Thursday, February 1, 2018

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #25 Trent Tucker

Trent Tucker
Trent Tucker was destined for stardom when he was the sixth overall pick in the 1982 NBA Draft. In fact, his college career was so good that he managed to lead Minnesota to a Big Ten Title which was enough for him to later get his jersey retired. But Tucker fits that familiar mold that we've grown accustomed to. Never a star but long a valuable contributor in the NBA, he looked to finish up his career on the Chicago Bulls. Not only did Tucker get to play with the greatest player of all time, he acted as Michael Jordan's backup off the bench.

Tucker seems like a guy who was more fit for today's game than that of 25 years ago. He shot over 40% from three throughout his entire career, and he kept that shooting stroke until his very final year, 1992-93 when he joined up with MJ and the Chicago Bulls. It's pretty incredible how consistent Tucker was from beginning to end. Just look at this table from Basketball Reference:
So that pretty much sums up his regular season contributions.

As for the playoffs, he was basically the exact same guy. He got less playing time and threw up fewer shots, but everything basically matched what he had always done in his career. Trent Tucker was Mr. Consistency. Oh, except for one thing.

Tucker was actually a playoff hero. He decided to go beyond the consistency and catch hot fire for the decisive game six against the Phoenix Suns. In seven minutes, Tucker took four shots, and they all went in, including one three-pointer. His offensive rating was 225, and since you may not know exactly what that rate stat means, just know that Michael Jordan, who had 33 points, only put up a 120. Oh yeah, the Bulls won by a single point.

Despite his contributions in college and the NBA, Tucker's most often summarized for one thing. The Trent Tucker rule. On January 15, 1990, Tucker's Knicks trailed by one with 0.1 seconds left on the clock. They threw the ball into Tucker who caught it and nailed a three pointer. The refs thought this was humanly possible, because they apparently have no concept of how time works. After this shot, the opposing team protested, so they instituted the Trent Tucker rule where at least 0.3 seconds must be on the clock for someone to catch and shoot the ball. The team they beat that night? Yep, the Chicago Bulls.

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