Bulls games are a bit of an overpriced mess, what with the constant non-basketball stuff (to make up for the lack of crowd...or even when not) and them replacing Connie's Pizza with crappy Digiornos and Kirk Hinrich being announced last and whatnot. But it is still a pretty cool experience once in a while, especially when times are good and in the playoffs.
So my examples for this SBNation theme day may be lacking compared to some long-timers. I have gone to Dynasty-era games as well, including one Conference Final at the Stadium when I was too young to see much let alone appreciate it, but none really stick out to me.
And I've had bad timing for some of the more recent years. I was at the game where Rose tore his ACL, which marred what had been an incredible (even Rip Hamilton contributed!) performance. The only crappy game of the classic Bulls-Celtics series in 2009 was a Game 3 blowout loss that I attended. I saw Gilbert Arenas's buzzer-beater to beat them in 2005.
Some good ones too, though. In that '05 series I was at Game 1 when "No-Cee-Oh-Nee" was chanted throughout the arena. And another memorable playoff opener in 2011 with Kyle Korver capping off a comeback against Indiana. Though it never feels as good as a playoffs victory, there have been some amazing regular season matchups too, including 'the CJ Watson game' (Rose went 1-13) against Miami and Rose's game-winner just last season.
But for some reason (the reason, actually: I'm strange) the live experience that stands out was from 2007, in yet another playoff opener with the Bulls taking on the defending champ Miami Heat.
And I've probably linked this too many times, but it was mostly because of this Tyrus Thomas sequence:
See? Even the announcers made note of the crowd.
Not sure what it was, exactly. Just something exciting about taking down an aging defending champion with a rookie having what was thought to be an emerging moment. The Bulls won that game and swept the series, but it was a high point for that 'era' as well as for Thomas. A bit more naive then, it was easy to get caught up into thinking it was just the beginning of something special.
Thinking about it more, the post-dynasty home experience hasn't been full of many high-stakes battles. I didn't get to go to any more games in 2011 when they got to the Eastern Conference finals, and have pretty much avoided the non-Rose playoff games of the past 3 years given the inevitability of elimination. That did cost me a chance at the Triple-OT game against Brooklyn in 2013, anybody here go to that one? Start your bragging in the comments.