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Draymond Green says 2017 Warriors would defeat 1998 Bulls

James Foglio profile picture
Updated 3 weeks ago on
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Draymond Green says 2017 Warriors would defeat 1998 Bulls
USA Today Network

Draymond Green loves making outlandish claims and hypotheticals each NBA season. And now the four-time NBA champ thinks the 2016-17 Warriors would defeat the 1997-98 Bulls in a seven-game series. Of course, the Bulls beat the Jazz in six games in the 1998 NBA Finals, winning their sixth NBA championship.

Michael Jordan also won his sixth Finals MVP award. The Bulls finished their regular season 62-20 (.756) and ranked at the top of the Eastern Conference. On Twitter, Green tweeted this message shown below.


Green posted in his tweet, “And that’s why it’s dumb to compare Era’s.” But that’s exactly what the four-time All-Star just showed the basketball world. How would someone compare the eras? The rules were quite different.

Imagine how many fans would watch the 2017 Warriors take on the 1998 Bulls. With a rating of 18.7, the Bulls-Jazz series in 1998 amassed the highest Nielsen television ratings in NBA history.

Game 5 of this series generated 30.59 million viewers, and the contest received a 19.8 rating. Not to mention, with a rating of 22.3, Game 6 had 35.8 million viewers as well. Four of the five most-watched NBA Finals games in the history of the league involved M.J. and the Bulls.

The 2016-17 Warriors concluded their regular season 67-15 (.817), ranking first overall in the Western Conference. They went on to defeat the Cavaliers in five games in the 2017 NBA Finals.

Would Draymond Green and the 2017 Warriors win under the new NBA rules?

The winner of a hypothetical Warriors-Bulls NBA Finals series would depend entirely on which set of rules the teams would abide by. During the nineties, more contact was allowed on offense and defense. Therefore, the older rules placed the ball handler at a disadvantage.

If the 2017 rules were used in this matchup, contact would be limited on the ball handler, and zone defense would represent a larger chunk of the teams’ game plans. Shooters rely more on 3-pointers now than they did when Jordan played as well. Either way, Stephen Curry is one of the most accurate shooters ever.

Former teammate Kevin Durant had one of the best responses to Green’s tweet on Twitter. The two-time Finals MVP tweeted: “I can’t tell you what the results would be, but I do know that steve kerr would’ve demanded that we put steve kerr in as many pick and rolls as possible.”

While talented stars like Durant and Curry would’ve been able to score against the Bulls, no one knows how many points either player would average. Jordan averaged 1.2 steals per game in the 1997-98 season. Plus, M.J. led the league in scoring for the 10th time in his career with 28.7 points.

During the 1998 NBA Finals, Jordan averaged 33.5 points, 4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game against the Jazz. He shot 42.7% from the field and 30.8% from beyond the arc.

In addition to Jordan, the 2017 Warriors would have to find a way to block out Scottie Pippen. The forward received eight consecutive NBA All-Defensive First-Team selections from 1992–99. Due to putting off surgery and dealing with front office issues, he played just 44 games in the regular season.

Sorry, Draymond Green, the 2017 Warriors still probably would have lost to the 1998 Bulls. Jordan’s team repeated twice in the nineties. Let that sink in for a minute. If you could place bet on this ridiculous matchup, which team would you pick to win? Feel free to read our list of the best NBA betting sites and sportsbooks in 2022.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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