Monday, December 26, 2011

Most Disappointing Players in Chicago Bulls History

     Yesterday marked the beginning of the NBA season and the Bulls thrilled their fans.  Derrick Rose & Luol Deng led the team to a comeback victory over the Lakers in Los Angeles, Rose hitting the game-winning shot after a key Deng steal.  I had an inspiration to begin writing a series of posts documenting the most disappointing players in the major Chicago teams and because the Bulls are most prominent on my mind this morning, I've chosen them as the team to start off with.  The Bulls have won 6 championships in their history, which is good for the 3rd most in the history of the NBA.  There have been quite a few bad stretches for this team though, most notably in the early 2000s.  Whether it be free agent signings, trades, or draft picks, these are the players who just made you slap your head and hang it in shame as you watched them don the Chicago Bulls uniform.  I remember watching a lot of these guys play and even remember being forced to play as them in NBA video games.  Thank goodness those days are long gone as the Bulls are one of the better teams in the NBA.  So here's the top 10 most disappointing players in Chicago Bulls history...

10 - Ron Mercer
Ron Mercer barely had a chance when it came to the Bulls.  He was signed as a free agent in the year 2000, which was one of the most talented free agent classes in history.  The Bulls had visions of Tracy McGrady and/or Tim Duncan joining the team, but neither came.  Instead they settled for Ron Mercer who had an admittedly respectable debut season with the Bulls, albeit inconsistent.  He's disappointing in the fact that the fans were expecting superstars to be brought in and they got Ron Mercer.  He was traded in his 2nd year for the Bulls to the Pacers.

9 - Brent Barry
Brent Barry had an abysmal season with the Miami Heat in 1998 and so what did he get in return?  A nice 6 year $27 million deal with the Chicago Bulls in 1999.  The Bulls were, at the time, reeling from the loss of Michael Jordan and the end of their dynasty.  They desperately needed to fill the void and attempted to with Barry.  He only spent 1 year with the Bulls, in the lockout shortened season, and was injured for a lot of it, only playing in 37 of 50 games.  The Bulls went ahead and traded Barry to the Seattle Supersonics before 1999 even ended.

8 - Tyrus Thomas
It's actually kind of tough for me to include Tyrus Thomas on this list, mainly because he was one of my favorite players to watch while he was on the team.  He plays high above the rim with a ton of athleticism, he's a hell of a lot of fun to watch when he's got his game going.  Only one problem, he doesn't consistently have much of a game.  Thomas is one of those guys that will score you 15 points with 4 highlight reel dunks and a couple of impressive blocks one night, then not make a dent on the box score the next game.  What's even more disappointing is on the day of the 2006 draft, the Bulls drafted LaMarcus Aldridge 2nd overall and immediately traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers for the rights to Thomas.  Aldridge is the face of Portland while Thomas was traded during the 2009-10 season to the Charlotte Bobcats.

7 - Marcus Fizer
Here's something you don't hear very often, Marcus Fizer is one lucky dude.  Quite often, when the biggest NBA draft busts conversations comes up, Fizer's name is not uttered.  Why not?  He was drafted by the Bulls 4th overall in the 2000 NBA draft and was let go in 2004 due to crummy play and injuries.  When the Bulls brought him in, they went ahead and decided that since they had Fizer, their best player Elton Brand should be traded.  So why doesn't he get more ridicule?  Well, to be honest, pretty much the ENTIRE 2000 NBA draft was a bust.  Fizer was just another victim of one of the worst drafts in NBA history.  With company like Stromile Swift, Darius Miles, DerMarr Johnson, Chris Mihm, Jerome Moiso, & Keyon Dooling, Marcus Fizer goes down as just another casualty of an awful draft.

6 - Eddie Robinson
The fact that Eddie Robinson even gets included in this list is a joke.  There is no reason Robinson should have ever donned a Bulls uniform.  His signing goes down as one of the dumbest in the history of the NBA.  Robinson averaged only a little less than 7 points per game as a Charlotte Hornet in his first 2 years in the league after going undrafted in the 1999 draft and yet, the Bulls decided to give him a 5 year $32 million deal.  He averaged a mediocre 9 points per game in his first season with the Bulls and went on to miss 102 games due to injury, a horrible attitude, and a general lack of caring.  Robinson's contract was bought out in 2003, meaning the Bulls literally just threw money at him and kicked his ass out the door.

