Chicago Bulls: Selecting an all-time second unit

Jerry Sloan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Jerry Sloan, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bulls
(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

Bulls all-time second unit: Norm Van Lier

It breaks my heart into a million little pieces to leave Kirk Hinrich off this list, but I just can’t put him above Norm Van Lier. Neither Hinrich nor Van Lier posted gaudy numbers with the Bulls, but Van Lier was simply a better, more impactful player.

In seven seasons with Chicago, “Stormin’ Norman” averaged 12.2 points, 6.9 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.9 steals* per game in 35.7 minutes.

*Important note: Steals weren’t recorded for Van Lier’s first two seasons with the Bulls, so technically his 1.9 steals per game average is over the course of his last five seasons with Chicago.

Van Lier also made three All-Star teams, one All-NBA Team and seven All-Defensive Teams while playing for the Bulls.

He had a wonky, ’70s-style jump shot but it was high-arcing and seemingly effective. It would’ve been crazy fun to see Van Lier play with a 3-point line given his natural ability to get in the lane and make plays. With a 3-point line, he would’ve been able to create more opportunities for himself and his teammates to score. Oh well.

Also, an incredibly important thing to point out is that “Stormin’ Norman” is an elite nickname. There’s no way I could’ve left him off this team.

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