Bulls’ title drought officially hits 25 years. Who else doesn’t feel like celebrating?

The Bulls will wake up Saturday so far from championship No. 7 that there’s no telling where it might be on the vast horizon.

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Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat - Play-In Tournament

Miami’s Max Strus shoots over the Bulls’ Zach LaVine in the Heat’s 102-91 play-in win.

Photo by Bryan Cereijo/Getty Images

Twenty-five years after Chicago’s hoops eminence ended in a ‘‘last dance,’’ the Bulls will wake up Saturday so far from championship No. 7 that there’s no telling where it might be on the vast horizon.

Of course, that would have been true even if they had beaten the Heat in a must-have play-in game Friday in Miami. Had they survived, the Bulls still likely would have been dead men walking, with a first-round series against their foremost tormentors — the Bucks — awaiting them.

Maybe the Heat did the Bulls a favor by pulling away in the last two minutes and winning 102-91. Maybe we’ll never know or even care all that much. One night after the Blackhawks’ season ended with a feel-good loss, thanks to Jonathan Toews, the Bulls’ season ended with a feel-not-much-of-anything loss, thanks to cold, hard reality.

That’s what happens when you wind up under .500 and finish 10th in the Eastern Conference, neither in the hunt for a title nor the hunt for Victor Wembanyama. You come to exist in a senseless void.

On April 15, 1998, the Bulls were on the precipice of a sixth and final successful journey through the postseason. But they just had lost Game No. 80 — still two to go before the playoffs — and had dropped three of four for the first time since November and back-to-back games for the first time since December. Scottie Pippen was dealing with a minor kidney infection. Michael Jordan looked tired — human, almost — having missed 30 of his 44 field-goal attempts in ugly losses to the Pacers and Pistons. The Jazz, Sonics and Lakers all loomed large in the West, with records as good as the Bulls’. Another title was in serious doubt.

Oh, what problems to have! Doesn’t anybody else miss them?

Sorry for being wistful.

But as we close the books on the Bulls’ 57th season, it only feels like 57 since they last had a real chance to do real damage in the playoffs. They haven’t had a 50-victory regular season — or won a playoff series — since 2015 and have made the playoffs only twice since then.

Their problems remain daunting. Zach LaVine, who shot 6-for-21, missed all six of his three-point attempts and committed five turnovers against the Heat, still hasn’t convinced anyone he has the innate stuff of a winner to go with his $215.2 million max contract. DeMar DeRozan, signed through next season, soon will be 34. Nikola Vucevic, a free agent, is 12 years into his career. And these are the team’s best players, who might or might not fit together in a way that ever truly will work.

As for the rest of the Bulls? Well, give a tip of the headband to Alex Caruso, who came out sizzling against the Heat. And a hearty fist-bump to Coby White, who made two of the biggest shots of the game — the biggest of his career — in the fourth quarter, giving the Bulls a real chance. And here’s to big Andre Drummond, who threw his weight around like a bad dude.

But they all play for the same under-.500 team. Cold, hard reality says there’s a whole lot of nothing-to-see-here here.

Still, LaVine’s teammates had his back against the Heat with the sort of team effort — much of it, anyway — that tempts one to look at a collection of players and wonder what it might be capable of if only everyone played this hard and together on a routine basis. And if it remained at that level against the Bucks, what might that have looked like?

We’ll never know or even care all that much. Maybe I should speak for myself on that one.

But in the end, the play-in experience actually was pretty fun, wasn’t it?

A series against the Bucks might not have been fun at all, though one supposes anything is possible because we’ve seen a handful of 8-vs.-1 giant-killings before. In 1994, the Nuggets shocked the Sonics in a best-of-five. In 1998, the Knicks did likewise to the Heat, though that was less surprising after a lockout-shortened regular season. In 2007, the Warriors ran Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks out of the gym 4-2 in a best-of-seven.

And in 2011, the Grizzlies had the gall to chop down Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and the Spurs. In a previous job, I covered all six games of that upset, and it was almost mind-blowing. Is any giant completely safe?

Then again, Giannis Antetokounmpo is every bit to the Bulls what Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers were to the Bears. The Bulls are 4-22 in their last 26 games — including a first-round mismatch last season — against the Big Cheeses.

Anyway, the Bucks are the Heat’s problem now.

Back into the void we go.

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