Over many years, I have seen a lot of Chicago Bulls players come and go. I was young when the Chicago Bulls played their first season in the Chicago Amphitheater in 1966. Wanting to learn more about the Bulls greatest players, I created a list of who I think are the greatest players in team history.
10. Norm Van Lier (1971-78)
Bulls Career Averages: 12.2 PPG, 4.6 RPG
Norman Van Lier (Stormin’ Norman) was one of the greatest defense players in the Bulls history. Matched with Jerry Sloan they were one of the best defensive backcourts in their time. Van Lier made five playoffs, three All-Stars, selected three times to the All-Defense First Team, and selected to the All-NBA Second Team.
9. Jerry Sloan (1966-76)
Bulls Career Averages: 14.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG
Jerry Sloan is considered to be the “The Original Bull” and the first to have his jersey retired. Sloan lead the Bulls to the playoffs and their only division title. Sloan, Van Leir and Love teamed together to create the greatest defensive unit from 1972-76. He’s also the inspiration for the NBA logo.
8. Mickey Johnson (1974-79)
Bulls Career Averages: 15.2 PPG, 8.4 RPG
Johnson is not mentioned often as one of the Bulls greatest. His ability to shoot and attack proved how valuable he was during the 1977 playoffs. After five years with the Bulls Johnson played for four other teams.
7. Reggie Theus (1978-84)
Bulls Career Averages: 17.6 PPG, 2.1 RPG
Theus’ size and style enabled him to play multiple positions including point guard, small forward, and shooting guard. He played in the All-Star Games in 1981 and 1983. Currently, Reggie Theus is the head coach at Cal State Northridge.
6. Scottie Pippen (1987-98 and 2003-04)
Bulls Career Averages: 18 PPG, 6.8 RPG
Pippen lead the Bulls in scoring, rebounds, blocks, steals, and assists in 1994-95. Pippen had seven All-Star team, three All-NBA First teams, and eight All-Defense First Team selections, he also had six NBA Championships.
5. Bob Love (1968-76)
Bulls Career Averages: 19.4 PPG, 6.3 RPG
Love was a great all around player, matched with Sloan they made a devastating combination unit. Bob Love played both forward positions from 1969-1976. He was a three-time All-Star and selected twice to the All-Defense Second Team. With six consecutive trips to the playoffs, it’s not surprising that Love’s jersey was also retired and hangs in the United Center.
4. Chet Walker (1969-75)
Bulls Career Averages: 20.5 PPG, 6.1 RPG
The first superstar of the Bulls, in his six years with the Bulls, they made the playoffs every year. Walker, along with Sloan, Van Lier and Love helped create the great team the Bulls became.
3. Artis Gilmore (1976-82, 87-88)
Bulls Career Averages: 20.4 PPG, 11.2 RPG
Artis Gilmore is the best center in Bulls history, he was a top defender, efficient at scoring, and rebounded great. Selected for the All-Defense Second Team and four All-Star teams, Gilmore was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2011.
2. Derrick Rose (2008-2016)
Bulls Career Averages: 21.0 PPG, 3.8 RPG
Derrick Rose’s time with the Bulls was short, but he had a huge impact on the Bulls. Rose received Rookie of the Year in 2008 and MVP honors in 2011. Eventually, he was traded to the Knicks.
1. Michael Jordan (1984-93, 95-98)
Bulls Career Averages: 31.5 PPG, 6.3 RPG
Michael Jordan’s, career speaks for itself. Overall he won Rookie of the Year, 14 All-Star selections, one Defensive of the Year award, five MVP and six Finals MVP awards. That pretty much sums up why “His Airness” is number one on everyone’s greatest players lists.