“When you’re here, you’re family.”
Yes, an Olive Garden restaurant played a small role in building the Bulls’ championship core. Just ask Michael Jordan and Brad Sellers.
Flashback to the summer of 1986. Head coach Doug Collins, Michael Jordan and scores of Bulls fans lobbied hard for the team to draft Duke guard Johnny Dawkins in the upcoming NBA Draft.
It was all for naught.
The Bulls instead selected a meek, thin 7-footer from Ohio State named Brad Sellers. The move was not a popular one. Nor was it one that made a huge dent in the team’s nightly stat sheets. Sellers never averaged double-figures in scoring or rebounding for Doug Collins and company.
And with the addition of cornerstone forwards Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant in 1987, the writing was on the wall for the former Buckeye Sellers. He was not in the Bulls’ longterm plans.
According to Jerry Bembry of the Undefeated, it was time for Sellers to use his phone-a-friend lifeline:
That time when Michael Jordan called an Olive Garden to let Brad Sellers know he had been traded by the Bulls to Seattle.— The Undefeated (@TheUndefeated) May 21, 2020
“They’re trading you to Seattle tomorrow. Good luck, B.”
More via @Jerrybembry: https://t.co/utR9ohzwFB pic.twitter.com/znx5LpR54S
Once again, Michael came through in the clutch. Sellers was traded to Seattle in June, 1989 for the No. 18 pick in the upcoming draft (the Bulls used that pick to select B.J. Armstrong).
So all parties got their wish. Sellers got his ticket out of Chicago, the Bulls got what would be another pivotal piece in three upcoming NBA championships and Jordan got a very unconventional dime.
After several journeyman years in the NBA, Sellers found his footing in his native state of Ohio. He is now the mayor of Warrensville Heights (suburban Cleveland) and has an analyst role with the Cavs Radio Network.
As of this writing, reports of unlimited salad, breadsticks, shrimp alfredo and a Tour of Italy as part of the 1989 Sellers trade have been unconfirmed.