Among the best players in Chicago Bulls franchise history, there is Michael Jordan, and then there is everyone else. Jordan is often heralded as the greatest basketball player of all time, but he clearly stands above all others from the Chicago Bulls.
The clear cut best player in Chicago Bulls franchise history is Michael Jordan. Jordan was the best players of the 1990s, leading the Bulls to six NBA titles. He led the league in scoring ten times and at 30.1 points per game, he has the highest career scoring average in NBA history. He led the league in steals three times and with 2,514 he has the second most in NBA history. Jordan’s MVP awards include five league MVPs, six Finals MVPs, and three All-Star game MVPs. He made 14 All-Star teams, 11 All-NBA teams, and nine All-Defensive teams. Though he is now the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Jordan will always be the face of the Chicago Bulls.
Michael Jordan’s second-hand man and one of the best players in Chicago Bulls franchise history is Scottie Pippen. While Jordan is first on the Bulls’ all-time scoring and assist leader board, Pippen ranks second in both categories. He spent 12 seasons with the Bulls, averaging 17.7 points, 6.7 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.1 steals per game. Pippen was a perennial All-Defensive player, making one of the squads ten times in his career. On the offensive end of the floor, he was one of the first point forwards, fitting in perfectly with Jordan and the triangle offense. Pippen made seven All-NBA teams and seven All-Star teams, winning All-Star MVP once.
Before Michael Jordan, the best player in Chicago Bulls was franchise history was Artis Gilmore. Gilmore began his career in the ABA, then spent six of his prime years with the Bulls, then one more season in Chicago after a five year stint in San Antonio. As a Bull, Gilmore averaged 19.3 points, 11.1 rebounds, 2.5 assists, and 2.1 blocks per game. Gilmore won an ABA MVP before moving to Chicago, then made six NBA All-Star teams. He was the ABA’s all-time leader in blocked shots and is fourth all-time between ABA and NBA totals.
Before Jerry Sloan coached great defense, he played great defense as one of the best players in Chicago Bulls franchise history. Sloan was part of the original Chicago Bulls 1966-67 team, selected in the expansion draft after his rookie season with the Bullets. In ten seasons with the Bulls, Sloan averaged 14.7 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.6 assists. The NBA only started counting steals in 1973-74 and Sloan averaged 2.1 per game in his last three years. He was named to six NBA All-Defensive teams, including four times on the First Team.
One of the best players in Chicago Bulls history, Bob Love had his best seasons in Chicago. Love made three All-Star teams, three All-Defensive teams, and two All-NBA teams. In nine seasons with Chicago, Love averaged 21.3 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. Love ranked in the top ten in points scored three times and in free throw percentage twice.
Other top players in the history of the Chicago Bulls include Reggie Theus, Chet Walker, and Norm Van Lier. Elton Brand, Bob Boozer, and Hall of Fame members Nate Thurmond, Robert Parish, and George Gervin also spent short stints with the Bulls.