10 Former Chicago Bulls Stars Current Team Could Learn From
The Chicago Bulls have a roster full of young players.
They also have a history of many great players.
All the time in college you will find former great players come back and talk to and mentor the current stars. However, you don't see it a lot in pro sports.
What if some of the great Bulls players of the past came back to mentor this current team? Who would be the best mentor to each of the players?
Some of my choices are obvious but might not be for the reason you think, while for some of my other choices you might not even remember they played for the team.
If you come up with one I missed I would love to hear about it below in the comment section.
The minute I found out the Bulls drafted Nikola Mirotic instead of Marshon Brooks I immediately thought of Toni Kukoc.
The Bulls drafted Kukoc in 1990 but he didn't debut with the team till 1993. Chicago might have to wait about the same amount of time till they see Mirotic in the familiar red, white and black.
Kukoc came to the Bulls after they had just completed their first three-peat and were still looking to compete. Unless something tragic happens to the current core, Mirotic will be joining a team competing for an NBA title who might not have time for a rookie learning his way through the league.
Mirotic would be smart to reach out to someone like Kukoc in preparation for his transition to the NBA and the grind and demands of playing for a team with championship aspirations.
Remember Scott Burrell?
Burrell was dubbed the "Jordan stopper" by the Hornets during the '95-96 season when they played the Bulls in the playoffs but two years later, he was playing alongside Michael Jordan.
Much like Bogans, Burrell didn't play a lot of minutes and didn't make a huge impact in the box score but his minutes were key.
Burrell took advantage of his chances, playing only 13 minutes a night but scored 4.7 points per game while shooting 42 percent from the field.
Going into next season I expect Bogans will be finding himself on the bench and will be asked to play a role similar to what Burrell played and hopefully he can play it as well. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a "Wade stopper"?
I am sure everyone saw this one coming, but if the Bulls are to succeed then Kyle Korver could learn a lot from Steve Kerr.
Kerr is one of the best three-point shooter in NBA history and several times was taking the key shot down the stretch for the Jordan-led Bulls.
While Korver broke Kerr's record for three-point percentage, it was the only time Korver shot over 50 percent. Steve Kerr did it four times including in back-to-back seasons for the Bulls.
Consistency is what Korver needs to learn from Kerr. When the mount comes and Derrick Rose passes out of the double-team to Korver on the wing, he needs to knock down that shot. During the playoffs for every 3-of-4 night he would have a 1-of-5 or even a 0-of-5.
If Korver is going to be the sharpshooter, he has to do a better job of it and I'm sure Kerr could share some words of wisdom.
I don't think Omer Asik will ever be the offensive player that Artis Gilmore was, but he is well on his way to being the same type of defensive force.
Asik took huge steps forward during his first NBA season and continued to improve during the FIBA European championships.
Asik has the potential to lead the league in rebounds and blocks while maybe having the best field-goal percentage as well. Gilmore still holds the career record for field-goal percentage and tops the block list in Bulls history.
Norm Van Lier would have loved Ronnie Brewer.
A tough-nosed defensive guard just like "Stormin" Norman.
Many people forget just how good Van Lier was during his playing career, mostly because he played alongside the likes of Jerry Sloan and Bob Love, but he was a very good guard.
Van Lier was named to the All-Defensive team three times and named to the second team five times. Brewer is a good defender now but with a little help from Van Lier, he could be great and maybe be the answer for the Bulls at the shooting guard spot.
Tom Thibodeau could learn a lot from both Doug Collins and Phil Jackson.
Collins, much like Thibodeau, was a relentless worker who was unable to get the Bulls to the ultimate goal. Jackson was no slacker but was masterful in how he controlled the team on and off the court.
If Thibodeau wants to be the next coach to lead the Bulls to a championship, he would be smart to learn from Collins' mistakes while embracing a little of Jackson's tricks.
The best thing is that Thibodeau has the trust of his team and most importantly his star player. Now focusing on the game is great, but giving them some good lessons that aren't learned on the court is good as well. Jackson would give his players books to read on several subjects with a lesson or message to be learned.
Thibodeau could do a lot worse then picking the brains of two coaches Michael Jordan trusted.
Joakim Noah could learn a lot from Dennis Rodman.
Some may think it is for rebounding or defense but I think Noah could be best served by learning how to get tough from Rodman.
Rodman never backed down from anyone. He helped the Bulls sweep the Shaq-led Magic during the 1996 playoffs. If you knocked down one of his teammates, he made sure one of your's went to the floor as well.
Going forward, the Bulls need someone to muscle up against Dwight Howard and that person has to be Noah. I'm not sure if he needs to agitate and get under people's skin like Rodman used to, but playing hard defense and playing that enforcer role is needed.
There is no one better to teach Noah how to be that player than "The Worm."
Everyone remembers what a great defensive player Dennis Rodman was, but many forget or overlook how good Horace Grant was.
Carlos Boozer is much more Grant than he is Rodman but could learn a lot from Grant on how to blend in a productive offensive game with being a good defender.
Besides the hole at shooting guard, the Bulls will never win a title with Boozer playing the awful defense he played most of last year. Grant would be a good person for Boozer to learn from considering he was able to score while also playing good defense.
Some people say that Luol Deng is already a poor man's version of the Bulls great.
Deng might not be the lockdown defender that Pippen was but he does a good job and also fills up the box score very much like the Hall of Famer.
The one thing that Pippen is far superior to Deng in is ball-handling. Scottie Pippen might be second to only Magic Johnson when it comes to a big guy handling the rock.
If Deng were able to handle the ball it would take the pressure off Rose to have to always have the ball in his hands.
When Michael Jordan won his first title Derrick Rose was three years old.
Rose would be smart to study and ask Jordan about those early championship years. Ask him how he overcame the "Bad Boy" Pistons and how he changed his game from a dunker to a complete player who could shoot and post up.
Jordan's post-up game was amazing and there is no reason Rose could not do the same to many of the point guards in the league. If Rose was able to learn that from Jordan, it might help him avoid the contact that he draws from driving in the lane.