Bulls Make a Fast Meal of Olympiakos
If it was ever in doubt, the five-time NBA champion Chicago Bulls can call themselves world champions with some added justification after beating European champion Olympiakos, 104-78, in the final of the McDonald’s Championship.
Michael Jordan scored 27 points and put on the kind of show that French fans paid big money to see.
“I think hopefully the fans were pretty pleased despite the little time I was on the basketball court,” said Jordan, who played 29 minutes.
Scalpers got as much as $300 for tickets and the Bulls--after their sluggish, disjointed semifinal victory over Paris-St. Germain--didn’t disappoint the sellout crowd of 13,515, plus the more than 1,000 reporters from more than 50 countries.
NBA teams are 16-0 in this 10-year-old event and the Bulls, who were without injured Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, played like it was a game that mattered.
Randy Brown added 12 points for the Bulls and Steve Kerr had 10. Lithuanian forward Arturas Karnisovas--voted the best player last season in Europe--led Olympiakos with 19 points and Franco Nakic had 16 for the Greeks, who shot only 36.2 percent to 52 for the Bulls.
Several times Jordan said he put a “little extra mustard on top of the hot dog” to please the fans and good-naturedly challenge opponents.
The Bulls played intense defense throughout, clogged up Olympiakos’ big men in the middle and ran faster and shot better to go up, 54-43, at halftime.
In the third-place game, Argentina’s Atenas de Cordoba got 20 points from Marcelo Milanesio to beat Paris-St. Germain, 88-78.
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