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Burnin’ Up for The Bulls?

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Chicago arose from the ashes into a vibrant, dynamic city—and its basketball team, The Bulls, arose from nothing to achieve the Playoffs in their first year. Dan Zabinski tells their story—building it from scratch into something that surely must make The Bulls and their fans smile.

Sit down and chat about the project and its raddest moments and players—with someone who’s just scrupulously reviewed the entire history.


How did you get involved with this project?

The project came through Bowe King & Matt Darnall at The Mill Plus. Bowe and I have worked together before on multiple different projects. I am a huge Bulls fan—so when I heard that they were cooking something up with the Bulls, I made sure to let them know.

What was the brief like?

This season will be the Bulls 50th (Golden) Anniversary since it became a franchise in the NBA. We were asked to come up with something that celebrated their history and paid homage to players from all eras. And, of course, get people psyched for the upcoming season.

What was most challenging about the project?

The hunt for the footage. We were provided a drive with some historical footage. But, it only took us so far. For instance, we needed footage from the Bulls’ first year as a team in the late 60s. I got lucky finding a clip buried in some deep corner of YouTube. Some guy from Thailand had an old television broadcast that had the footage we needed. Then, we worked backwards until we found the original clip. Thank you Thai Guy, whoever you are.

What did you learn, what surprised you while working on this?

Watching footage from era to era showed me how much the game has evolved since the 60s. And Jerry Sloan was tough as nails.

How long have you been a fan? Do you play?

I have been a basketball fan since I got a perforated sheet of NBA Hoops trading cards that had the 90/91 Bulls Championship team. I did play in school. But we won’t talk about that.

Did you grow up in Chicago? Have you always admired the Bulls?

I grew up in the suburbs just outside of Chicago—during the 90s. My fate as a Bulls fan was sealed.

Do you have a favorite player?

Noah for the fire, Butler for being the underdog, and Rose being the homegrown hero. I love the whole squad. I’m excited for this year.

Anything else fun you’d like to share?

Pippens Dunk on Ewing is probably the nastiest thing I have ever seen in a basketball game. Even though I’ve watched it a couple hundred times over, I still get giddy watching it.