All-time best Chicago Bulls players by jersey number
Who wore it best?
We’re taking a look at the best Bulls players to wear their respective jersey number.
Some of the numbers are no-brainers. In fact, His Airness has a lock on two numbers: 23 and 45. Perhaps another one as well?
(Trivia time: Which Buls player wore No. 23 before Michael Jordan? It was Mike Bratz, a point guard who played 15 games in the 1982-83 season).
Let’s take a look at who gets the nod at each spot:
Nos. 00 - 1
No. 00: Robert Parish (Center, 1996-97)
"Chief" had his best seasons with the Celtics, but he logged some reserve minutes for the 1996-97 title team.
No. 0: Orlando Woolridge (Small Forward, 1981-86)
The dunker supreme added some scoring and flair for a forgettable era of 80s basketball.
No. 1: Derrick Rose (Point Guard, 2008-16)
He wore No. 25 at Simeon and No. 23 at Memphis. He decided to wear No. 1 — the same number during his AAU days.
Nos. 2 - 4
No. 2: Norm Van Lier (Guard, 1971-78)
Stormin’ Norman was a three-time NBA All-Star for the Bulls and later became a broadcast legend during Bulls pre and postgame shows.
No. 3: Tyson Chandler (Center/Power Forward, 2001-06)
The image of Dwyane Wade playing one season for his hometown team, while intriguing, never fully panned out. And while Chandler reached his greatest heights elsewhere, his arrival with Eddy Curry's represented Jerry Krause's bold plan for greatness that helped lead to Krause's departure.
No. 4: Jerry Sloan (Guard/Forward, 1966-76)
Born in McLeansboro IL, this member of the Basketball Hall of Fame scored in double figures every season during his Bulls career. He later coached the team from 1979-82.
Nos. 5 - 7
No. 5: John Paxson (Point Guard, 1985-94)
Andres Nocioni and Carlos Boozer wore it well. But when you hit a game-winning shot in the NBA Finals, you get the nod.
No. 6: Keith Bogans (Shooting Guard, 2010-11)
With apologies to Brad Sellers, who also wore No. 2, the unheralded Bogans started on a 62-victory team, even if he played a limited role as a starter.
No. 7: Toni Kukoc (Small Forward, 1993-2000)
The import gets the slight nod over Ben Gordon, still the only player in NBA history to win Sixth Man of the Year as a rookie. Kukoc proved instrumental in the second three-peat with his dazzling combination of passing and scoring.
Nos. 8 - 10
No. 8: Zach LaVine (Shooting Guard, 2017-20)
Bob Weiss (1968-74) played more seasons but LaVine gets the nod here, although LaVine's legacy with the Bulls is a bit undefined.
No. 9: Luol Deng (Small Forward, 2004-14)
A two-time All-Star who became Tom Thibodeau's indispensable player, he represented the franchise with class on and off the court for close to 10 seasons.
No. 10: Bob Love (Foward, 1968-77)
Butterbean’s jersey number is one of four retired by the Bulls. He led the team in scoring for seven straight seasons.
No. 11 - 13
No. 11: Clem Haskins (Guard, 1967-70)
A 20-point scorer in his final of three seasons, this durable guard averaged 15.6 points for two playoff teams.
No. 12: Kirk Hinrich (Guard, 2003-10, 2012-16)
Sure, Hinrich was a steady presence in the Bulls backcourt from 2003-10, but one could make a case for M.J. getting this spot as well. Jordan played one game wearing No. 12 (Feb. 14, 1990).
No. 13: Joakim Noah (Center, 2007-16)
He was a two-time All-Star and the heart and soul of the Bulls during his tenure.
Nos. 14 - 16
No. 14: Craig Hodges (Shooting Guard, 1988-92)
The three-point marksman won three All-Star shootouts and shot 42.5 percent from the distance while playing on two title teams.
No. 15: Ron Artest (Small Forward, 1999-2002)
The mercurial defensive whiz contributed to winning elsewhere, but his hustle and quirkiness gets him small nod over John Mengelt here.
No. 16: Pau Gasol (Power Forward/Center, 2014-16)
An All-Star In both his seasons in Chicago, he averaged a double-double.
Nos. 17 - 19
No. 17: Scott May (Small Forward, 1976-81)
The Bulls lost the coin flip for Magic Johnson and settled on an eventual journeyman, who did earn All-Rookie honors.
No. 18: Tom Boerwinkle (Center, 1968-78)
"Mr. Inside" was the fourth overall pick in the 1968 NBA Draft and would play his entire career with the Bulls. He also later served as a color analyst for the team.
No. 19: Bob Boozer (Power Forward, 1966-69)
This bruising forward averaged over 20 points per game and only missed 10 games over his three seasons in Chicago.
Nos. 20 - 22
No. 20: Fred Hoiberg (Shooting Guard, 1999-2003)
The best of a forgettable bunch-- sorry, Pete Myers-- The Mayor gets the nod because he also served as head coach.
No. 21: Jimmy Butler (Shooting Guard/Small Forward, 2011-17)
He became a three-time All-Star with the Bulls, scoring over 20 points per game in all three campaigns.
No. 22: Taj Gibson (Power Forward 2009-17)
Few players distinguished their long careers with as much as class and dependability as Gibson.
Nos. 23 - 25
No. 23: Michael Jordan (Shooting Guard, 1984-93, 1995-98)
Crazy stat from our Chris Kamka: Not only did Michael go 6-for-6 in the championship ring department, but he missed only six regular season games in those six championship seasons combined.
