Greatest All-Time Starting 5: Chicago Bulls
Here at Off the Glass we’re taking on the arduous task of going through every NBA teams’ greatest possible starting five, using players that have played for that franchise. A player at each position (Point Guard through Center) will be selected, along with a 6th man who can be any position.
This is how it works:
Players selected must have played at least two full seasons for the franchise
The selection will be based on a combination of statistics, accomplishments/accolades and their significance to the franchise in question
Players had to have predominantly played at that particular position for at least one season to be eligible
Let’s get started.
Point Guard – Derrick Rose: In the immediate, Bulls fans might only remember the tumultuous, injury riddled end to Derrick Rose’s tenure in Chicago. However, in 2008, when Rose was drafted by the Bulls and deemed the hometown kid turned savior, Derrick lifted Chicago from a perennial average team to a contender in the east. Oh, and he became the youngest player to ever win an MVP award, doing so in 2011 while dazzling fans with aggressive slashes to the rim often finished off with powerful dunks and acrobatic finishes. Unfortunately, his presence on the court was limited after suffering serious knee injuries in back-to-back seasons, but Rose showed promise as he started 66 games last season. After being traded to the New York Knicks this off-season, Derrick finished his Bulls career averaging 19.7 points and 6.2 assists per game. Best of luck in New York, D. Rose.
Shooting Guard – Michael Jordan: Part of me doesn’t even want to write this. Part of me just wants to put a picture of the bronze statue with MJ in that iconic pose outside the United Center as my explanation. After 13 seasons in Chicago (and two in Washington, even though I’m convinced that never actually happened) “His Royal Airness” finished his career with six championships, five MVP’s, three retirements, one Oscar deserving movie, and a cultural standing that will never be reached by any athlete ever again. He’s the greatest Bull of all-time, the greatest Birmingham Baron of all-time, and the greatest athlete of all-time. Here’s to another billion dollars, Mike.
Small Forward – Scottie Pippen: See above for statue reference. Pippen is one of the 50 greatest players of all-time. Some say his legacy was lifted by Jordan, but Scottie could ball in his own right. He averaged 17.7 points, 5.3 assists, and 6.7 rebounds per game during his 12 seasons with the Bulls. He was also a seven time NBA All-Star, a seven time All-NBA selection, and an eight time All-NBA Defense selection. What do you get when you add all of that up? One of the greatest all around players in NBA history and the greatest small forward to ever do it in Chicago.
Power Forward – Horace Grant: Grant was a key component of the Bulls first three-peat with Michael Jordan, as he held down the defensive side of the court. Horace averaged 12.6 points and 8.6 rebounds per game while with the Bulls. He was also named to the All-NBA Defensive team twice, all while making Rec Specs look cool. Sort of.
Center – Artis Gilmore: You might not know the name Artis Gilmore. An ABA star, the Chicago Bulls selected Gilmore with the first overall pick of the 1976 dispersal draft after the ABA folded. In just six and a half seasons with the Bulls, Gilmore was named an NBA All-Star four times. He was a force on both ends of the court, averaging 19.3 points, 2.1 blocks, and 11.1 rebounds per game during his time in Chicago. Seems like a career worth mentioning among the Bulls’ greats.
Sixth Man – Brian Scalabrine: “White Mamba” is possibly the greatest fan favorite player of all-time and he only averaged 4.2 minutes per game while with the Bulls, the team with which he ended his storied career. I like that kind of efficiency. If you need any further explanation, please see here.
Did I miss any of your favorite Grizzlies? Let me know if you agree or disagree –@matthewjshear