Last week while trying to rank the Bulls' top 10 all-time players, I expanded the list to 12 and added honorable mentions down to 21.
The next logical step was to invite reader feedback, and the responses are shared here.
As mentioned in the original story, I thought one of the most difficult parts of making this list was balancing longevity with impact. Several members of the championship Bulls made a resounding impact, but just weren't here very long. Some, like Dennis Rodman and Ron Harper, had their best years with other teams. Steve Kerr will always be remembered as a Bull, but he was a role player with relatively low stat numbers.
My list favored players who are among the Bulls' all-time statistical leaders. Kirk Hinrich, for example, ranks third behind Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in both assists and steals, and is the team's career leader in 3-point baskets. Tom Boerwinkle ranks second in rebounds and his franchise record of 37 boards set in 1970 may never be broken.
Others might see it differently, which is why I invited feedback. There weren't many strong opinions about whether the Bulls should retire more numbers -- specifically Derrick Rose's No. 1 -- which was a little surprising to me since Rose has been such a polarizing figure among Bulls fans in recent years.
So before getting on with the responses, here's another look at my list of greatest Bulls:
1. Michael Jordan, 2. Scottie Pippen, 3. Jerry Sloan, 4. Derrick Rose, 5. Bob Love, 6. Luol Deng, 7. Kirk Hinrich, 8. Artis Gilmore, 9. Chet Walker, 10. Jimmy Butler, 11. (tie) Norm Van Lier and Joakim Noah, 13. Reggie Theus, 14. Ben Gordon, 15. Tom Boerwinkle, 16. Toni Kukoc, 17. Horace Grant, 18. Mickey Johnson, 19. David Greenwood, 20. John Paxson, 21. Taj Gibson.
@bullsoutsider -- Hinrich and Sloan have stats because of their longevity and I guess that matters, but talent-wise, Derrick Rose was clearly above Sloan and Butler was clearly above Hinrich. I don't think their longevity makes them better Bulls personally. Also, Ben Gordon should be on this list, period. He was much more meaningful than Hinrich or Deng and actually won or swung playoff games. He was fantastic. Horace Grant, B.J. Armstrong and Toni Kukoc all deserve some recognition as well.
The Bulls won 50 games one time with Kirk Hinrich. One time. Butler two-time all-star, made an impact in some playoff games. Sloan was never the league MVP and was never looked at as a transcendent or franchise player.
Kirk doesn't cut it
@MarkBando1 -- I'll go along with your top five. But Chet should be sixth, Jo should be seventh and Jimmy should be eighth. I like Kirk, but he never ever even made an all star team.
@commishjoe -- Mike, it's hard to see what angle your Bulls list comes from. Accomplishments? Talent? Both? Walker, Gilmore and Butler belong well ahead of Hinrich and Deng. Good conversation starter.
@jackochocinski -- Kirk Hinrich ahead of Chet Walker? Are you serious? You must not ever have watched his one-on-one play. Unstoppable at times.
Gilmore too low
@kurthironimus -- Solid list but Gilmore seems pretty low to me. I would argue Noah contributed more to the Bulls than Butler, especially considering what he added to their culture.
A yes for Noah
@robniski -- Noah above Butler no doubt.
@johnheeerhold -- How can Dennis Rodman not be listed in your top 10? He is in the Hall of Fame and many on your list will never get close. Disrespectful.
@Pbrady55 -- How did Rodman not even get a mention? Jimmy Butler can't be lower than Hinrich.
No rafters for Rose
@gibbsreport -- D-Rose too high. Also you seemed not to give Noah credit for defensive player of the year. I think D-Rose is in the same boat as Sammy Sosa with Cubs. It was an ugly breakup. Can't imagine ever seeing No. 1 hanging for the rafters.
@oreopie -- Can't disagree. Maybe Noah higher. Bottom line is Hinrich and Noah deserve jerseys retired more than any Bull since Jordan.