No. 24: Reggie Theus (Guard, 1978-84)
He was the star of the franchise in the late-70s/early-80s; however, he only experienced one playoff season with the team (1980-81).
No. 25: Chet Walker (Small Forward 1969-75)
This Hall of Famer played on those oh-so-close teams coached by Dick Motta in the 1970s and his scoring and rebounding complemented Bob Love perfectly.
Nos. 26 - 28
No. 26: Kyle Korver (Shooting Guard, 2010-12)
Steady three-point threat helped guide the 2010-11 club to a 62-20 record and a berth in the Eastern Conference Finals.
No. 27: Ollie Johnson (Small Forward 1978-80)
He wins because he's the only one to wear this number.
No. 28: Sam Smith (Small Forward, 1979-80)
No, not that Sam Smith. This one and Andrew Lang are the only choices.
Nos. 30 - 32
No. 30: Jud Buechler (Small Forward, 1994-98)
An athletic reserve on the second three-peat teams, his shooting and rebounding in bit roles stood out.
No. 31: Brent Barry (Shooting Guard, 1998-99)
He followed in the footsteps of MJ, playing in the 1998-99 season, and comes from basketball royalty.
No. 32: Will Perdue (Center, 1988-95, 1999-2000)
First round pick out of Vanderbilt (1988) was a solid presence on three NBA Championship clubs
Nos. 33 - 35
No. 33: Scottie Pippen (Small Forward, 1987-98, 2003-04)
In addition to his six NBA championships, did you know that his teams made the playoffs in the first 16 seasons he was in the NBA? It included every season from 1987-98.
No. 34: Charles Oakley (Power Forward, 1985-88, 2001-02)
Beyond his solid contributions and friendship with Michael Jordan, Jerry Krause's controversial trade of him to the Knicks netted the Bulls Bill Cartwright, who backstopped the first three-peat.
No. 35: Larry Kenon (Forward, 1980-82)
Somebody had to win this and it wasn't going to be Lonny Baxter.
Nos. 38 - 40
No. 38: Viktor Khryapa (Power Forward, 2006-08)
As if him being included in the LaMarcus Aldridge for Tyrus Thomas trade isn't painful enough, he's also the only No. 38 in franchise history.
No. 39: Caldwell Jones (Center 1984-85)
The only one in franchise history.
No. 40: Dave Corzine (Center, 1982-89)
The Arlington Heights native played rugged and mostly dependable ball for seven seasons. He played 82 games four times, 81 once and 80 another.
Nos. 41 - 43
No. 41: Cameron Bairstow (Center/Power Foward, 2014-16)
The forgettable second-round pick gets the nod only because he's the only one of four players who wore this number and wore it solely. Sorry, Cliff Pondexter.
No. 42: Elton Brand (Power Forward, 1999-2001)
The first overall pick in the 1999 NBA Draft scored 20.1 PPG in each of his two seasons in Chicago and earned co-Rookie of the Year honors with Steve Francis.
No. 43: Corie Blount (Power Forward, 1993-95)
Hmmm, Chris Carr, Jake Voskuhl . . . OK, Corie!
Nos. 44 - 47
No. 44: Nikola Mirotic (Power Forward, 2014-18)
Niko finished second in Rookie of the Year voting (Andrew Wiggins) after the 2014-15 season
No. 45: Michael Jordan (Shooting Guard, 1995)
After he announced, “I’m Back” on March 18, 1995, M.J. wore No. 45 for the rest of the season, tallying 26.9 PPG in 17 contests.
No. 47: Ed Nealy (Power Foward, 1988, 1992-93)
Only worn one game, Nov. 8, 1988.
Nos. 48 - 51
No. 48: Nazr Mohammed (Center, 2012-15)
A native of Chicago’s Kenwood High School, Mohammed played three seasons for the Bulls and the only one every to wear No. 48.
No. 50: Greg Anthony (Point Guard, 2001-02)
Um, we guess?
No. 51: Ryan Arcidiacono (Guard, 2017-20)
His hustle and grit gets him the nod over Michael Ruffin and Lawrence Funderburke, even if Arch wore No. 15 initially.
Nos. 52 - 54
No. 52: Brad Miller (Center, 2000-02, 2009-10)
He only wore this number for the final of his four seasons in Chicago, but the fact he survived Shaquille O'Neal's roundhouse punch directed at his head while wearing No. 40 gives him these props.
No. 53: Artis Gilmore (Center, 1976-82, 1987)
The A-Train was a four-time NBA All-Star during his six seasons with the Bulls. He played one last season on the West Side, with Michael Jordan and company in 1987-88.
No. 54: Horace Grant (Power Forward, 1987-94)
A winner of three NBA championship rings, Grant averaged a double-double (15.1 PPG, 11 RPG) in his lone All-Star season (1993-94)
Nos. 55 - 91
No. 55: E’Twaun Moore (Shooting Guard, 2014-16)
Dependable and steady for his two seasons in Chicago.
No. 77: Joffrey Lauvergne (Center, 2017)
What, you'd give it to Vladimir Radmanovic?
No. 90: Drew Gooden (Power Foward, 2007-09)
The only one.
No. 91: Dennis Rodman (Power Forward, 1995-98)
“The Worm” was a menace to the Bulls as a member of Detroit’s “Bad Boys” teams. But the rebounding guru became a fan favorite and helped guide the team to three titles.