Chicago Bulls fan favorite tournament: Semi-Finals

Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Luol Deng, Taj Gibson, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Only eight Chicago Bulls greats remain in the competition now, as we’re set to once again choose who moves and deserves the “fan-favorite” crown. A few frontrunners have emerged in this race, but there’s still plenty of time on the clock for one of the lower seeds to swing a surprising upset.

Voting for the next round closes soon, which will determine who deserves to win it all!

Only the best of the best remain now as we advance to the semi-finals of the Chicago Bulls fan-favorite tournament.

Zach LaVine VS. Ben Gordon

This was a matchup I had personally been hoping to see, as each of these dynamic shooting guards has defined a generation of Chicago Bulls basketball with their exciting offensive arsenals.

Who they beat to get here:

  • (#1) Zach LaVine 
    • Stacey King, Mike Dunleavy (x2), Reggie Theus, Mickey Johnson
  • (#9) Ben Gordon
    • Thaddeus Young, Nazr Mohammed, Kyle Korver, Ron Harper, Denzel Valentine

Ultimately, this matchup would not be as close as I expected, as LaVine dominated the poll and received nearly 80% of all votes. As the top seed in this tournament, he’s going to be incredibly difficult to knock off at the rate he keeps winning.

Alex Caruso VS. Kirk Hinrich

Two of the three remaining point guards meet here, in a match which I figured may as well have been for the title of “fan favorite point guard”. Both Alex Caruso and Kirk Hinrich embody the essence of fan favorite in the way they play, so I know going in this one wasn’t going to be an easy choice.

Who they beat to get here:

  • (#4) Alex Caruso
    • Jamal Crawford, CJ Watson Elton Brand, Aaron Brooks, Tony Snell
  • (#5) Kirk Hinrich
    • BJ Armstrong, Andres Nocioni, John Paxson, Wendell Carter Jr., Scot Williams

Recency bias wouldn’t come into play here in the end, as Hinrich took 68% of the vote and defeated Caruso. This was probably to be expected, considering Caruso has only had one season to make an impression while Hinrich was actually drafted by the Bulls and played for the franchise in 11 NBA seasons.

Click here to vote for either Zach LaVine or Kirk Hinrich in the next round.

Luol Deng vs. Horace Grant

In terms of actual talent, Luol Deng and Horace Grant may be the two greatest Chicago Bulls in this entire bracket. At the very least, they’re certainly the best pairing of players we’ve had yet.

Who they beat to get here:

  • (#2) Luol Deng
    • Bobby Portis, Coby White (x2), Will Perdue, Randy Brown
  • (#7) Horace Grant
    • Ayo Dosunmu, John Paxson Nazr Mohammed, Rip Hamilton, Ron Mercer

Lu continues his streak of dominant wins here, taking 72% of the vote. Deng has had the widest margin of victory among all players in this tournament, and just might be the last man standing here when it’s all said and done.

Taj Gibson vs. Nate Robinson

We’ve reached a point where, if I was the one voting, I just might have to abstain. Both Taj Gibson and Nate Robinson provided many unforgettable moments for fans while on the Chicago Bulls, it’s difficult picking just one to advance.

Who they beat to get here:

  • (#3) Taj Gibson
    • Patrick Williams, Elton Brand, Andres Nocioni, Javonte Green, Dave Greenwood
  • (#6) Nate Robinson
    • Steve Kerr, Lauri Markkanen, CJ Watson, Walt Lemon Jr., Orlando Woolridge

I believe tenure may have been a big factor in this matchup, as Nate Robinson only played for the Bulls in one unforgettable season. Gibson on the other hand was drafted by Chicago and remained with the team for eight long seasons. Taj wins here, earning 77% of the fan vote.

Click here to vote for either Luol Deng or Taj Gibson in the next round.

Only four of the very best contenders remain now, so go visit Pippen Ain’t Easy’s Twitter page and vote to keep them moving through the tournament!

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