NBA: Jordan, Pippen feted at Bulls celebration

Agence France-Presse

CHICAGO ? Basketball Hall of Famers Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen joined in another championship celebration on Saturday as the Chicago Bulls commemorated the 20th anniversary of their first NBA title.

Jordan and Pippen and some of their former teammates and coaches were on hand for a ceremony during halftime of Saturday's game against Utah.

A video set to Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" featured highlights of that campaign: Jordan dunking over Patrick Ewing, Pippen harrying opponents and John Paxson draining jump shots.

Former Bulls broadcaster Jim Durham served as the master of ceremonies.

Dennis Hopson, Horace Grant and Paxson all received warm welcomes. The excitement level rose for Pippen and when Jordan was called, the roar was deafening.

Pippen thanked the club for bringing "back a memory that we all want to live again just one more time."
"This is very special for us," he said.

A beaming Jordan thanked the team for "allowing us to reunite".

"You guys are in store for a lot of other championships," added Jordan, now the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and someone who has touted Chicago's Derrick Rose as a Most Vaouable Player candidate.

"That kid has come into his own," Jordan said of Rose. "He has matured quite a bit. When he came into the league, everybody said he had speed and can get to the rim, but he can't shoot. Now, he can shoot the three as well as pull-up shots. He has very few flaws."

The current surging Bulls team is raising memories of the dominant Bulls era, which started when the 1990-91 team completed a 61-21 season and finally got past Detroit after falling to the Pistons in the Eastern Conference finals the prior two seasons.

They defeated Magic Johnson's Los Angeles Lakers in five games to start the first of Chicago's two title three-peats.

Some key members of the first championship team were absent.

Coach Phil Jackson was on duty with his current Lakers team in Dallas.

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