The Bulls have put together an impressive core of young players over the last 15 months, but it won’t be enough to get them on national TV on Christmas Day.
The NBA announced its slate of five Christmas Day games and for the second consecutive season, the Bulls will be off.
Last year the Bulls were off on Christmas, breaking a seven-year stretch in which they played in front of a national audience.
And while it would have been fun to see the Bulls playing while we unwrapped our gifts, it’s hard to argue with the five-game schedule the NBA put together:
New York Knicks vs. Milwaukee Bucks
Boston Celtcs vs. Philadelphia 76ers
Utah Jazz vs. Portland Trail Blazers
Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Lakers
Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
And since the Bulls won’t be playing on Christmas and you’ll be forced to spend time with your family, here’s a look at the history of how the Bulls have fared on Christmas Day.
2016: San Antonio Spurs 119, Chicago Bulls 100
LaMarcus Aldridge sets the tone by dropping 20 points on 9 of 9 shooting in the opening quarter, as he and Kawhi Leonard combine for 58 points. The closest the Bulls get in the final period is nine points, with Tony Parker leading a late charge to close the door on any attempted comeback. Dwyane Wade finishes with a team-high 24 points in the loss.
2015: Chicago Bulls 105, Oklahoma City Thunder 96
Squaring off against a Thunder team that had won nine of their last 10, the Bulls put together one of their best performances of the season. Jimmy Butler scores 23 points, Pau Gasol adds 21 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, and the Bulls outscore the Thunder, 32-16, in the decisive third quarter.
2014: Chicago Bulls 113, Los Angeles Lakers 93
Pau Gasol faces his old team for the first time since signing with the Bulls, scoring 23 points and adding 13 rebounds in the blowout victory. Kobe Bryant sat out the game with various injuries, but Carlos Boozer plays in his return to Chicago and is booed, as expected. He scores 14 points.
2013: Chicago Bulls 95, Brooklyn Nets 78
In a rematch of the previous year’s first round playoff series, runs of 12-0 and 21-5 help the Bulls work their way back toward .500 (11-16) after losing 13 of their previous 17 games.
2012: Houston Rockets 120, Chicago Bulls 97
Omer Asik scores 20 points and grabs 18 rebounds in his first game against the Bulls since signing with the Rockets that previous offseason. Newcomer Jeremy Lin scores 20 points, while Nate Robinson leads the Bulls with 27 points.
2011: Chicago Bulls 88, Los Angeles Lakers 87
With the lockout over, the Bulls top the Lakers on Opening Day behind a clutch shot late from reigning MVP Derrick Rose, who scores 22 points in the victory. Luol Deng limits Kobe Bryant to 28 points on 23 shots and eight turnovers.
2010: New York Knicks 103, Chicago Bulls 95
Playing on Christmas for the first time in more than a decade, the Bulls score 12 points in the fourth quarter and allow Amare Stoudemire to go for 20 points and 10 rebounds. Free agent acquisition Carlos Boozer adds 26 points and 19 rebounds but commits seven turnovers.
1997: Chicago Bulls 90, Miami Heat 80
In what would be his final Christmas Day game with the Bulls, Michael Jordan scores 24 points and grabs 11 rebounds in the win. Alonzo Mourning is limited to 23 minutes with foul trouble.
1996: Chicago Bulls 95, Detroit Pistons 83
Scottie Pippen goes for 27 points, eight rebounds and eight assists in what was, at the time, the best combined record for a Christmas Day matchup in NBA history; the Bulls were 24-3 and the Pistons were 20-5.
1994: Chicago Bulls 107, New York Knicks 104 (OT)
Scottie Pippen scores 36 points – including all seven of the Bulls’ points in overtime – and grabs 16 rebounds, while Toni Kukoc comes off the bench to score 25 points in the victory. John Starks is ejected.
1993: Chicago Bulls 95, Orlando Magic 93
Toni Kukoc nails the game-winner with two seconds left, extending the Bulls’ win streak to nine games. Scottie Pippen scores 28 points and grabs four steals, playing all 48 minutes.
1992: Chicago Bulls 89, New York Knicks 77
Michael Jordan dazzles the Chicago Stadium crowd with 42 points, easily outplaying Patrick Ewing, who scored 14 points on 6-for-18 shooting.
1991: Chicago Bulls 121, Boston Celtics 99
Six players score in double figures for the Bulls, who force the Celtics into 17 turnovers in the victory. Larry Bird, in what would be his final Christmas Day game, is limited to eight points and eight rebounds.
1990: Chicago Bulls 98, Detroit Pistons 86
A changing of the guard takes place, as Michael Jordan scores 37 points on the defending champs and gets revenge on a Pistons team that beat them by 21 in Detroit the previous week.
1986: New York Knicks 86, Chicago Bulls 85
Patrick Ewing’s buzzer-beater caps off a massive 28-point, 17-rebound outing. Michael Jordan scores 30 points but shoots just 10 of 28 from the field as the Bulls fall to .500.
1976: Chicago Bulls 96, Kansas City Kings 91
Wilbur Holland scores 22 points to lead the Bulls to victory. 27-year-old Artis Gilmore, in his first NBA season, chips in eight points.
1972: Phoenix Suns 115, Chicago Bulls 108
The Bulls led for much of the contest, but Dick Van Arsdale’s 32 points were too much for Bob Love (29 points) and Chet Walker (20 points) to handle down the stretch.
1971: Chicago Bulls 109, Portland Trail Blazers 88
Led by Bob Love’s 26 points the Bulls, on their way to a franchise-record 57 wins, blow past Sidney Wicks (24 points) and the Trailblazers.
1970: Baltimore Bullets 128, Chicago Bulls 112
Bob Love pours in 42 points in a losing effort, as four Bullets tally 20 or more, led by future Hall-of-Famer Earl Monroe’s 25 points.
1968: Cincinnati Royals 103, Chicago Bulls 98
Cincinnati gets 31 points from Connie Dierking and 23 from a guy named Oscar Robertson, outmatching five Bulls scorers in double figures, led by Jim Washington’s 18 points. That year Robertson would lead the NBA in assists for the seventh and final time in his Hall of Fame career.
1966: New York Knicks 133, Chicago Bulls 132
The Bulls play on Christmas in their inaugural season, with Bob Boozer’s 40 points leading the charge. But Walt Bellamy (29 points) and Cazzie Russell (27 points) lead a late comeback as the Knicks outscore the Bulls by nine in the final quarter.