Tuesday, January 16, 2018

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #30 James Edwards

James Edwards
James Edwards made me feel like a bad NBA fan. Edwards may be the Bulls ideal third center. They loved super experienced guys at the end of their careers who could just provide veteran leadership off the court as they knew their on the court contributions probably weren't going to blow anyone away. What should blow you away is James Edwards played 19 seasons in the NBA. He was primarily a starter for his first 14 years in the league, because James Edwards was pretty damn awesome.

After starting his career in 1977, he joined up with the Bulls before his final season in 1995-96. Unfortunately, before I can get into his Bulls tenure, I have to address the elephant in the room. James Edwards was also a part of the Bad Boy Pistons. Due to the Pistons rule on this list, he must rank as low as justifiably possible. But he was probably the least offensive player on those teams, so I can at least be somewhat objective on Edwards' contributions.

For the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, Edwards played in just 28 games and failed to crack 100 points on the season. But he was a third center so not a whole lot was expected of him. The Bulls had a tendency to bring in grizzled veteran big men just to Michael Jordan wouldn't immediately try to bury them and ruin their confidence. With a player that had been around as long as Edwards, there was already some respect built in between him and Jordan, so even though I'm sure Jordan talked shit to him; it wasn't nearly as bad as he was to some other teammates.

His highlight during the regular season was probably a February 2nd game against the team that originally drafted him, the Los Angeles Lakers, where he played 23 minutes, put up 12 points (shooting 67% from the field), 3 rebounds, an assist, and a steal. Starting Center, Luc Longley, was unable to play during this game, and Edwards stepped up to provide some points off the bench.

Edwards also played in six playoff games, but his most notable contribution was a one trillion in an overtime loss in Game 3 against the Knicks. Outside of that, he just played some garbage time in games that were already decided.

But Edwards is a 3-time NBA Champion, although two of those should have asterisks since he was part of the Pistons. He spent most of his time being a key contributor, although he always fell short of All-Star status. Still, the guy played 19 seasons in the NBA, and you really can't find much information about what he is up to today. Considering how many of the players from the era turned out, that can probably be counted as a success.

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