Sam Smith puts your Bulls IQ to the test
How well do you know your Chicago Bulls history? A recent trip to a local university inspired Sam Smith to challenge fans with ten trivia questions surrounding some of the team's most well-known—and not so well-known—players.
So who’s ready for a test?
I had the unusual honor—for me—of speaking at a basketball clinic last week. No one wanted me to discuss my theory of the flex offense, though. It was at Roosevelt University in Chicago’s Loop, where they have a nice basketball program. Being a distraction to the X’s and O’s for the participants, I decided to try some Bulls trivia. I enjoyed it, at least, and I thought this might be an entertaining distraction from another day of Thibs saying everyone was working to get better and taking the next steps.
This trivia exam turned out more difficult that I thought, though no one had much time to answer. The winner got three correct. The answers will be below. And this is the honor system, unlike real sports. So don’t peak.
- Who was the first player in Bulls history to make a four-point play?
- Name the Bulls players who are in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
- Who is the only Bulls player in franchise history other than Michael Jordan to have scored more than 50 points in a game?
- Who holds the Bulls franchise career record for most three pointers made.
- Michael Jordan, of course, holds the Bulls’ all-time record for scoring average at 31.5 per game. With at least 100 games in a Bulls uniform, who has the second highest scoring average in franchise history? Hint: You’ll never guess.
- In the 2000-01 season, the Bulls had the worst record in franchise history at 15-67. Name the starting lineup, or at least three starters.
- Name the three Bulls players who won the Rookie of the Year award.
- If not the most famous, perhaps the most infamous Bulls draft was in 1977. It was the so-called “astronaut draft.” Name the Bulls first three picks, or at least two, in that draft.
- What three uniform numbers did Michael Jordan wear in his career?
- Name at least one player other than Jerry Sloan from the opening day Bulls roster in the franchise’s first season in 1966-67.
- Sam Smith made the first four-point play in team history. I led with that for obvious reasons. It is the other Sam, the UNLV shooting guard. My research shows one other Sam Smith in NBA/ABA history. The latter, a forward, from Western Kentucky played mostly for Kentucky in the ABA. There are only three Smiths who have played for the Bulls, Sam in 1979-80, Joe in 2007-08 and Willie from Missouri in 1976-77. See, it’s not such a common name. So why won’t they make the pizza when I order?
- Bulls players in the Hall of Fame are Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Artis Gilmore and Chet Walker. Someone mentioned Robert Parish, whom I couldn’t count for his cameo with the 1997 team, given that he creaked when he ran at that time. Also in the Hall of Fame are Phil Jackson and Tex Winter.
- The only Bull to score more than 50 points in a game was Walker in 1972, interestingly just after he was left off the All-Star team that season, the only time in that four year stretch.
- Kirk Hinrich made the most three pointers in franchise history. Yes, our Kirk. Ben Gordon is second followed by Pippen and Jordan. Marco Belinelli has a lot of catching up to do.
- Yes, it’s Jalen Rose with the second highest scoring average in franchise history at 21.4 per game after Jordan. Yes, that Jalen Rose. Bob Love is third at 21.3 and Derrick Rose is fourth at 21. Which should be motivation enough for Rose to make a strong recovery and start scoring. In Jalen’s only full season with the team, 2002-03, he averaged 22.1, played all 82 games and shot 37 percent on threes. The Bulls could use that this season. Get this: He averaged 4.8 assists per game, the best on the team. Like someone once said about statistics: “The science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures. “ Or Churchill’s famous line that statistics “are like a drunk with a lamp post: used more for support than illumination.” Watch the game; not the computer.
- The starting lineup to open the season in 2000-01 was Elton Brand, Ron Artest, Michael Ruffin, Klalid El-Amin and Ron Mercer. Bad, but better than being 15-67, it seems to me.
- The Bulls three rookies of the year were Jordan, Rose and Elton Brand, the latter in a tie with Steve Francis.
- In the 1977 draft, after one of the great late season runs in franchise history with a 20-4 close and giving eventual champion Portland its toughest playoff series, the Bulls selected Tate Armstrong from Duke 13th in the first round and then Mike Glenn and Steve Sheppard in the second round. Armstrong and Sheppard washed out of the NBA in two seasons, mostly off the bench for the Bulls. Glenn was hurt in an auto accident after being drafted and released. He went on to have a solid career as one of the league’s better shooting guards with the Knicks and Hawks. None ever worked for NASA.
- Jordan famously wore No. 23, No. 45 briefly on his return in 1995 until Orlando’s Nick Anderson made fun of him after a Jordan turnover cost Game 1 of that season’s playoffs and No. 12 early in his career when his uniform was stolen before the Bulls played in Orlando. It wasn’t just presidential elections and beach towels that were hard to keep track of down there.
- Jerry Sloan, of course, was a Bulls expansion pick and starter for that first team coached by Johnny Kerr, which remains the only expansion team in NBA history to make the playoffs. The other starters were Bob Boozer, Don Kojis, Len Chappell and Guy Rodgers. Rodgers, perhaps the most overlooked for the Hall of Fame with Walker’s admission, and Sloan made the All Star team that season. Rodgers that season set the still standing Bulls assist record with 24 in a game and also led the team in scoring that season. They were one of the teams to beat the powerful 68-13 76ers that season. Kerr was named coach of the year.