Nick's all-time Bulls squad; pick yours
CHICAGO -- The Bulls put together the greatest season in modern basketball during the 1995-96 campaign as they won a record-setting 72 regular-season games and another NBA championship. There's no debating how good that team was, but does the Bulls all-time team stack up to others around the league? With Michael Jordan leading your squad you've always got to like your chances.
Here's a closer look at the five guys I chose for my all-time team. You can create your own right here.
PG: Norm Van Lier
Sure, Derrick Rose would probably be filling this position if we were voting five years from now, but at the present time the 21 year-old is entering just his third season in the league. He doesn't have nearly the resume that Van Lier does at the moment. Van Lier was a fan favorite because of his hard-nosed style and his desire on the floor. He made the All-Star team three times and was a mainstay on the All-defensive team, making the first team three times. He was a mainstay in Chicago years after his playing career ended as an analyst for the team. Van Lier's style of play would fit along nicely with the rest of this group.
SG: Michael Jordan
The greatest player of all time. Period. Jordan did things people had never seen before, and he dominated his era as evidenced by five regular-season MVP trophies. Everybody has a different reason as to why they love Jordan -- for me, it's the fact that he was always at his best when the game mattered most. He was so dominant in the clutch. When he got the ball and the game was on the line you just figured the shot was going in. He led the Bulls to six titles, won six finals MVP awards and became a global icon during his tenure. Yep, I'd say he makes the cut.
SF: Scottie Pippen
One of the first things Jordan said during his Hall of Fame induction speech was that when he won, Pippen was always there with him. Same goes for this team. Pippen never got the credit he deserved by playing in Jordan's shadow, but he will always be remembered by Bulls fans as one of the greats. He could score when needed, he passed well, he was a great defender and he made all the players around him better. Former teammates couldn't stop raving about Pippen over the last few months during his recent induction into the Hall of Fame, calling him one of the best teammates they've ever had.
“Scottie would score four points and dominate the game,” former teammate Steve Kerr told Bulls.com recently, “That’s what made him one of the best to ever play the game.”
PF: Dennis Rodman
Bob Love was one of the greatest Bulls of all-time and will certainly be remembered as one of the best forwards who ever played in Chicago. He averaged almost 18 points a game and made three All-Star teams. He is still a beloved figure in the city and is the third leading scorer in franchise history. Having said that, I'm still taking Rodman because he did all the little things that made teams great. "The Worm" was an absolute force in the post and brought a certain nastiness to the Bulls in the mid-90s. He averaged 15 rebounds a game during his three seasons in Chicago and was a key component to the second three-peat. He always played (and partied) with intensity and seemed to truly enjoy playing solid defense and getting into the heads of opponents.
C: Artis Gilmore
The big 7-footer still is intimidating. I saw him at the Bulls charity golf outing a few weeks ago and there's no doubt in my mind he can still scare people on the floor. During his playing days he gave people nightmares, scoring 19 points and pulling down 11 rebounds a game during his time in the Windy City. He is also the franchise leader in blocks and was a four-time All-Star with the Bulls. He still has a chance of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. With Gilmore, Rodman and Pippen down low, I don't think there is a rebound this team would ever miss.