As a Chicago lifer, I know that one of the best parts of attending a
Chicago Bulls game is the pregame introduction. The spectacle is always a
source of civic pride, and every time I've been there to experience the
introduction live, I get goosebumps.
Yes, even during the 55-65 losses a season Tim Floyd years. Why is this so special because the Bulls were THE FIRST NBA team to dim their lights during the starting lineup introductions at home games.
Other teams around the league soon and then in other sports followed
suit. During the Bulls' dynasty, the player introductions became world
famous. Numerous weddings in Chicago during the early and mid 90s
ripped off the Bulls intro when they trotted out their bridal parties.
Ray Clay was the guy who took over the public addressing duties in
1990, and Clay continued many of the traditional aspects of the Bulls
introductions, including the Bulls song everyone knows and loves, The
Alan Parsons Project's "Sirius", for all six championship runs. But
preceding "Sirius," the visiting team is introduced to "On the Run"
from Pink Floyd's album The Dark Side of the Moon. The light remain on at the time. However, this year the opponent's song is the "Imperial March" from Star Wars composed by John Williams. A huge nerd such as myself loves this song change and considers it a big upgrade.
However, it works MUCH BETTER when they Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers are in town. Not so much when the Minnesota Timberwolves and Oklahoma City Thunder are taking the floor.
For every game, almost all lights in the stadium are shut off for the
Bulls introduction, and a spotlight illuminates each player as he is
introduced and runs onto the court. After the move to the United
Center, laser lights and fireworks were added, and with improvements to
the arena's White Way video screen, CGI graphics on the stadium
jumbo-tron became part of the show.
Traditionally, the players have been introduced in the following
order: small forward, power forward, center, point guard, shooting
guard. Thus, Scottie Pippen was usually the first Bulls player introduced, and Michael Jordan the last. (Pippen and Jordan were the only players to play on all six
Bulls championship teams.) During the height of the Bulls empire, you
could not hear a thing as soon as you heard "from North....." when
Jordan's intro began. Although internal disputes eventually led to the
dismissal of Clay, the Bulls in 2006 announced the return of Tommy
Edwards as the announcer. The introductions are still great today, but
they are nothing like what they once were in 1998. Only because the team
is not what it was back then.
However, the Bulls are by far the most dominant professional sports
franchise in Chicago sports history. The second city may have a
psychotically unhealthy obsession with the Bears, and to a lesser extent the Cubs, but the Bears have won one Super Bowl, and the Bulls have won 6 NBA titles during the last half-century. Aside from the White Sox in 2005, no one else has an on-field history in the last 60 years even worth bringing up.
So while the Bulls may not get as much publicity as some other
Chicago teams, they have the track record of success going for them. And
that's why their introductions are so special, you know that the
franchise history can support the spectacle and the hype. If the Bears
and Cubs tried this, it would be laughable!
The first two videos I shot this season, from a preseason battle with Orlando, and a regular season contest against the Bucks. The last two I added from YouTube, one of the CGI presentation, another from the 1997 NBA Finals for good measure.