Bob Weiss

Happy Left-Handers Day: The best lefties in Bulls history

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AP

Happy Left-Handers Day: The best lefties in Bulls history

It's International Left Handers Day (which is actually a thing) today, which got us thinking: Who are the best lefties in Bulls history?

The current roster has just one lefty, point guard Cameron Payne, and the last lefty before him was Acie Law in 2010. Before Adrian Griffin became an assistant for the Bulls he played for them in 2008. And both lefties Othella Harrington and Randy Holcomb played for the 2005-06 Bulls.

None of those players make the cut for the five best Bulls lefties in franchise history. But here's who does:

5. Bob Weiss (1968-1974): Perhaps not as familiar a name as the other players on this list, Weiss holds a special place in Bulls lore. He was the second piece of a trade with Milwaukee in 1968 that brought Bob Love to the Bulls in exchange for Flynn Robinson. Weiss was both a reliable scorer and passer for the Bulls in the early 70s. He played six of his 12 NBA seasons in Chicago, where he averaged 9.5 points, 4.3 assists and made better than 83 percent of his free throw attempts. He's 8th all-time on the Bulls assist list with 2008 helpers. He was reliable, too, missing just three games in the five full seasons he played in Chicago.

4. Jalen Rose (2001-2003): The second player on our list is likely remembered for the time he spent with the Pacers, where he helped lead Indiana to a Finals appearance in 2000, or Toronto, where Kobe Bryant dropped 81 on him. But Rose's best statistical seasons came in Chicago. The Bulls acquired Rose at the 2002 trade deadline, a deal that sent Ron Artest, Ron Mercer, Brad Miller and Kevin Ollie to the Pacers. The Bulls also receive Travis Best and Norm Richardson. Rose averaged 23.8 points in 30 games for the Bulls post-deadline, then averaged 22.1 points the following season for a 30-win Bulls team. The Bulls then dealt Rose to the Raptors the following year, acquiring Antonio Davis and Jerome Williams in the deal. In 128 games, Rose averaged 21.4 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists in nearly 40 minutes per game.

3. Toni Kukoc (1993-2000): The only player on this list with a Bulls championship ring, Kukoc will go down in NBA history as one of the top international players of all-time (he and Manu Ginobili can argue about the top international lefty). All Kukoc did in seven Bulls seasons was average 14.1 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.2 assists out of primarily sixth man role. He was named the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year in 1996, and he was instrumental in the Bulls' second three-peat. He's littered across the Bulls all-time record books, including 3-pointers (9th), assists (10th) and steals (10th).

2. Guy Rodgers (1966-1968): Rodgers only played two seasons with the Bulls, but he made them count. In 85 games he averaged 17.6 points and 11.0 assists. He led the NBA in assists per game in 1967, when he was named to his fourth All-Star team. He recorded 908 assists that season, at the time an NBA record, and currently the Bulls' single-season record. His record stood in NBA history until 1972-73, when Tiny Archibald (another lefty) recorded 910 assists. Rodgers was elected to the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2014.

1. Artis Gilmore (1976-1982, 1987-1988): Who else? The A-Train remains the greatest center in Bulls history, having averaged 19.3 points, 11.1 rebounds and 2.1 blocks over seven seasons. The first overall pick in the 1976 ABA dispersal draft was named an All-Star in four of those seasons, led the NBA in field goal percentage twice and helped the Bulls to two playoff appearances. He was traded to the Spurs in 1982 for Dave Corzine and Mark Olberding, but Gilmore returned for 24 games in 1988, averaging a modest 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds at 38 years old. He became a Hall of Famer in 2011. Quite the lefty.