By Carlos Nazario
Artis Gilmore played 6 seasons in the old ABA, before the merger with the NBA. He then played with the Chicago Bulls (two separate times), San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics over the next 12 seasons in the NBA. Many thought Gilmore as the second best player, behind only the incredible Julius Erving, in the ABA.
Gilmore won an ABA championship with the Kentucky Colonels in 1975, and won both Rookie of the Year and ABA MVP in 1972. He also was a 5 time ABA All Star. In the NBA, he was a 6 time All Star. For his career, Gilmore scored 24,941 points, 16,330 rebounds, and 3,178 blocked shots.
In his acceptance speech, Gilmore stated he wished Michael Jordan played before he did, so he did not have to keep seeing himself playing in those short shorts.
Tex Winter spent 58 years coaching basketball on the college and professional level. He spent the first 33 of those years as a head coach. He spent the last 25 as an assistant coach with the Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers. He is considered the author of the Triple Post Offense (aka the Triangle Offense) that was used to win 6 titles with Chicago and 5 titles with Los Angeles.
Dennis “The Worm” Rodman played 15 seasons with 5 teams, the Detroit Pistons, San Antonio Spurs, Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks. His career highlights include winning 5 NBA titles with the Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls, being a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, two-time All Star, seven-time All Defensive Team, and seven-time rebounding champion. He ended his career with 11,954 rebounds, which ranks 22nd in NBA history. All the players on that list except for Charles Barkley are 6’11” or taller. Dennis Rodman is 6’6”. He defended and locked down every position on the court from the point guard to the center.
As great a player as Rodman was, he was also as controversial. He was a member of the “Bad Boys” in Detroit, who were known for their roughhouse tactics on their way to back-to-back titles in 1989-1990. He has had several suspensions and had lost several hundred thousands of dollars due to fines.
In an emotional acceptance speech, Rodman stated that his one regret in his career was that he was not a better father. He said he never had a father figure until he played professional basketball. He also lamented the fact that he did not have a good relationship with his mother.
With the three new members this year, the Bulls now have eleven members in the Hall. We can only hope that this current crop of Bulls can yield us a few more.