Grading the 1998 Chicago Bulls OKRs
May 20, 2020

Were you one of the 5.65 million viewers that tuned in Sunday to the final episodes of ESPN’s The Last Dance? The ten part documentary has certainly been a highlight for our team over the last five weeks as we have continued to adjust to the new normal that is life without sports.


In fact, we enjoyed the first two episodes so much that we decided to write a blog about it, envisioning what the 1998 Chicago Bulls OKRs could have been. But, as any good company that’s worth their salt knows, it’s also important to review your OKRs and measure how you performed. This article is a follow-up, reviewing Michael, Phil, Scottie, and the team’s OKRs after the conclusion of the ‘98 season.


Chicago Bulls OKR

Objective: Crowned NBA Champions. 


Key Result 1: Clinch Home Court Advantage in Eastern Conference by Game 75 ✅

Key Result 2: Finish Top 5 in Defensive Efficiency ✅

Key Result 3: Scottie Pippen Returns by Game 41 (Halfway Through Season) ✅

Key Results 4: Every Game Sold Out at the United Center ✅

Key Results 5: Don’t Lose a Playoff Game at Home ❌


When it was all said and done, the ‘98 Chicago Bulls not only walked away as the 1998 NBA Champions, but they also cemented themselves as one of the greatest dynasties of all-time. Though it was a rocky start, once Pippen returned to the lineup it was relatively smooth sailing until they proved their grit and toughness in the Eastern Conference and NBA Finals. While they may have lost two playoff games at home, this team solidified their place in NBA history by capping off a sixth championship in Salt Lake City.


Phil Jackson’s OKR


Objective: Repeat the Three-peat 


Key Result 1: Win Central Division with 10 Games Remaining ✅

Key Result 2: Maintain Zen Mindset with Daily Meditation ✅

Key Result 3: Finish Top 3 in Turnover Differential ✅

Key Result 4: Keep Michael Jordan Under 38 Minutes Per Game on Average for the Season ❌


Has there ever been an NBA coach greater than Phil Jackson? In his quest for the sixth ring, Phil masterfully blended the tactical execution of the triangle offense with unique solutions for keeping his team together off the court (including an in-season Dennis Rodman vacation.)


There was no greater display of Phil’s ability to capture the moment than the burning ritual at the end of the season to recognize the significance of what they as a team had accomplished. Though he wasn’t able to keep MJ’s minutes under 38 per game, this might’ve been more to do with Michael's competitive nature and Scottie’s absence for half the season rather than a lack of coaching ability. 


Michael Jordan’s OKR


Objective: Players Win Championships. Period.


Key Result 1: Win NBA Finals MVP ✅

Key Result 2: Start in All 82 Regular Season Games and All Playoff Games ✅

Key Result 3: Named NBA MVP ✅

Key Result 4: Earn All-Defensive First Team Honors ✅

Key Result 5: Claim the NBA Scoring Title with 28+ Points Per Game ✅


Whether it was a burning desire to prove Jerry Krause wrong, or feeling slighted after Karl Malone was named the NBA MVP the previous year, Michael Jordan was nothing short of relentless in 1998. In what could be argued as his best single season ever, MJ used a combination of athleticism and veteran knowledge of the game to dominate his foes. 


His greatness shone brightest in the final 41 seconds of Game 6 of the Finals when he scored the last four points to give the Bulls a 1 point victory and cap off an unprecedented sixth championship in eight years. The only regret from this season? He never had a chance to go for seven.


Scottie Pippen’s OKR


Objective: Prove My Greatness to the NBA


Key Result 1: Return to Starting Lineup by January 25th, 1998 ✅

Key Result 2: Earn All-NBA Honors (1st, 2nd, or 3rd Team) ✅

Key Result 3: Finish Top Two on Team in Scoring ✅

Key Result 4: Lead Team in Assists with 5+ Per Game ✅


Scottie Pippen overcame obstacles, injuries, and silenced critics everywhere in what would be his final season suiting up for the city of Chicago. He never let Jerry Krause and the rest of the front office’s attitude affect his on the court dominance as Jordan’s number two option. 


Once returning from injury, it was business as usual. Pippen’s dedication to the game and his craft was at its best after battling through mind-numbing back spasms to clinch his sixth and final ring in the last game of the ‘98 Finals. As evidence of his greatness, he signed a five year deal worth $67 million after being traded to the Houston Rockets at the end of the season.


Which OKR was your personal favorite? Did you disagree with any of them? Let us know by emailing info@goelate.com, or comment on our company’s LinkedIn page. Be sure to follow our account so you can see our second article where we go through and do an analysis on each OKR based on how the season wrapped up. Thanks for reading!