michael jordan 1998 bulls championship

Top Ten Chicago Bulls of All-Time

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We’ve hit the dog days of the NBA summer.  All the big name free agents have been snatched up.  Summer league is over.  Training camps are still months away.  So, now is the perfect time to reminisce a bit.  The Hoops Manifesto has gathered together a stellar collection of Bloguin basketball writers to determine the top ten players all-time for each of the 30 NBA franchises.  Next up: the Chicago Bulls.

Voting panel: Jeff Fox from The Hoops Manifesto, College Wolf from the TWolves Blog, Don from With Malice, Philip from Orlando Magic Daily, LIVES & Aaron Hodges from Knicks Fanatics and Diego from Leaving It All On The Court.

10) Dennis Rodman – Chicago Bulls – 1995-1998

dennis rodman bulls

Bulls accomplishments:

- member of three NBA championship teams
- led NBA in total offensive rebounds in 1995/96 & 1996/97
- led NBA in defensive & total rebounds in 1997/98
- led NBA in rebounds per game in 1995/96, 1996/97 & 1997/98
- NBA All Defensive Team

“His, ahem, ‘eccentricities’ belies his role as the most unselfish ‘star’ in NBA history and the perfect piece for the Bulls second three-peat teams” – Jeff Fox 

“Forget that he was only a Bull for three seasons, unless you focus on the fact that he was a critical component of a three-peat championship team and a key member of the 72-win Bulls, perhaps the greatest team in NBA history.  For three years as a defensive specialist he locked down opponents and averaged 13.7, 16.7, and 15.0 rebounds a game during the 1996, 1997 and 1998 seasons, respectively.” – LIVES

9) Chet Walker – Chicago Bulls – 1969 – 1975

Bulls accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1973/74
- NBA leader in free throw % in 1970/71
- four-time All-Star

“An offensive force for his six seasons with the Bulls, Chet “the Jet” Walker averaged 19 points and 5 rebounds per game.” – LIVES

8) Derrick Rose – Chicago Bulls – 2008 – present

Bulls accomplishments:

- NBA All-Star
- Rookie of the Year
- All-Rookie Team

“Since Jordan’s last title in 1998, the Bulls have been invited to the lottery seven times. Rose was the one player the team could build around, and he led Chicago to two straight playoff appearances — including that classic Celtics-Bulls series in 2009. With Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver, Rose should only improve his team.” – Diego Quezada

“Too soon to have Derrick Rose this high on the list, you argue?  Maybe – but have you seen the kid ball?!” – Jeff Fox 

7) Horace Grant – Chicago Bulls – 1987 – 1994

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Bulls accomplishments:

- member of three NBA championship teams
- Bulls career leader in offensive rebounding
- NBA All-Star
- two-time All-Defensive Team selection

“He made wearing goggles cool in the 1990s (well, not really – I’m just trying to make my brothers feel better about wearing them.).” – Jeff Fox 

6) Norm Van Lier – Chicago Bulls – 1971 – 1978

Bulls accomplishments:

- three-time All-Star
- seven-time All-Defensive Team selection
- All-NBA selection

“Stormin’ Norman helped the Bulls make the playoffs for six straight years during the ’70s.” – Diego Quezada

“In the 70′s “Stormin’ Norman” was known for his tenacious and aggressive, and sometimes volatile, play.  Along with Jerry Sloan, they formed one of the most physical defensive backcourts ever.  However his hard work extended to the offensive end where he became one of the Bulls all-time assist leaders surpassed only by Jordan and Pippen. Besides Bob Love, this is who Chicago kids in the 70s imitated on the court.” – LIVES

5) Artis Gilmore – Chicago Bulls – 1976 – 1982, 1987

Bulls accomplishments:

- Bulls career leader in blocked shots
- NBA career leader in field goal %
- NBA field goal % leader in 1980/81 & 1981/82
- four-time All-Star
- NBA All-Defensive Team selection

“When you consider his dominant ABA career, on top of what he accomplished in the NBA, you have to wonder how Artis Gilmore isn’t in the Hall of Fame yet.” – Jeff Fox 

“After a very successful stint in the ABA, Gilmore joined the Bulls and continued to be an impact player at center (even though his teams were not very good). Gilmore averaged 20.1 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game in his first six-year stint with Chicago. Tell me how is this guy not in the Hall of Fame? Sure, he did not have much playoff success — only two of his Chicago teams made the postseason where he averaged a 18.7 & 13.0 and 18.0 & 13.2 — but his numbers should have put him in by now.” – Philip

