On February 17, 1978, fans at Chicago Stadium witnessed a first.
After 12 years of existence, the Chicago Bulls retired their first uniform number, that of “Mr. Bull,” Jerry Sloan.
The Madhouse on Madison would have plenty of time to calm down after that excitement, as it took 16 years—and a change of venue to the United Center—before the Bulls would hoist another jersey to the rafters.
Eventually, Bob Love, Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Jerry Krause and Scottie Pippen all joined Sloan above the court. But for a franchise boasting six NBA titles and countless other highlights, six retired jerseys—actually four, as Jackson was honored for coaching and Krause as a general manager—is a dolefully droll number.
There are a number of other figures who should be so immortalized in the future, with five coming to the fore.