NBA: Tim Floyd says he talked Reinsdorf out of disbanding Bulls sooner

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Apr 22 2020 09:23 AM

Head coach Tim Floyd of the UTEP Miners talks to his players on the bench during their game against the UNLV Rebels at the Thomas & Mack Center December 14, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. UNLV won 65-54. Ethan Miller, Getty Images/AFP

Former NBA and college basketball coach Tim Floyd said Monday that it was he who advised owner Jerry Reinsdorf against disbanding the great Chicago Bulls team after the 1995-96 season.

During an interview with ESPN 104.5 in Baton Rouge, La., Floyd said he was flown to Seattle, under false pretenses, to meet with Reinsdorf about replacing Phil Jackson as coach of the Bulls.

Then Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, frustrated with Jackson, wanted the rebuild to start after '95-96, Floyd said Monday. He added that he told Reinsdorf not to do it, likening the Bulls players to the Beatles.

The Bulls went on to win titles under Jackson in 1996-97 and 1997-98, with the latter season the subject of the ESPN documentary "The Last Dance."

"This is the most popular franchise of all time," Floyd said he told Reinsdorf. "I said, 'If I'm you, I would not do this. Not even the following year. Let it die a natural death because there are certain teams and players that you just don't break up. I think these guys have earned the right to let it die its own death.'"

Floyd said he was flown to Seattle under the guise of visiting one of his old players from the University of New Orleans, Ervin Johnson. He said he and Reinsdorf chatted while walking around downtown Seattle.

Floyd was eventually hired to coach the Bulls after the 1997-98 season but was forced to keep Jackson's coaching staff in order to continue to run the triangle offense -- but without Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.

Floyd went 49-190 in three-plus seasons with the Bulls, resigning 25 games into his fourth year after a 4-21 start. He subsequently had stints as head coach of the then-New Orleans Hornets and at the University of Southern California and UTEP.

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