Ben Ripstein has spent eight years as president of Midwest Motors, Inc., where he manages all business activities, from the acquisition of automobiles to strategic engagements with the sales department. When he is away from work, Ben Ripstein enjoys following Chicago professional sports teams such as the Bulls.
Over the course of the 1996 National Basketball Association (NBA) Playoffs, the Chicago Bulls completed one of the most dominant post-season runs the league has ever seen. Led by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and key role players such as Steve Kerr and Toni Kukoc, the Bulls finished the regular season with a 72-10 record, the best NBA regular season record until 2016.
The Bulls opened their post-season campaign against the Miami Heat. Chicago swept Miami in three games, winning by an average of 23 points. The Bulls’ playoff win streak extended to five games in the second round, when Chicago faced off against the fifth-seeded New York Knicks. New York managed a three-point victory in Game 3 and narrowly lost Game 4 by the same margin before being eliminated in five games.
In the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals, the Bulls swept Shaquille O’Neal and the Orlando Magic in four games, including a 121-83 blowout in Game 1. Upon advancing to a third consecutive NBA Finals, the Bulls stretched their win streak to nine games over the Seattle Supersonics, establishing an insurmountable 3-0 lead before dropping Game 4 and Game 5. Returning to Chicago for Game 6, the Bulls closed out the series with an 87-75 win, bringing an end to what is considered to be the greatest single season in NBA history. In total, Chicago lost just 13 games over the course of the regular season and playoffs.
During his spare time, Midwest Motors Inc. president Ben Ripstein enjoys watching sports. Ben Ripstein supports Illinois teams over all others, and considers the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bulls to be his favorite teams. The Chicago Bulls played host to Michael Jordan, one of the all-time greats of American basketball.
Michael Jordan’s accomplishments are difficult to fully list, though Rookie of the Year, five-time NBA Most Valuable Player, six-time NBA champion, Defensive Player of the Year, and 14-time NBA All-Star would be enough to put him at the top of the sport. His two Olympic gold medals, earned in 1984 and 1992, only further solidify his status as one of the world’s greatest athletes.
His acclaim also comes, however, from his off-the-court activities. Air Jordan sneakers were one of the most popular pieces of footwear during his career, and a co-promotion with Looney Tunes eventually led to the hit movie Space Jam. This high visibility and strong talent were enough to earn him the distinction of ESPN’s greatest athlete of the 20th century, even over all-time greats in other sports like Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. Even so, he retained humility, claiming that his greatness was built on that of other legendary players, rather than innate to him alone.
Ben Ripstein serves as the president of Midwest Motors Inc., where he is responsible for buying all cars and overseeing the sales department. When he is not working, Ben Ripstein enjoys following the Chicago Bulls, his favorite basketball team.
The Bulls currently have their eye on five-time NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. Power forward for the Los Angeles Clippers, Blake Griffin’s time in Los Angeles is coming to an end. The Oklahoma City Thunder, Orlando Magic, Boston Celtics, and Chicago Bulls have all expressed interest in the impressive player, as have other teams. One rumor reports the Bulls are trading both Nikola Mirotic and Taj Gibson to get their hands on Griffin. While the team hopes to acquire him before the trade deadline in early 2017, they are also willing to pursue him during free agency later in the year.
In the recent 2015-2016 season free agency, the Bulls managed to pick up Dwayne Wade and Rajon Rondo. Along with Jimmy Butler, the three superstars will be tasked with carrying the team forward in the coming years.
If the Chicago Bulls manage to snag Blake Griffin, the move will go a long way in cementing a prosperous future for the team.