Bulls

By the numbers: Michael Jordan's unparalleled Bulls career

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By the numbers: Michael Jordan's unparalleled Bulls career

Michael Jordan celebrated his 53rd birthday on Wednesday. Our own Chris Kamka compiled some of the craziest stats from Jordan's unparalleled NBA career.

Points by game:

Points Number of times
0-9 points 1
10-19 points 81
20-29 points 311
30-29 points 372
40-49 points 135
50-59 points 26
60-69 points 4

Jordan scored 10+ points in each of his first 89 career NBA games. Then he had eight points (in only 16 minutes off the bench right after coming back from foot injury) in game No. 90.

Then played the last 840 consecutive games of his Bulls career without scoring fewer than 10 points.

He added an additional 26 games to that streak with the Wizards to bring the total to 866 straight games, an NBA record.

From 1984-85 to 1997-98 (his Bulls years), Jordan had 30 games of at least 50 points. The next highest total over that span was seven, by Dominique Wilkins. And that's despite Jordan missing over a season and a half to play baseball.

Speaking of baseball, Jordan had 30 steals for the Birmingham Barons in 1994. Then he returned to the Bulls for the end of the 1994-95 season and had exactly 30 steals. Only once did an opposing player score 50+ against the Bulls in a game in which Jordan appeared (Dominique Wilkins 57, 12/10/86)

From 1984-85 to 1997-98, Jordan scored 29,277 points, which was 24.23% of the Bulls' 120,818 points. And that's despite Jordan missing over a season and a half to play baseball (and despite missing 64 games with a foot injury in 1985-86).

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Jordan appeared in 13 seasons with Bulls.

- in 1985-86 he played only 18 games due to injury

- in 1994-95 he played only 17 games after returning from baseball

- Jordan led the NBA in points scored in each of the other 11 seasons (led NBA in PPG in 10 of those seasons)

As a rookie in 1984-85, Jordan scored no fewer than 13 points in a game. He was held under 20 only nine times.

40+ point games with Bulls:

Michael Jordan 165
Everyone else 51

50+ point games with Bulls:

Michael Jordan 30
Everyone else 3*

*Chet Walker, Jamal Crawford & Jimmy Butler - one each

40+ point games with Bulls: 

Player 40+ point games Games
Michael Jordan's rookie year 7 82
Jimmy Butler's career 3 304
Derrick Rose's career 2 385
Luol Deng's Bulls career 1 637

From March 25 to April 14, 1989 (11 games):

Michael Jordan averaged 33.6 PPG, 10.8 RPG, 11.4 APG, had triple-double in 10 of 11 games (and had a career-high 17 assists in the game before that 11-game stretch - March 24th)

When Jordan scored a career-high 3,041 points in 1986-87, he made only 12 3-pointers. He later made a career-high 111 3-pointers in both 1995-96 and 1996-97.

During the six Bulls championship seasons, Jordan missed a total of six games: Two in 1991-92 and four in 1992-93. He played in 82 games in each of the last three championship seasons.

On Feb 26, 1987, Jordan (58 points) outscored the Nets' entire starting five (54 points)

On Jan 21, 1997, Jordan scored 51 of the Bulls' 88 points (58.0% of his team's points)

Michael Jordan is one of only three players in NBA history with five or more MVP awards. He and Bill Russell have won the award five times, while Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has won it six times. 

Michael Jordan won NBA Defensive Player of the Year award in 1987-88. He is only player to win the award while averaging over 30 PPG (35.0 PPG)

Michael Jordan passed Bob Love's franchise record of 12,623 points in a Bulls uniform on January 26, 1990.  At age 26 years, 343 days.

Michael Jordan reached 10,000 points for his NBA career on January 25, 1989.  At age 25 years, 343 days.

Jordan's 37.1 PPG in 1986-87 was highest in a season in NBA since Wilt Chamberlain (44.8 PPG in 1962-63). Since that season, the highest anyone other than Jordan has reached was Kobe Bryant's 35.4 PPG in 2005-06.

Jordan is the only player in NBA history to score 40+ points in a game after turning 40 (43 points at age 40 years, 4 days with Wizards on Feb 21, 2003)

In the playoffs:

Jordan scored 20+ points in each of his last 47 consecutive postseason games. (Last 7 of 1996, then all 19 in 1997, and all 21 in 1998) His 33.4 points per game in 179 career playoff games is an NBA record.

Jordan's three Minor League home runs in 1994 (with Birmingham Barons):

July 30, off Kevin Rychel (Carolina)

August 8, off Jeff Ware (Knoxville)

August 20, off Glen Cullop (Chattanooga)

'Underdog' Tyler Ulis will fit in just fine with these Bulls

'Underdog' Tyler Ulis will fit in just fine with these Bulls

It's been a whirlwind of a summer for point guard Tyler Ulis, but he finally feels like he's found a home. Literally.

The 5-foot-9 point guard was cut by the Suns in late June, latched on with a training camp invite by the Warriors and was subsequently waived on Friday. It was then that Ulis, working out in California, received a call from his agent. He had been claimed on waivers by the Chicago Bulls. His hometown Bulls.

"I grew up watching (the Bulls)," he said after his first practice on Tuesday. "Growing up in this city, you always want to be a Bull and you’re always willing and hoping that you’ll be here one day...I'm home now. It's a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it."

Ulis is back in Chicago for the first time since he was breaking records for Marian Catholic High School. Ulis became a five-star recruit for the Spartans and in 2014 signed on as the next point guard in the long line of successful floor generals under John Calipari and Kentucky.

