The Chicago Bulls have 4 major rivalries with teams from the NBA – Miami Heat, the Detroit Pistons, the Nicks, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Every game with any of the mentioned teams is always great to watch because they have a special flavor of extra passion, loyalty, and aggressive gameplay. The players are eager to prove themselves on the court and the fans love to watch the excitement.
There is even a story of a die-hard Bulls fan who wagered on one of the games against one of these rivals years ago. He was certain that his team would win, but the problem was that he didn’t have enough money. So, he turned to an online lending company, got the finances, placed the bet and made a fortune. There is no information about the amount he won, but reports say that he managed to have a very nice life.
There are many things to write about all the rivalries, but we wanted to focus this article on the Bulls’ rivalry with the Cleveland Cavaliers. We’ll see how it all started, how the rivalry developed and what’s the current state.
How it All Began
Even though these two teams were playing in the NBA since the Cavaliers joined as an expansion team in 1970, they weren’t considered as rivals. Their first meeting was on December 20, 1970, and in that game, the Bulls celebrated with a victory, 116-103.
The true rivalry between these two began when Michael Jordan was picked by the Bulls in 1984 draft. After Jordan started dominating the league, the Bulls were giving the Cleveland Cavaliers a hard time, and the bad blood between them was growing bigger and bigger.
The Calm Before the Storm
After Jordan left the Bulls and joined the Washington Wizards, the rivalry between the two teams kind of died down. He spent a total of 12 seasons with the Chicago Bulls and managed to win 6 NBA Championships. All of that was about to change in the 2003 NBA draft.
Cleveland Cavaliers used the 2003 NBA draft to pick the legendary LeBron James. This was a big revelation for the team because, during the Jordan era, the Bulls were dominating the Cavaliers. LeBron was a very good breath of fresh air and resurged the passion and the rivalry that these teams once had.
There have been a total of 244 meetings between these two teams. The Bulls lead against the Cavaliers with a total of 142 wins, while the Cavaliers have 102. The regular season all-time score favors the Bulls, they had 122 wins opposed to the Cavaliers, who have 90.
The longest winning streak also belongs to the Bulls, they’ve managed to win 13 games in a row, while the Cavaliers’ best streak is 7 games. The last game was a victory for the Cavaliers (117-111), and their next match is scheduled in January 2020.
Some players that played for both teams are Kay Felder, Carlos Boozer, Dwyane Wade, Shannon Brown, Ron Harper, and Drew Gooden.