Bulls’ Top 10 Point Guards in franchise history
Every Monday for the next five weeks, NBC Sports Chicago will be counting the best 10 Bulls players at each position in franchise history.
First up, the point guards.
Here, there are a wide array of specialties. The rugged defense of Ricky Sobers and Norm Van Lier. The sharp shooting of John Paxson and B.J. Armstrong. The unmatched athleticism of Derrick Rose. And so much more.
All of which is to say, none of these rankings are sure to be easy — especially for a franchise as storied as the Bulls. But here goes nothing.
10. Wilbur Holland (1976-79)
Though he only played true point guard the final of his three seasons in Chicago, his strong play down the stretch alongside Norm Van Lier as the Bulls won 20 of their final 24 games in the “Miracle on Madison Street” in 1976-77 resonates.
9. Ricky Sobers (1979-82)
A tough, physical defender, Sobers did plenty of dirty work to let backcourt mate Reggie Theus shine. He also averaged 13.1 points and 4.3 assists over three seasons with the Bulls, though his propensity for turnovers proved problematic.
8. Chris Duhon (2004-08)
An unheralded second-round pick, Duhon ended up starting 73 games his rookie season in 2004-05 because of his intelligence and steadiness. That’s the season the Bulls qualified for the playoffs for the first time since the dynasty ended. His four-season run in Chicago provided more of the same dependability.
7. Bobby Weiss (1968-74)
The future longtime coach missed just three games over five seasons, which all featured playoff berths. A steady, dependable player, he could slide between either guard spot effectively.
6. Guy Rodgers (1966-68)
The Hall-of-Famer played the bulk of his career and earned the bulk of his notoriety with the Warriors franchise in both Philadelphia and Golden State. But his lone, full season with the Bulls in 1966-67 was a record-setting one; his 908 assists still represents the highest single-season total in team history. The next closest? Ennis Whatley, who slung 662 dimes in 1983-84. Quite the record. In 1966-67, the Bulls made the playoffs as an expansion team.
5. John Paxson (1985-94)
Fiery and fundamentally sound, he cemented his place in franchise lore by sinking the game-winning 3-pointer to seal Game 6 and the 1993 NBA Finals. But his barrage of buried jumpers in the close-out victory in the first championship in 1991 rightfully highlighted the trust Michael Jordan placed in him.
4. B.J. Armstrong (1989-95)
The second-most accurate 3-point shooter in franchise history (min. 150 attempts), he moved from crucial reserve to starter for the third title season, then earned his lone All-Star game berth the following year in 1994. A cerebral player who rarely turned the ball over, he was a steady if unspectacular force during the first three-peat.
3. Kirk Hinrich (2003-10, 2012-16)
Rarely flashy, the franchise’s all-time leader in 3-pointers never backed down from a defensive assignment and played with physicality and deceptive athleticism. His no-nonsense, selfless play made him a favorite in the locker room, where he quietly led by example and served as a foundational piece for the organization’s resurgence.
2. Norm Van Lier (1971-78)
Van Lier’s pugnacious style, particularly on the defensive end, resonated with the blue-collar nature of Chicago. His style and swagger off the court created a larger-than-life personality. And his pairing with Jerry Sloan formed one of the most ferociously tough defensive backcourts in the league.
1. Derrick Rose (2008-16)
Beyond the fact he remains the youngest player in league history to win Most Valuable Player, Rose’s combination of strength and speed consistently produced jaw-dropping highlights. His rise to stardom elevated the Bulls to global significance again for the first time since the dynasty. And he embraced playing for and representing his hometown.