Ulis backed up the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron, as a freshman but saw his role increase as a sophomore. He blossomed, earning Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the SEC. Only Anthony Davis had ever earned both honors in a single season.

He declared for the 2016 NBA Draft with hopes of becoming a first-round pick. But unlike the Calipari point guards before him, Ulis slipped all the way down to the second round before the Phoenix Suns scooped him up with the 34th pick.

"Honestly I really did think (the Bulls) were going to draft me," Ulis said on Tuesday when recalling the 2016 NBA Draft. The Bulls took Denzel Valentine with the 14th pick. "But I'm here now so that's all that matters."

In 132 games, Ulis averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 assists in 21.1 minutes. He started 58 of those games, and while his shooting left plenty to be desired he handled the offense well and brought that same pesky defense he showed off at Kentucky. It wasn't enough, even for the guard-deprived Suns. They released Ulis before free agency this summer - which ruffled the feathers of franchise guard Devin Booker - in a rather unexpected move.

"My Mom always taught me (to) never expect anything," Ulis said of his release from the Suns. "When you're on a losing team like that anything can happen. I feel like I showed I could play at this level but they went a different way."

The Suns' loss - they may resort to starting 38-year-old Jamal Crawford at point guard this year - could be the Bulls' gain. Expectations should be harnessed for Ulis, especially with him joining the roster this late in the preseason, but the Bulls, like Phoenix, have question marks at the point.

Kris Dunn is entrenched as the starter, but Cameron Payne struggled mightily in the preseason and Ryan Arcidiacono doesn't project as a contributor. That leaves an opening for Ulis to potentially fill on the second unit, and apparently he's making a statement early in practice.

"Tyler had a real good practice," Fred Hoiberg said. "I think I think he changes the pace when he’s out there on the floor. He picks up full-court, he gets up underneath you. He can make a shot. He’s got good vision and can make a play with the ball in his hand. So I was very impressed with his first workout."

Ulis is working on a 45-day two-way contract, so it's unknown how much he'll contribute. He could be shuttled back and forth between Chicago and the Windy City Bulls, but there's certainly an opportunity for him to stick. He'll be playing catch-up and learning on the go, but doing so in his hometown wth friends and family around him for support will work to his advantage.

"Being a smaller guard growing up in a big man’s sport, you get looked over. So I’m the underdog," he said. "And I feel like this team is an underdog, so we should all be excited to get the season started and prove people wrong."

Bulls, Bobby Portis value each other greatly despite no deal getting done

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USA TODAY

Bulls, Bobby Portis value each other greatly despite no deal getting done

Monday's deadline came and went with expected results: Bobby Portis and the Bulls being unable to reach an agreement on a contract extension.

Some 19 hours later all parties involved said the right things, that they value one another and hope to be working together long-term.

But all that will be shelved until July 1, when Portis enters restricted free agency at this coming season's end. The two sides found themselves in position to wait out on an extension.

For Portis, he's improved his game each of his first three seasons in the league posted per-36 numbers on par with some of the game's best big men. Expected to start while Lauri Markkanen recovers from a sprained elbow - and then act as the team's Sixth Man after that - Portis is in line to post career numbers once again.

For the Bulls, nearly all their front office decisions the past three seasons have been with an eye toward the 2019 offseason and having as much cap space as possible. Waiting on a Portis contract allows them to see if any of the top free agents in the class are interested in Chicago, while also having the ability to match any deal Portis gets on the open market.

It's similar to how the Bulls played out the rookie scale contracts of both Jimmy Butler and Zach LaVine.

John Paxson spoke during Tuesday's practice at the Advocate Center and reiterated how much the Bulls value Portis and the work he's put in since they drafted him 22nd overall in 2015.

Portis also spoke with reporters after practice. And what would normally be considered posturing from any other player, Portis' blue-collar mentality was present in his comments.

"I couldn’t see myself in no other jersey. Obviously, I got Bulls DNA," he said. "Me and the city have a love connection somewhere. At the same time, I just enjoy playing for the Bulls.

"I play this game because I love it. Obviously, you want to make as much money as possible to help your family. But I started playing basketball because it’s fun to me and I loved it. I still have that same passion, that same heart every night I go out there."

Still, the opportunity will be there for Portis to make himself significant money in the coming six months. After averaging a modest 13.2 points and 6.8 rebounds in Year 3, Portis will be called upon to shoulder a scoring load in the absence of Markkanen. And with Jabari Parker's Bulls career off to a shaky start, Portis will be the go-to guy on the second unit once Markkanen is back in the lineup.

"Bobby is a guy that is very confident in himself. He’s confident in his ability. That’s what we love about him," Fred Hoiberg said. "And like I said, he’s going to go out there and play the same way every time he steps on the floor, whether it’s practice, whether it’s a pick-up game in the summer or once we get started on Thursday. He’s a warrior, and he’s just going to go out there and play the right way with great effort.’’

The Bulls will need that with the start of the regular season just two days away. They open on the road against the Philadelphia 76ers, a team that went 30-11 at home last season.

Portis will play a significant role in slowing down one of the NBA's best frontcourts. Whether or not this is his last season doing so in Chicago, he knows what the Bulls think of him and won't let the impending negotiations distract him.

"I know how much I’m valued. They tell me a lot. Give it all I got. Kind of the leader of the bunch. Blue-collar worker," he said. "Everybody respects me because I come in every day with a chip on my shoulder, try to push my guys to get better each day. That makes me go."