4) Jerry Sloan – Chicago Bulls – 1966 – 1976

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Bulls accomplishments:

- two-time All-Star
- six-time All-Defensive Team selection

“He played like he coaches – no nonsense.” – Jeff Fox 

“With the Bulls for ten years, Sloan was a defensive dervish who not only stuck to his man like glue but also proved that rebounding was a critical component of team defense.  As a guard he averaged 2.2 steals and 7.8 rebounds for his entire career.” – LIVES

“Jerry Sloan… “The Original Bull” – drafted by the Bulls in the expansion draft of 1966.  Pugnacious, hard, and tough as nails, Jerry Sloan personified everything we see in the Utah Jazz today, the team he coaches.  Sloan lead Chicago to a playoff berth in his first season as a Bull (his second in the league), and (his) #4 is retired in Chicago.” – Don

3) Bob Love – Chicago Bulls – 1968- 1976

Bulls accomplishments:

- NBA leader in games played in 1969/70, 1972/73 & 1973/74
- three-time All-Star
- two-time All-NBA selection
- three-time All-Defensive Team selection

“Love’s # 10 was the second number to be retired by Chicago (Sloan’s #4 being the first).  He was the team’s leading scorer for seven consecutive seasons – and averaged at least 19 points & six rebounds every season there.” – Don

“Love was a scorer and rebounder who played a key role during the Bulls’ early stages as a franchise, helping vault the team to playoff contention during the ’70s. ” – Diego Quezada

“For eight seasons Bob “Butterbean” Love defined the Bulls offensive attack with a silky smooth game.” – LIVES

2) Scottie Pippen – Chicago Bulls – 1987 – 1998, 2003 – 2004

Bulls accomplishments:

- NBA Hall of Fame
- member of six NBA championship teams
- sixth in career NBA steals
- NBA leader in games played in 1989/90 & 1990/91
- NBA leader in steals & steals per game in 1994/95
- seven-time All-Star
- eight-time All-Defensive Team selection
- seven-time All-NBA selection

“The greatest career second banana in NBA history and the perfect wingman for Michael Jordan.” -  Jeff Fox 

 ”Could you wish a more perfect counterpoint to Michael Jordan?   A lockdown defender, and one of the most athletic players to ever step on the hardwood, Pip was the yin to his Airness’s yang – something that couldn’t have always been easy.  This tandem is perhaps the best ever seen (and I’m including current pairings on that).” – Don

“Pippen was more than Jordan’s “sidekick.” He was the super talented player who made everyone on those Bulls teams accept Jordan’s ultracompetitiveness and ultimately succeed. That might have made him more valuable to the team, but probably not better. Pippen was a great player in his own right leading the Bulls to 50-win seasons while Jordan was “retired.” – Philip 

1) Michael Jordan – Chicago Bulls – 1984 – 1993, 1995 – 1998

Bulls accomplishments:

- NBA Hall of Fame member
- member of six NBA championship teams
- Bulls career leader in games & minutes played, field goals (made & attempted), free throws (made & attempted), defensive & total rebounds, assists, steals and points
- fourth all-time in career field goals made in the NBA
- fourth all-time in career free throws made & eighth all-time in free throws attempt in NBA
- second all-time in career steals in the NBA
- third all-time in career points in the NBA
- first all-time in career points per game in the NBA
- third all-time in career steals per game in the NBA
- 12-time NBA All-Star
- Rookie of the Year
- Defensive Player of the Year
- five-time NBA MVP
- six-time NBA Finals MVP
- All-Rookie Team
- 11-time All-NBA selection
- nine-time All-Defensive Team selection

“The main reason most of the people writing and reading these words became NBA fans in the first place.” – Jeff Fox 

“The mother of all no-brainers.  If you need further explanation as to why, you have no godly right reading a basketball site.” – Don

“Does not need any argument. He was the greatest guard/swing player in league history and propelled the sport to ridiculously new heights. Also was the best player on all six of Chicago’s title teams. Enough said…” – Philip

 

Previous franchises done: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte.

About Jeff Fox

Jeff Fox is Mr. Manifesto - the Supreme Leader and evil mind behind The Hoops Manifesto & The MMA Manifesto

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