I like the number 2. I like the Bulls. For years this has been a diametrically opposed stance. Looking through the history of Bulls players who have worn number 2, the most notable name is Norm Van Lier, a dude who made his most significant impact from the broadcasting table. Not a good sign. Let's have a looksy at the players who have worn my favorite number for my favorite team:
Norm Van Lier - like I said above, Norm had the best career in the number 2. He averaged 12ish points a game for Chicago and was named to one of the All-Defensive teams in all 8 seasons he played in the Windy City. Van Lieezy was even named All-NBA second team in 73-74. However, if you ask any Bulls fan born after 1975 they'll know him as the commenter for the local Fox Sports channel. But all in all, not a bad start for the first guy to ever wear the deuce.
Brad Sellers - as a seven-footer in the 80's, Brad Sellers averaged 10 ppg and a whopping 3 rebounds a game. He was drafted ahead of Scott Skiles, Arvydas Sabonis, Mark Price, Dennis Rodman, and Drazen Petrovic. Otherwise though, he was pretty stellar.
Rory Sparrow - he played 59 games for the Bulls in parts of 2 seasons. His name is Rory Sparrow. Next.
Dennis Hopson - averaged all of 4 points in 10 minutes a game for los Toros in the 90-91 season. But being part of that team means he's got more titles than Karl Malone, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, John Stockton, and Reggie Miller combined. Advantage? Dennis Hopson.
Mark Bryant - my friend Bonesaw's dad hated Mark Bryant with the intensity of 1,000 burning suns. I don't know why he didn't like a guy who had the worst hands of any basketball player in existence not named Kwame Brown and who made 2.05 million dollars for 45 games. I don't really know why that wouldn't interest him. He went on to destroy the basketball souls of six more teams the next three seasons before having the decency to be forced out of the league.
Khalid El-Amin - don't get it twisted, I was a fan of Khalid in college, but once he couldn't wear that undershirt everyone realized that he was really fat for a guard. Not Baron Davis chunky or Deron Williams stocky, but straight up fat. He played a grand total of one season in the league. Of course that one season was spent as a spot starter for the Bulls. Excellent talent evaluation Krause.
Eddy Curry - sure, you'll say that Eddy Curry is one of the top 10 centers in the NBA right now. You'll argue that with him and Zach Randolph, the Knicks could challenge for a playoff spot this year. You might say that he averages almost 20 points a game. And while these things are true, I'll casually remind you that Eddy Curry has a medically documented HOLE IN HIS HEART. Not a joking, ha-ha-he-doesn't-try-hard hole, a literal hole that is in his heart. Not good.
So that's the history of the number 2 in Chicago. Luckily, a new hope dwells. The rapping, self-ooping, NBA 2K7 dominating Thabo Patrick (?) Sefolosha is sporting the numero dos now. Here's hoping that not only does he not contribute to the dismal history of this beautiful number, but that he makes it somewhat respectable. But at the very least, my high school number seems to be in good hands.
UPDATE: Kelly Dwyer, knowledgeable on all manner of arcane facts about the Bulls, sends this little nugget along:
"Van Lier says he put a curse on the number because they retired Sloan's number and not his. Seriously.Of course KD would solve the mystery.
Randy Brown was set to wear the number during 1996-97, after the Bulls signed Robert Parish, and Van Lier talked him out of it. Brown wore "0" the year before, but was told a team couldn't have "00" and "0" by the NBA. He then went for "2", but Van Lier talked himout of it. Brown actually played a couple (crappy) preseason games in the number. Ron Harper's worst season as a Bull (94-95) was in number 2 as well. He changed to 9 the year after."