Thursday, January 25, 2018

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #27 Rodney McCray

Rodney McCray
Rodney McCray was a fascinating prospect coming out of college. He won a National Title at Louisville but never put up any numbers that jumped out at you. He was invited to play for the USA in the 1980 Olympics, but the USA boycotted those Olympics so he never got to represent his country. Still, even without the stats, he showed enough to be the third overall pick in the NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets.

He put up good numbers every year in the league, the best being 1989-90 when he played for the Sacramento Kings, led the league in minutes while putting up 16.6 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 4.6 assists per game. He was great on both sides of the ball earning 2nd Team honors for the All-Defensive team in 1986-87 and earning 1st Team in 1987-88.

He played an important role in Houston, Sacramento, and Dallas before being during the 1992 offseason to play in a reduced role with the Chicago Bulls.And boy did that role reduce. He had less than half the minutes he had in any previous season as now he was nothing more than a forward coming off the bench to backup perennial All-Star, Scottie Pippen.

Now in his early 30s, McCray was not the player he had once been. He got a decent amount of playing time for a bench player, averaging 16 minutes per game, but his impact was rarely seen in the box score. He had a season high of 15 points and only reached double digits one other time. He played solid defense but with the diminished athleticism, he was not the shutdown defender he once was.

In the playoffs, the Bulls rotation shrank and McCray's role nearly disappeared. He played in just seven games for a total of 39 minutes and scoring two points. He played in just a single game in the NBA Finals. It was a rather forgettable playoffs for McCray. Still, it did get something that had long alluded McCray, and that is a NBA Championship Ring. Having reached the pinnacle of team accomplishments, McCray retired after the 1992-93 season.

There isn't much information on McCray after his career ended, so I would just like to point out that this video is of a different Rodney McCray.