on the bandwagon for a few years. Chicago had fans all over the NBA because they didn’t have a Kevin Durant-caliber player join their roster after they were already competing at an NBA Finals level (it also probably didn’t hurt that Michael Jordan was on their team too). The total level of fan respect looked a lot differently between the two teams — as in their minds it might have even seemed like the 2018 Warriors bought their championship, whereas the 1998 Bulls earned it.

In the end, there is no doubt that no other team in NBA history has received as much league-wide praise as the 1998 Chicago Bulls team did. But if they were placed head-to-head in a heated game against the 2018 Warriors squad, I have Golden State winning the game.