KEY POINTS

  • Former NBA star Dennis Hopson recalled the moment he got traded to the Chicago Bulls in 1990
  • Hopson said he didn't want to go to the Bulls because he would be forced to compete with Michael Jordan for playing time
  • He and Jordan didn't have a bad relationship despite everything

Former NBA star Dennis Hopson admitted he didn’t like getting traded to Chicago Bulls because he knew he would have to compete with Michael Jordan for playing time.

In a recent interview with Basketball Network, Hopson recalled the moment the New Jersey Nets traded him to the Bulls in 1990. Despite not agreeing to the deal, the 1987 3rd overall draft pick revealed that his fractious relationship with his former coach, Bill Fitch, saw him being sent to Chicago.

“Me and Bill Fitch [Nets coach], we didn’t see eye to eye,” Hopson admitted. “We didn’t get along at all. I thought that was my best season, led the team in scoring, and just getting a good feel for the game. Kinda’ growing into my own. For him to trade me because of the relationship, OK. I’m OK with that. But to trade me to Chicago, I wasn’t OK with that.”

In his first three seasons with the Nets, Hopson was considered one of the most notable shooting guards in the league. He knew what he could do inside the court and was also well aware that joining the Bulls squad led by Jordan would likely end his hot streak.

Heading into the 1990-91 season, Hopson finally got traded to the Bulls and his hunch turned out to be right. He was hardly given playing time and his numbers drastically decreased.

“It was said that we would be able to play together a lot because Michael would move over to the point guard position,” he revealed. “We played a couple of games together, but no major minutes. What was said didn’t actually happen, and even when it was said, I didn’t believe that it would happen.” 

Former NBA star and owner of Charlotte Hornets team Michael Jordan will take a stake in DraftKings in exchange for advising the company Former NBA star and owner of Charlotte Hornets team Michael Jordan will take a stake in DraftKings in exchange for advising the company Photo: AFP / FRANCK FIFE

Hopson may have lost the chance of becoming an NBA superstar. However, he managed to secure an NBA champion in his first season with the Bulls. As for Jordan, Hopson said he got along well with the then-Bulls star in and outside the court.

“We didn’t have a bad relationship,” the former NBA star said of Jordan. “He has given up some money in order to get me there.”

After the 1990-91 season, Hopson spent one more year with the Bulls before eventually joining the Sacramento Kings where he was resurgent.

The then-NBA star earned another contract offer from the team, but in the summer of 1992, Hopson followed his agent’s advice and played overseas. He never managed to get back to the NBA, and he still regrets it even to this day.