Decade Summary: After the Bird and Magic/Kareem dynasties came to a close, it was pretty clear who would take over the league next. Michael Jordan had already established himself as probably the best player in the league, and after Scottie Pippen joined him and the Chicago Bulls in 1988, they were finally able to take down the Pistons in 1991, winning the title that year as well as in 1992 and 1993. However, Jordan retired for the 1994 season and was injured during the 1995 season after coming out of retirement after just one year. Hakeem "The Dream" Olajuwon and his Houston Rockets pounced at the opportunity of a Jordan-less league, winning the title both of those years (1994 and 1995). But when Jordan returned in 1996, it was back to his winning ways, as he captured another "three-peat" from 1996-1998, and ended his career with five MVPs and six titles. There were many legends in this time period that were unable to capture a title due to the dynasties of Jordan and Olajuwon, Jordan in particular. Chief among these ringless legends is two-time MVP Karl "The Mailman" Malone, who along with John Stockton, made it to the finals twice, only to lose to the Bulls both times. Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Reggie Miller are also legends whose only mistake in not winning a ring was being born in the same era as Jordan. David Robinson and Shaquille O'Neal, on the other hand, were able to win titles with the Spurs and Lakers, respectively, after Jordan had peaked. They won their titles with young upcoming stars Kobe Bryant (Lakers) and Tim Duncan (Spurs) in the early 2000s, and Bryant and Duncan would go on to dominate that decade.