Pippen Ain’t Easy’s All-Time Chicago Bulls Fantasy Draft

Apr 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; NBA former player Michael Jordan and NCAA president Mark Emmert during halftime of the game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; NBA former player Michael Jordan and NCAA president Mark Emmert during halftime of the game between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports /
11 of 11
Joakim Noah, a former Chicago Bulls icon.
Apr 13, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah (13) sits on the bench during the first quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the United Center. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

More final thoughts:

Daniel on his roster:

My lineup is simple. At guard, Steve Kerr in 1994-95. In 82 games, he averaged 22.4 minutes per game and shot a league-leading 52.4 percent from 3-point range. He didn’t get a high volume of shots, but I’d like to think that given space and a 2016-esque focus and valuation on 3-point shooting, I could get at least 45 percent shooting on five threes per game. And he would space because, Michael Jordan.

More from Bulls News

He is the epitome of basketball winner. I ended up with 1997-98 Jordan because I elected to let everyone else go after him first. I valued other players in their brief windows of excellence about grabbing a particular year of Jordan. He didn’t shoot well from deep, but I don’t care about that at all. That is why we have Kerr.

And I’ve got Scottie Pippen from his amazing 1996-97 season. He averaged 20.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Add that to Jordan’s 1.7 steals per game in my lineup and you’re building a strong wing defense to go with all-time offensive greatness. So let’s kick up that defense.

Honestly, imagine walking out on the court against a peak or near-peak Dennis Rodman and Ben Wallace. You’d want to go home before the game even started. The 1996-97 Rodman season was yet another year that he led the league in rebounds. The dude was nasty and came to work and beat you and intimidate you and infuriate you. He did not care at all about anything other than winning. He was Jordan’s ultimate foot soldier, ready to do all the ugly battling.

Then there was Wallace. He wasn’t in Chicago for long, but can you imagine what Wallace would have done in the modern NBA? He may be an offensive liability, but he was a terrifying defender at center and with his size, could play all the way down if you needed him to.

Kerr can’t handle everything so I need another shooter, occasional ball-handler. Need a sixth man? How about the guy that embodies the Sixth Man Award, Jamal Crawford. Yup, in 2002-03 he averaged 35.5 percent from 3-point range, scored over 10 points per game and added 4.2 assist and one steal per contest. Solid, solid off-the-bench guy.

For coach, Tex Winter. The guy was the true triangle guru in Chicago, making Phil Jackson the coach he was. It was Tex that played an integral role in working with Jordan and had a special relationship with him. Jordan was extremely loyal and Tex was his guy. You want the best out of the best player ever, then you need to bring in his coach. I think this lineup wins more than the 72-10, easily.

Alex on his roster:

I’m buckling down on defense with my Bulls squad. We’ve got three Hall of Fame players, four All-Defensive First Teamers, and five All-Stars (Dennis Rodman missed a few too many games to make the team). At shooting guard, I’ve drafted Michael Jordan during the tail end of his athletic prime. Jordan capped off the first Bulls three-peat at age 30 by thoroughly outplaying league MVP Charles Barkley for the championship.

More from Pippen Ain't Easy

At the two forward spots, we’ve got 1995-96 Scottie Pippen (also his age-30 season, i.e. also at the tail end of his peak athleticism), plus 1995-96 Dennis Rodman. That year, Pippen, Rodman and Jordan were all voted onto the All-NBA Defensive First Team, a feat that has never happened before or since.  Our center, 2012-13 Joakim Noah’s season included his first All-Star and All-Defensive First Team selections.

1993-94 All-Star B.J. Armstrong brings a sweet shooting stroke to my Bulls lineup at the other guard spot. He’s also athletic enough to be a solid option on the other end of the court. During that season, the 6’2”, 175-pound University of Iowa product was the third-best player on a 55-win Bulls team that came within one bogus ref call of a sixth straight Eastern Conference Finals appearance.

JoNo’s 2012-13 All Star teammate Luol Deng was selected as my 6th man, thanks to his unique positional versatility (though nominally a small forward, Deng can play the 2 and the 4 as well) and of course his fantastic defense. Legendary assistant coach Johnny Bach was the man behind one of the most lethal defensive systems ever.

Megann on her roster:

The reasoning behind the selections I made comes down to knowing my personnel and working to use each athlete to their strength all while minimizing any weaknesses that may exist. I made a concerted effort to make sure that defense was a priority for my fantasy team.

For this reason, I selected the likes of Jordan, Pippen and Rodman to solidify some foundation in the way the team will operate as a collective on the hardwood. It appeared to me that having this trio of stars on my team was almost a given in some ways.

To fill out the remainder of the starting lineup for my fantasy team, that’s where I decided to say to myself, ‘what if?’ That said, I chose Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol to round out my all-time starting five. Mainly, where Rose and Gasol lack at the defensive end, it’s my belief that having a core of athletes who can rotate, show a willingness to communicate, know the fundamentals of good basketball and exude an effort that is relentless on both ends would be viewed as a positive.

Next: 10 of the best dunks in the history of the Chicago Bulls

What people sometimes forget is that Rose was performing near peak performance during the 2009-2010 season. Rose’s level of play always appeared to be well beyond his years. The same can be said of Gasol, too, whose game-by-game statistics never ceased to waver during the 2014-15 season, making him one of the most productive players to fill up a stat sheet at age 34.

Many of the athletes I’ve chosen were picked with age and experience kept in mind. Apart from Gasol and Rodman, each player has been selected from the early part of their NBA careers. Having Brand serve as a sixth man selection shows my desire to keep the team young but competitive nonetheless. I realize my selection of Brand may appear to be an option that isn’t traversed, or realized, by many others. To be fair, the former Rookie of the Year’s stay in Chicago was short by all accounts. The bases for my selection is based on knowing how well Brand could’ve played for the Bulls, if the squad assembled around him were better.

Head coach Jerry Sloan’s tenure in Chicago was rather short during the 1970s, but if you recall his days in Utah where he served as head coach of the Jazz, I saw a ton of upside in hiring him for my fantasy team. That said, if given an opportunity to foster the minds of the Chicago’s best, I find that Sloan would make a great fit for the type of team culture and work ethic I hope is instilled among all of the athletes I’ve selected to join my fantasy team.