The 2011-2012 Bulls season has unfortunately come to an end, and as a way to put a cap on the 46 season of Chicago Bulls Basketball, I decided to look at the Bulls All-Time 12 man roster, and see who I felt should be apart of this roster.
Derrick Rose: There’ve been a lot of talented Bulls point guards through the years (Norm Van Lier, John Paxson, and Ron Harper to name a few) but none of those players compare to what Derrick Rose has done in his first four NBA Seasons. Norm Van Lier was one of the best defensive point guards of All-Time (3 time 1st Team and 5 Times All Second Team NBA Defense) while still being a solid offensive point guard, John Paxson was apart of three championship teams (1991-1993) and hitting one of the biggest shots in Bulls history, and Ron Harper was one of the most underrated defenders of his ERA as on three different occasions he ranked in the top 10 in Steels in a season.
As good as those players were for the Bulls, I decided to choose Rose because he’s the youngest player in NBA history to win an MVP Award (22), has already made 3 All-Star Teams, was the 2008-2009 Rookie of the Year Award Winner, and tied with Kareem Abdul Jabbar with scoring the most points in their first ever playoff game (36) in the TD Garden. The other four players were great for the Bulls, but in my mind (even though he’s only played in four NBA Seasons), Derrick Rose is still the best point guard in Bulls history.
Michael Jordan: No offense to the other former Bulls shooting guards, but when your the greatest player of all time, then that person earns a spot on this list. Jordan has won a number of awards throughout his incredible NBA Career which include: Rookie of the Year (1985), Defensive Player of the Year (1988), 5 NBA MVP’s (1988, 1991-1992, 1996, and 1998), to go along with 6 NBA Championships (1991-1993 and 1996-1998) as he won MVP of the NBA Finals each time.
Scottie Pippen: The other member of the greatest duo in the history of the NBA (Scottie Pippen), was one of the best defenders of all time, voted one of the Top 50 players of All-Time, along with eventually being elected into the NBA Hall-of-Fame. In addition to those awards, during the time when Michael Jordan decided to play baseball, it was Pippen that stepped up and almost helped the Bulls Reach the Eastern Conference Finals (1994). In addition to all of these accomplishments, Scottie was the 1994 All-Star Game MVP and named to the 1st team All-NBA Defensive squad 8 times in his career.
Horace Grant: This was a tough decision as there could have been a number of people named at this spot, but in my mind its Horace Grant that should be named the best power forward in Bulls history. While playing for the Bulls organization, Grant was a dominant rebounder and good outside shooter while helping the Bulls win the franchises first three NBA Titles. Grant played for the Bulls for 7 season and ranked in the top 10 in offensive rebounds on three different occasions (1992, 1993, and 1994), along with averaging at-least 12 point per game (except for his rookie season) and once with the Bulls ranked in the top 10 in field goal percentage. Grant only made one All-Star Appearance while playing in Chicago (1994), but was a vital member to the Bulls winning 3 NBA Championships.
Artis Gilmore: Nicknamed ”The A-Train,” Hall-of-Famer Artis Gilmore was one of the most productive Bulls of All-Time as he never averaged less than 17.8 points, 9 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game while playing for the Bulls. In addition to those stats, on two different occasions with Bulls he finished with the best field goal percentage in the NBA (1981,1982) while also being named a three times top 5 rebounder (1977, 1978, and 1979). In my mind, Artis Gilmore was the best center in Bulls history and is one of the most underrated Players in the history of the NBA.
Jerry Sloan: One of the best defensive players of All-Time, Sloan (a 4-time 1st team all defensive player and 2-time 2nd team all defender) along with backcourt teammate Norn Van Lier made up one of the toughest backcourts in the history of the NBA. Sloan’s number 4 was the first of four players to have their jersey retired by the Bulls and he was elected to the Hall-of-Fame in 2009.
Norm Van Lier: As stated above, Van Lier along with Sloan created one of the best and toughest backcourts in the history. While playing with the Bulls (from 1972-1978) Van Lier was elected to 3 All-Star games (1974, 1976, and 1977), finished in the top 10 in steals (1974), and on 7 occasions finished in the top 10 in total assists while playing with the Bulls.
Chet Walker: Chet “The Jet” Walker played his first 6 seasons in Syracuse/Philadelphia; however, just before the start of the 1969 he was traded to the Chicago Bulls and become one of the best players in the history of this franchise. While playing with the Bulls for 6 season, Walker averaged 20.56 points per game to go along with making 4 All-Star Teams with the Bulls and having one of the best shooting percentages in the NBA at that time. Lastly, later this year, Chet Walker will be inducted into the Basketball Hall-of-Fame.
Bob Love: The other three players that had their numbers retired have already been mentioned above (Jordan, Pippen, and Sloan) and the final player, Bob Love, has his number 10 in the rafters of the United Center. Love was a member of the Bulls from 1969-1977 as during this time he was named to 3 All-Star Teams (1971, 1972, and 1973) and twice (while playing with the Bulls) finished in the top 10 in points per game (1971 and 1972). In addition to being a very good offensive player, Love on three occasions was named to the 2nd Team All NBA Defensive Team (1972, 1974, and 1975) and proved to be one of the best all-around players in Bulls history.
Reggie Theus: Before the Bulls had MJ, Reggie Theus was a very good shooting guard for this franchise. Theus was drafted by the Bulls with the 9th overall pick in the 1978 NBA Draft and averaged 19.52 points per game in 5 seasons with the Bulls. Theus’s only All-Star Game appearances came with the Bulls (1981 and 1983) and during the 1982-1983 season he finished 9th in points per game (23.8) on the season.
Dennis Rodman: When the Bulls were contemplating trading for former Detroit Piston Dennis Rodman, they had to look at the pro’s and con’s with him and see if he could fit in with the Bulls philosophy. It turned out that he fit in perfectly and with Rodman, the Bulls went on to win 3 more NBA Champions between 1996-1998. While Rodman was a Bull, he was named to a 1st Team All-NBA Defense to go along with leading the league in offensive rebounds 2 of his 3 years he played with the Bulls (1996 and 1997) and the other year (1998) led the league in total rebounds. Rodman was one of the best defenders and rebounders of All-Time it’s why he’s in the NBA Hall-Of-Fame.
Kirk Hinrich: During the 2003 NBA Draft, the Bulls decided to draft point guard (Kirk Hinrich) with the 7th overall pick and he helped the get back to the Playoffs for the 1st Time since the 1998 NBA Finals. As a Bull, Hinrich was named to the 1st Team All-Rookie Team, a 2nd team All-Defensive player, and holds the record for the most 3-pointers made in the history of the Bulls franchise. During his 7 season playing in a Bulls jersey, Hinrich was a very consistent player (averaging 10-15 points per game along with 5-7 assists per game) and helped bring the Bulls back to the Playoffs.
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