Chicago Bulls: 15 toughest players in franchise history

Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
3 of 16
Jerry Sloan
Jerry Sloan. (Credit: Ezra Shaw/ALLSPORT) /

24. . SG. (1966-76). Jerry Sloan. 14. player

Next on our list is another popular name who might be better known for his coaching prowess with the Utah Jazz than his playing days with the Bulls. However, to dismiss his accomplishments with Chicago would be an insult to everything Jerry Sloan accomplished for the franchise.

Perhaps what Sloan meant to Chicago was best captured by Sam Smith in a story he wrote for shortly before Sloan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

"“Sloan is a guy, like Chicagoans braving the cold and the Midwest’s brutality, to stoically endure it, accept it and fight through it. Not complain. Not quit. Just keep moving forward and working. Hardly the beneficiary of great natural gifts, but someone who chases them down out of determination and duty.”"

But beyond his tenacity, Sloan was an accomplished player. His jersey No. 4 was the first one to be retired by the franchise in 1978. It hung in the rafters by itself for a number of years until the team retired Bob Love’s number in 1994. Sloan also averaged 14.7 points and 7.7 rebounds per game during his 10 seasons in Chicago.

Unfortunately, Sloan is currently battling Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia after being diagnosed in April 2016. Fans who had the privilege of watching Sloan play know he will carry his fighting spirit from the court into this current battle because that’s just the type of person he is. And that’s why he checks in as one of the toughest players in Bulls franchise history.