Thursday, November 30, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #42 David Vaughn

I just read "The Jordan Rules," Sam Smith's story of the 1990-1991 Chicago Bulls season that primarily focuses on Michael Jordan, but through nearly 400 pages, everybody gets a fair amount of ink. It made me long for those Chicago Bulls glory days, so I am going to go back and rank every player's contribution to the Bulls six NBA Titles during the 1990s.

David Vaughn
David Vaughn had a solid pedigree. He was drafted out of Memphis in the first round by the Orlando Magic. His biggest claim to fame is nothing he did on the court, but he was involved in some notable transactions.

Right before the 1997-98 season got started, he was traded, along with Brian Shaw from Orlando to the Golden State Warriors in order for the Magic to acquire four-time All-Star and three-time league leader in free throw percentage, Mark Price. Unfortunately, this would be Mark Price's last season as he has the lowest free throw percentage since his rookie season, shooting just 84.5% from the stripe.

Then, in February of 1998, he was traded, along with two second round picks, to the Chicago Bulls for two-time NBA Champion, Jason Caffey. To say Michael Jordan was excited would be an understatement as he told reporters, "I don't know anything about David. Every time I've seen him, he's never been in uniform. I think that says a lot."

Alas, his impact for the Chicago Bulls was fairly minimal. He played in three games for a total of six minutes but shot perfect from the field in that limited time. Still, perfection was not enough, as the Bulls released him just two weeks after acquiring him, a decision they would surely regret.

After being released, he was acquired by the New Jersey Nets. And in the first round of the playoffs, those Nets would take on the Bulls in a best-of-5 series. Vaughn was all over the court as he averaged 36 blocks per 36 minutes. Luckily for the Bulls, the Nets only played him for a single minute as they got swept 3-0.

Although this is not the block from the playoffs, there was a time when David Vaughn got a block on Michael Jordan, and it is WAY, WAY, WAY, WAY more awesome than you can possibly imagine. It might be the greatest block on Jordan in basketball history.

I am just getting started with this list, but I doubt anyone else will be able to say they were part of the Bulls Dynasty as well as coming just three games away from ending it in a single season.

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