5 - Tyson Chandler
Tyson Chandler has had a very respectable NBA career thus far, currently on the Knicks after winning an NBA championship with the Dallas Mavericks, being a key piece to the team.  Unfortunately for the Bulls, Chandler was a player that flourished later in his career and was largely disappointing for the team that drafted him 2nd overall in the 2001 draft.  Chandler was a skinny tall kid from high school that the Bulls traded their reigning Rookie of the Year, Elton Brand, for.  Chandler, who is still not known for his offensive skill, never averaged more than 10 points per game with the Bulls and often had to deal with an assortment of injuries.  It wasn't until he left the Bulls that Chandler found himself as an NBA player and become a legitimate productive member of a team.

4 - Larry Hughes
Larry Hughes only spent a year on the Bulls (thank God) so many may ask why I would include him so highly on this list.  It's simple.  LARRY HUGHES IS A JOKE.  This guy is such a ball hog that he has his own website (now defunct) dedicated to his idiotic NBA play and desire to take awful shots.  Maybe I'm just bitter, but when the the Bulls traded for this guy in 2008, I was excited.  He was a tall shooting guard that the Bulls desperately desired for many seasons, someone who could guard a Kobe Bryant and score the ball.  Larry Hughes was thought of as that guy that could propel the Bulls from being a .500 team battling for the final seed in the playoffs to a legitimate contender in the East.  He didn't do much of anything for the Bulls and was traded close to a year later in 2009.

3 - Jay Williams
A lot of people like to give Jay Williams a pass due to sympathy over his NBA career being cut short by a dreadful accident in the offseason after his rookie year.  Not me.  Jay Williams is a moron.  He was drafted 2nd overall in the 2002 NBA draft and was supposed to be the point guard of the future for the Chicago Bulls.  He didn't have the greatest of rookie years with the Bulls, but he showed a ton of promise and even recorded a triple-double.  Everyone was excited for him to return to the Bulls for his sophomore season and take that next step, only one problem.  His 2nd NBA season never happened.  In the summer of 2003, Williams crashed his motorcycle, severing a nerve in his leg, tearing multiple ligaments in his knee, & fracturing his pelvis.  Williams was not allowed to ride a motorcycle according to his contract and worse yet, he wasn't even wearing a helmet.  He never returned to the NBA after this accident and the Bulls voided his contract (due to him breaking the agreement concerning the motorcycle) but they still gave him a couple million dollars for rehab.  Let's not get it twisted, Jay Williams, by all accounts, is a really good guy and has made a success for himself as an analyst in his post-basketball career.  The fact still remains that he is one of the biggest busts in NBA history and made an absolutely idiotic mistake.

2 - Eddy Curry
Remember when I talked about Tyson Chandler being a bust for the Bulls after being drafted in the 2001 NBA draft?  Funny thing is, HE'S NOT EVEN THE BIGGEST BULLS BUST OF THAT DRAFT!  Eddy Curry was drafted 2 picks after Chandler, 4th overall, in the very same draft and he never showed up.  In his rookie year, Curry averaged a disappointing 6.7 ppg and an awful 3.8 rebounds per game.  The guy was drafted as the team's future big man and he couldn't pull down more than 4 rebounds per game.  Curry was plain and simple, a fat & lazy dude who thought he could get by on skill alone.  He was drafted out of high school, where I'm sure he was bigger than everyone around him so he dominated.  Once he got to the NBA, he got pushed around like a bitch and played soft.  He was diagnosed with an irregular heartbeat that caused him to miss the end of the 2004-05 season, then refused to take a DNA test for the Bulls as they were looking to further examine his health.  He was then traded to the New York Knicks in 2005 and has continued his career of disappointment.

1 - Ben Wallace
I was so damn psyched when the Bulls signed Ben Wallace in the summer of 2006.  He was given a 4 year $60 million deal and he was all over magazine covers donning his Chicago Bulls uniform.  Hell, they even let him wear his headband (a rule of the Chicago Bulls organization is that players cannot wear headbands) Wallace battled injuries and played mostly like crap for the Bulls.  A guy who was known for his rebounding, Wallace averaged less than 10 rpg with the Bulls in just 2 seasons.  He was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2007-08 season and his tenure in Chicago was put to a quick and horribly disappointing end.

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