Despite a downward turn in recent seasons, the Chicago Bulls remain one of the proudest franchises in the history of the NBA due to an unprecedented level of success that may never be reproduced by another team. And it is this period that dominates the list of the best players to ever put on a Chicago Bulls uniform as far as I’m concerned, with a few more recent players sprinkled in as well. These are the five best players in the history of the Chicago Bulls.
5. Joakim Noah
Only one other player in team history personified the mentality of the city of Chicago better than Joakim Noah did. Noah, from the University of Florida, was a hard nosed rebounder who seemingly preferred to clean up the glass than score points, which he wasn’t bad at either. That attitude built him a reputation in the league of being a dirty player, as several on-court incidents with opposing players earned him the designation of being a player you would love to have on your team but hate to have playing against you.
While Noah never did win a championship in Chicago, he was one of the reasons that the Bulls were as competitive in the Eastern Conference as they were during his time there.
4. Derrick Rose
I’m not sure that there has ever been a more exciting Chicago Bulls player than Derrick Rose. Rose was a number one overall pick by the Bulls, joining them after playing a year for the John Calipari coached Memphis Tigers team that fell one game short of a perfect season in college basketball. Rose was an explosive point guard, more known for scoring than passing, but was effective nonetheless.
Of course, Rose’s career was hindered by a lengthy injury history that still plagues him to this day, something that has prevented him from being remembered as one of the NBA’s true greats.
3. Dennis Rodman
While Joakim Noah had a reputation for being a gritty player, Dennis Rodman took that reputation and amplified it tenfold. Rodman was another player who prioritized rebounding and defense first, and did it in an era of the NBA which I believe was the toughest by far, the 1990s. Rodman had a personality that matched his game, as he has since pulled stunts such as marrying himself in a wedding dress and befriending North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.
2. Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen will always be remembered as the Robin to Michael Jordan’s Batman, but that doesn’t fully do him justice. Pippen was one of the best perimeter defenders in basketball history, and led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference Finals after one of Michael Jordan’s retirements, proving that he would have been the best player on many teams in the league, just not his own.
1. Michael Jordan
I don’t think that much needs to be said here. Michael Jordan led the Bulls to six championships, and would have won more if he didn’t take a break from basketball to pick up baseball instead. He was the ideal combination of clutch scoring and lockdown defense and, until LeBron James came along, the undisputed greatest player in NBA history. He easily takes the top spot on the list of the greatest Chicago Bulls of all time.