Chicago Bulls All Decade Team


By Paul M. Banks

The 1990s were a refreshing change for Chicago sports fans. For the better part of the decade, the city abandoned it’s dysfunctional obsession with its two lovable losers (Bears and Cubs) in order to fully embrace the only true consistent winner that the second city has ever known: Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty. As great as the 90s were, the 2000s were kind of lean. Especially in the beginning when they ended the ’99-’00 with 65 losses, followed that up with 67 losses the next year, and two more 50+ seasons after that.

However, they did make the playoffs four out of the last five years this decade, and they did it without a true franchise player or star. In fact the Bulls haven’t had an all-star since Michael Jordan retired in 1998 (I don’t acknowledge that whole Washington Wizards thing, and no true NBA fan really should-EVER). This reality makes picking the all-decade team all the more murky and debatable. Not to mention the arguments you could have about who belongs on the first team versus the second team. Here’s what I choose:

All-Decade First Team

Elton Brand

The 1999-00 NBA Rookie of the Year was also the last in team history to average over 20 points a game in consecutive seasons, and he averaged a double-double in those years as well.

Jalen Rose

On teams that struggled to score, he grabbed the Bulls by the horns and put up a 22.7 ppg average during his time in Chicago; second only to MJ.

Kirk Hinrich

Yes, his career essentially peaked in ’07, but the class and leadership he displayed in handling the shift in his role on the team is worth emulating and commending. Earlier this season, Hinrich spoke about what he’s trying to improve upon, “Trying to stay aggressive offensively, keep my defensive intensity and just trying to help the guys along, I realize I’m in a position to be somewhat of a leader, and try to do that.” And he’s arguably the franchise’s best defender this decade, and 4th in Bulls history in assists, 3rd in 3-pointers made and top ten in scoring.

Tyson Chandler

Maybe he never lived up to the hype, but he still finished his time here 5th in blocks, 9th in offensive rebounds and 8th in defensive boards.

Ben Gordon

Yes his defense is like a Fergie song with intelligent lyrics: non-existent. But he was the team’s most consistent scorer for the latter half of the decade, and he tied a NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a game without a miss, going 9-9 in April of ’06 versus Washington. I was there that night- it was electric.Fergie

A Category all his own

Ron Artest

Hard to decide what to do with Ron Artest when you make this list. Consider the achievements of his NBA career, consider how “colorful” he is both on and off the court, consider what a great soundbite he is, especially in a world of “we’re just taking it one game at a time” and “I’m working hard and I’m just happy to be here” and finally consider he wasn’t Bull very long at all.

For an exclusive interview with Ron Artest, where he discusses his pro Tiger Woods blog click here

All Decade Second Team

Jamal Crawford

What can I say? It was a slow decade for the Bulls. Even though they had a few winning seasons, they TRULY lacked legitimate stars.

Eddy Curry

Again, it was a REALLY slow decade for the Bulls.

Derrick Rose

Last season’s Rookie of the Year should become the franchise’s first All-Star since Michael Jordan. “It would mean a lot. It’s one of my goals, I’m going to fight for it,” Rose told me earlier this year at a practice. In ’09, Rose tied Lew Alcindor for most points scored by a rookie in his postseason debut.  And Chris Paul is the only other player ever to score 35+ points and 10+ assists while losing his playoff virginity.


Luol Deng

Ok, so he’s come nowhere CLOSE to being worth the $71 million they shelled out to keep him here, but the team has only one playoff series win this decade, and he averaged 22.2 points and 8.7 rebounds during that postseason.

Scottie Pippen

Was technically a member of the team this decade, as Pip played sparingly on the ’03-‘04 team. But he’s obviously here for old-time’s sake. As the record book will tell you “Pippen Ain’t Easy,” as Scottie is second all-time in franchise history to Michael Jordan in pretty much every stat you could possibly care about.

Honorable Mention

Joakim Noah (Hey, he’s leading the NBA in rebounds right now- name the last Bull to do that), Ron Mercer