Along the lines of the
Abraham Lincoln - John F. Kennedy eerie similarities, I present the parallels
between the Chicago Bulls (and Michael Jordan)
and the Pittsburgh Penguins (and Mario Lemieux).
Not to be confused with ESPN's presentation (I came up with all these by
my own research). Well, without further ado...
Lemieux and Michael
Jordan started their NHL and NBA careers in
the same year, 1984. Both of them won their respective "top rookie" honors.
and Jordan are
well known for their ability to score (goals scored and FG made).
Both, upon entry to the "big leagues", had a peer who dominated primarily
with the ability to pass and record assists (Wayne
Gretzky, and Earvin
They both became the leading scorers of their respective leagues for the
first two times in coinciding seasons (1987-88,1988-89)
Both, early in their careers, were one man teams, i.e. the only good player
on a bad team.
They also had to watch their respective "passing peer" win 3 titles in
the 1984-85, '86-87, and '87-88 seasons (those seasons, both the Edmonton
Oilers and Los
Angeles Lakers won league titles).
Their teams never really became respectable in the postseason until the
arrival of an key, underrated defensive player (goalie Tom
Bill Cartwright), both arriving in 1988.
They both won their first league titles in the 1990-91 season.
Both teams wrapped up their series away from home.
Lemieux and Jordan
were named their respective playoff MVPs that season, as well as the following
Both teams successfully defended their titles the next season.
Both teams clinched 2nd title in Chicago Stadium.
Along the way to that second title, both teams had to absorb some "foul
play" inflicted by New York
teams in the 2nd round of the playoffs (Mario
had his hand fractured by a slash from Adam
Graves of the Rangers, and assorted Bulls
players, including Jordan,
were cut and physically punished by Knicks
The common formula for both teams' success in winning and repeating: Offense
that shined and sparkled and grabbed headlines, but an underrated defense
was what paved the way to success.
During the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons, both Mario
Lemieux and Michael
Jordan missed more than 75% of those two seasons
(Lemieux played in less than half of 93-94 and sat out all of 94-95, Jordan
"retired" for 93-94 and came back after the All-Star break in 94-95).
Similarly, each team failed to win titles in those two seasons.
Both players, upon coming back, had a star player to rely on, in a Lone
Ranger relies on Tonto sort of way (Jaromir
Jagr and Scottie
Pippen). Pippen and Jagr really became better
players as a result of Jordan's and Lemieux's absence.
Both Pippen and
Jagr have traits
similar to Jordan and Lemieux, in that both are very good scorers and underrated
In the 1995-6 season, each team played a total of 18 playoff games, but
with different results (the Bulls
won in 3 over Miami, 5 over New York, 4 over Orlando, and 6 over Seattle.
won in 6 over Washington, 5 over New York, and lost in 7 games to Florida).
In the two seasons since their respective comebacks, both Lemieux
and Jordan led
their leagues in scoring, and both won regular season MVP in the first
season back, but were runner up in the second (to Dominik
Hasek and Karl
what do you think??? Scary, huh? Enough of that!
to main sports page)