The documentary series, The Last Dance brought the focus of the sports world back onto the Chicago Bulls and its impressive Michael Jordan championship-winning era. The show helped escalate the interest in tangible items associated with one of pro sports’ top franchises. The news that the first pair of Air Jordan’s sold for more than $500,000 at auction shows the enduring appeal of number 23 and the long-lasting market-value of Chicago Bulls memorabilia.
For most sports fans, mentioning the Bulls moves thoughts automatically to Jordan and his iconic time at the team from 1984 to 1998 (with a brief break for an attempt at a baseball career). There’s little doubt the Jordan-Pippen era dominates any list of the best Bulls teams of all-time. However, the Bulls have been playing professional basketball in the NBA since the 1966-67 season with varying levels of success and there’s plenty of history to go around.
Fans looking for vintage Chicago Bulls basketball cards often look to the first great team in the history of the franchise that won the division title in 1975 and lost in the playoffs to the Golden State Warriors. Alongside the trading cards of Jordan, Bulls basketball cards include great names from 40-50 years ago such as Hall of Famer Jerry Sloan, Bob “Butterbean” Love, Chet “The Jet” Walker and “Stormin’ Norman Van Lier.
The fortunes of the Bulls began to turn around in the Summer of 1984 with the selection of Jordan, the silky smooth shooting guard from North Carolina. It became quickly apparent he’d rise above those in his draft class to become arguably the greatest player of all time. Chicago Bulls memorabilia from the early years of the Jordan era often focus on his 63-point playoff game against the Celtics. Eventually, though, the Bulls found Phil Jackson and the keys to a dynasty.
The Bulls would win three straight NBA titles during Jordan’s first era at the team before Scottie Pippen took over the leadership role following Jordan’s first retirement. The return of Jordan for the 1995-96 season started the run towards another three-peat. The end of the Jordan era came with his fifth MVP award and sixth NBA Championship under the coaching of Phil Jackson and alongside one of the greatest teams and benches to ever appear in the NBA.
While Jordan rookie cards are the most popular items, Bulls memorabilia encompasses a wide variety of collectibles, many of which are in high demand. From autographs to 1984-85 season ticket brochures featuring Jordan to key ticket stubs from milestone games, to historic 1960s pieces and items from the current squad, there’s plenty to keep collectors busy. You can check out the most popular eBay auctions featuring vintage Bulls items here.