Chicago Bulls: 15 toughest players in franchise history

Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls
Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls. (Credit: Jonathan Daniel/Allsport) /

In a blue-collar town like the Windy City, who are the toughest Chicago Bulls in franchise history?

The Chicago Bulls play in a quintessential blue-collar city. Chicago has long been known for its “bring your lunch pail” to work mentality and has celebrated those athletes who embody the same spirit.

Throughout its history, Chicago has celebrated players who, while perhaps not the most talented, put forth a maximum effort and were considered “grinders.” They battled night in and night out, often overcoming deficiencies in skill with sheer grit.

However, toughness is not simply a characteristic of players, but can also embody a team, as was the case with the Bulls throughout the 1990s — highlighted particularly by their epic battles with the New York Knicks.

Toughness is also apparently an important characteristic to new head coach Jim Boylen. When he was elevated to the position on Dec. 3, 2018, to replace the fired Fred Hoiberg, it became a point of emphasis.

In fact, his attempts to instill more toughness into his team backfired a bit at the start, ruffling some feathers with his current players. It appears that has all been smoothed over, but the emphasis on being a tough player remains.

As the Bulls look to continue to build out their roster with these types of players, it begged the question, ‘who are the toughest Bulls in franchise history?’ In evaluating the top 15 toughest players, we assessed both mental and physical toughness, to arrive at a list that you would want to “go to war” with. We kick off the list with a popular name.