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1992-93 Chicago Bulls: Sports Illustrated covers

In conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the Bulls' third championship, take a look back at the five Sports Illustrated covers that Michael Jordan and Co. appeared on during the 1992-93 season


1992-93 Chicago Bulls: 20th anniversary of 1st three-peat

As Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and the Chicago Bulls made history in becoming just the third team in NBA history to three-peat, they appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated five times during the 1992-93 season.

All of the covers came during the 1993 NBA Playoffs, with the first coming on May 31, 1993 after Chicago dropped its opening game at Madison Square Garden in the Eastern Conference Finals: “No, Bull! Patrick Ewing stuffs Chicago in Game 1,” read the headline as the Knicks center blocked Bill Cartwright’s shot.

The following week, on June 7, 1993, it was Jordan on the cover driving past New York’s Anthony Mason: “Hanging Tough: Chicago and New York battle it out.” Though the Knicks also won Game 2, the Bulls went on to claim the next four contests and take the series, 4-2.

Chicago appeared on the cover of SI for a third time that season on June 21, as the Bulls faced 1993 NBA MVP Charles Barkley and the Suns in the NBA Finals. “Head to Head: Chicago and Phoenix duel for the crowd,” it read as Jordan elevated above Barkley for a layup.

Days later, a special collector’s edition of Sports Illustrated was released as the Bulls closed out the Suns, winning Game 6 in Phoenix on John Paxson’s late three-pointer. “Three Seasons to Savior” was the headline, accompanying an image of Jordan and head coach Phil Jackson embracing after the series-clincher.

SI again featured the Bulls on its cover on June 28, 1993 with a simple but fitting headline: “3!” Jordan, named NBA Finals MVP for a third consecutive year, clutched his trophy in one hand and the game ball in the other while he and Pippen celebrated the victory.

Three and a half months later, Jordan would appear on Sports Illustrated again, but it wasn’t to preview Chicago’s run for a fourth straight championship. Rather, on October 18, 1993, it posed the question, “Why?” in response to Jordan’s first retirement as it showed the iconic No. 23 walking off the court.

To view more of the archived Sports Illustrated covers, visit the SI Vault.

1992-93 Chicago Bulls championship season