Celebrating 1990-91 - Will Perdue
Sam Smith recently spoke with Will Perdue, former player on the 1990-91 Chicago Bulls Championship team who shared his reflections on the season, twenty years later
It was all a fantasy to Will Perdue in 1991, a raw kid from Vanderbilt penciled in as a future but mostly sitting on the bench.
"I hadn't been in the league long," said Perdue. "I'm bopping along enjoying life. And then you start thinking and realizing watching the guys how difficult it is to get to the Finals much less win."
Like most of those 1991 Bulls, he knew the team was haunted by the Pistons and that represented the season long struggle.
"We knew who was ahead and that we had to get through them," recalled Perdue. "Then not only to beat them but sweep them and then realizing the talent we had that we did have a real good chance and opportunity to beat the Lakers."
Perdue knew it was big, but not really how much so until he saw John Paxson and Bill Cartwright, especially Cartwright the rock breaking down over the achievement.
"That really helped me realize how difficult it was when we won against the Lakers," said Perdue. "I watched Bill cry. To me, he was the rock, a guy who didn't show a lot of emotion. He'd show disgust. Even though you knew he was a happy guy and he enjoyed life he always was aspiring to do better. And then when you see him crying you know how big that moment is."
Perdue now lives in Louisville, but frequently is in the Chicago area where he still maintains a membership in a golf club. He is a regular NBA announcer for ESPN radio and also does some local radio back home.
"I would have loved to have played more," Perdue said. "To be a bigger contributor. But I felt personal satisfaction that I did contribute. Maybe I didn't make a huge difference, but I felt I made a difference and helped us win a championship."
In fact, Perdue played a major role in one of the seminal moments of the season, Game 1 against Detroit in the conference finals when the Bulls broke open the game with Jordan off the floor and Perdue making several crucial baskets.
"Nothing compared to Michael and Scottie," Perdue said. "But I made contributions and I'm proud of that."