Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #44 Rory Sparrow

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.

Rory Sparrow
Rory Sparrow is way too good of a basketball player to be this low on the list. He played 12 years in the NBA, and he was good. Oh, but there is a slight addendum to that, as he was good for every team except for the Chicago Bulls.

Excluding his first and last seasons, Sparrow averaged double digit points per game for every team he played with for at least one season except for the Chicago Bulls. Probably his best season was his 1984-85 season with the Knicks where he averaged ten points, seven assists, two rebounds, and a steal, all while shooting over 50% from the field and 86% from the free throw line.

But let's get to how Sparrow did for the Bulls. Looking for help early in the 1987-88 season, the Bulls traded the Knicks a second round pick for his services. He received a good amount of playing time, averaging 18 minutes per game, but he made little impact in games. This was probably only partially due to deteriorating skills as this was in the prime of Michael Jordan hogging the ball and verbally abusing anyone else who dared to take a bad shot.

He was released before the 1988-89 season and provided solid play for the Miami Heat and Sacramento Kings. In 1991, the Los Angeles Clippers signed him for the preseason but released him before the season began. The Bulls swooped in to sign him to strengthen their bench as the season began.

Unfortunately, the second stint was shorter and less productive than the first. He played in four games, and his most impressive stat was getting four assists during his 18 minutes of play. He was 1/8 from the field and really didn't offer much beyond that. He lasted just 19 days with the team before being waived.

Out of everyone on this list, he probably belongs in the top-15 for overall career, but we're judging how much he helped the Bulls Dynasty, and he had very little positive impact on that 1991-92 season.

I think he's okay with that. He won Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1987 for his charitable endeavors, and he currently works for the NBA league office. On top of that, he's the greatest Rory in NBA history. Not too shabby for a fourth round pick out of Villanova.

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