The pick proved astute, as Sloan not only became a legend in Chicago as “Mr. Bull” but set the tone for what would become a perennial playoff team with hard-nosed, floor-burned play that made Chicago Stadium one stop NBA teams never forgot making.
Soon joining him on the bruising Bulls of the early 1970s was backcourt mate Norm Van Lier, center Tom Boerwinkle, and forwards Bob Love and Chet Walker. Although Love and Walker were best known for their offense, both held their own on D—as any Bull of the time had to—qualifying that entire starting lineup as Top 20 defenders in franchise history.
Luol Deng, All-Defensive Second Team in 2011-12, is only the latest in a long line of Bulls to be honored for his scrappiness on D. But no matter how sweet his defensive moves, does Lu make the cut when the list of greatest defenders in Bulls history is winnowed to 10?
There’s at least one shocker to come. But the list begins with one of the most underrated players in Bulls—perhaps basketball—history…