Thursday, March 15, 2018

The 45 Most Important Players to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty - #13 Will Perdue

Will Perdue
William Edward Perdue III was drafted 11th overall in the 1988 NBA Draft after a five-year career at Vanderbilt which saw him average a double-double during his senior season and was names the SEC Player of the Year.

Although Perdue was drafted as the Bulls center of the future, he never quite lived up to those expectations. He was never able to pass up Bill Cartwright on the depth chart, and when Cartwright left, Luc Longley stepped up to take over the role. Still, Perdue filled his backup role admirably, even if Michael Jordan hated him.

And Michael Jordan REALLY hated Will Perdue. Jordan used to fire the ball into Perdue as hard as he could since he knew Perdue didn't have the best hands. when the ball would bounce away, it would give Jordan an opportunity to openly chastise Perdue for messing up. This was tame considering that one time when Perdue set a hard screen on Jordan during practice, Jordan hit him with two punches while cussing up a storm. Even Phil Jackson wasn't a big fan as he refused to give Perdue more minutes since he thought he was too soft on defense.

But despite some high level people thinking quite lowly of him, Perdue hung around and contributed to the Bulls second team. Knowing there were better scoring options, Perdue filled his role and nearly had as many double-digit rebounding games (seven) as he did double-digit scoring games (eight) during the 1990-91 season. He got consistent playing time during the Bulls first championship run, but his standout performance was in the series-clinching game against the New York Knicks where he put up 16 points and ten rebounds off the bench.

That second Bulls Championship year was very similar, including a 16 point, ten rebound performance in the opening game of the playoffs against the Miami Heat. His minutes fell off slightly as Scott Williams emerged as the number one big man off the bench, but Perdue still filled his role as a contributor. In 1992-93, his role during the regular season stayed the same, although he played in just one game in the NBA Finals that year as they found Williams and Stacey King better suited to play against the Suns high-paced attack.

Perdue hung onto the Bulls roster for both the 1993-94 and 1994-95 seasons, but was traded to the San Antonio Spurs before the next threepeat, although he was able to get a fourth ring in 1999. He ended up signing on with the Bulls for another year after that for a cool $5.3 million, which was more than he made in six seasons during his previous sting with the team.

Since there are no real stories of what Will Perdue is up to these days. Let's watch Will Perdue throw it down a couple times.

The Prince of Vanderbilt, throwing it down like a straight up G.

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