Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #34 Rusty LaRue

Rusty LaRue
Let me just start out by saying that Rusty LaRue may be the greatest athlete on this list. That includes Jordan, Pippen, hell, even Bill Wennington, it is really tough to make an argument that somebody else was a better all-around athlete than Rusty LaRue.

LaRue went to Wake Forest and played basketball for four years. That's a pretty nice resume right there. Oh yeah, he also played football for four years, including starting at quarterback for his final two seasons. And just because he could, he also played baseball for a season before he decided to focus on only being a badass in two major college sports. The dude was a freak.

Since he didn't light the world on fire as a college basketball player who moonlighted as a starting college football quarterback, he went undrafted in 1996, but he now had time to focus on one singular sport in basketball and started to hone his skills. He did not make the NBA in the 1996-97 season, but he showed enough for a preseason invite from the defending champion Chicago Bulls before the 1997-98 season.

Although he was released on the eve of the season, he was brought back just two weeks later and would remain with the team through the end of the season. LaRue didn't earn a ton of playing time, as he appeared in just 14 games, although he did average ten minutes per game during that time. He didn't do anything particularly noteworthy during that time but did contribute in a variety of ways. And unfortunately, it wasn't enough to get him any playing time during the 1998 playoffs. But was it enough to get him a highlight video from a random game against the Celtics? You bet your ass that it was enough to get him a highlight video from a random game against the Celtics.

Check-in! Defense! Layup! Long 2-Pointer! Mid-Range Jumper! This highlight video is lit.

But yeah, my claim that he was a better athlete than Michael Jordan may have to be walked back a bit. My claim that he was a better athlete than Bill Wennington stands though.

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