Not so long ago, the Chicago Bulls were once one of the most feared teams in professional basketball, as they featured one of the strongest 1-2 punches ever in Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Needless to say, those good old days are far behind them and it’s been a while since the Windy City has been able to watch their team actually contend for an NBA Championship, with the Derrick Rose era coming to a sudden end.
The Bulls have really messed things up in the Draft and they’ve struggled to find some talents that could take their franchise back to their former self. But, what if we could build the perfect player for them by picking apart some of the features of their legends? Let’s break it down.
Basketball IQ - Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is one of the smartest players to ever lace them up. He was coachable, he understood the game, and knew exactly what he had to do at all times. He took always great care off the ball, averaging just 2.7 turnovers per game despite having the rock on his hands for most of the game. Jordan knew went to drive when to cut when to kick, when to pull-up when to set a pick.
Mentality - Michael Jordan
There hasn’t been a player even slightly as competitive as Michael Jordan, not even Kobe Bryant. Hell, Jordan even beat Steve Kerr during a scrimmage and liked to bet against his Dream Team teammates in absurd wagers. Jordan would thrive the most when sucking the life out of his rivals. He loved to dominate from the jump ball and never take his foot out of the gas. He wanted to win in a humiliating fashion and mentally take you out of the game.
Size - Scottie Pippen
Sitting at 6’8’’, Scottie Pippen had a lot of length and wingspan. He made the most of his size to force opposing scorers to use their weak hand. He could get in front of them in no time and had a huge reach when moving sideways. Also, he was a great rebounder for his position and a guy that could guard one through 5 with his strong and big hands.
Defense - Scottie Pippen
Scottie Pippen was arguably the best defender in the world during his prime, even though he never won the Defensive Player of the Year. Still, he led the league in steals once and was one of the main reasons why the Bulls found such success. He was a master at breaking down and locking down his opponents, and he was always in charge of checking the best scorer in the court not named Michael Jordan.
Hustle - Dennis Rodman
Dennis Rodman was the definition of hustle. He was undersized but was never going to be outworked. He put his body on the line on every single possession regardless of the score and was willing to do anything to help his team win. Rodman led the league in boards 7 times because of his great positioning, hustle, and instincts. And, to my eyes, he’s the greatest rebounder ever.
Footwork - Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan has one of the deadliest footwork in the history of the game. He had the quickest first step in the world and was a master at creating space and drawing separation, even from close range. You could double or triple-team him and force him to go baseline, but he could still find a dozen different ways to shake you off and score right in your face.
Discipline - Michael Jordan
Despite being an aggressive defender, Michael Jordan was incredibly disciplined at that end of the floor. Throughout his career, he averaged just 2.6 personal fouls per game and piled up just 34 technical fouls. He was never ejected or called for a flagrant foul either. Moreover, he was the first player in the gym and the last player out of it, and that takes a lot of discipline.
Court Vision - Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan always knew when all of his teammates and rivals needed to be at all times. He created passing lanes where they were none, and even though most people think of him as a ball-hogger, he didn’t hesitate to create for his teammates. Throughout his career, Jordan averaged 5.3 assists per game and had a career-high of 17 dimes in one game.
Shooting - Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan wasn’t known for his shooting expertise, and truth to be told, he wasn’t much of a three-point shooter. Even so, he was outstanding as a mid-range scorer and could get hot in the blink of an eye as a streaky shooter, just ask the Portland Trail Blazers if you don’t take our word for it. Over his career, he shot 49 from the floor (51% from 2) and 32% from deep.
Handles - Derrick Rose
During his MVP run, Rose impressed not only because of his strength, speed, and athleticism but also because of his handles. Rose was a master of the crossover, was great and quick when creating off the dribble, and could shake off defenders with great ease with the nastiest moves in the league.
Clutch - Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is the clutchest player ever. If your entire life depended on a last-second bucket, you just had to hand the rock to His Royal Airness. Jordan never hesitated to take that last shot. He scored 25 game winning buckets and was also an incredibly clutch defender. In that mythical game against the Jazz, he stripped Karl Malone in the post and then nailed a buzzer-beater to win the Chip for the Bulls.
Athleticism - Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is one of the most athletic players ever. He could contour his body through tiny gaps to end up with an acrobatic layup. He could finish with both hands, dunk from the free throw line and posterize even the toughest defenders. Moreover, he even tried his luck as a baseball player, and not most people could pursue a career in 2 different sports.
Speed - Derrick Rose & Michael Jordan
Derrick Rose was Russell Westbrook before Westbrook. He was incredibly fast and could go from his own court to the rim at full speed in the blink of an eye. Jordan, on the other hand, was unstoppable once he decided to take off. Jordan had an incredibly quick first step that left defenders on skates, and Rose thrived off getting past defenders in a heartbeat.