SPORTS Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen to headline Bulls' inaugural Ring...

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen to headline Bulls’ inaugural Ring of Honor class

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The Chicago Bulls announced on Tuesday that Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen will headline the organization’s inagural Ring of Honor class, which will “recognize and celebrate the past players, coaches and front office staff who made outstanding contributions and helped define the organization throughout its history.”

The first class, which includes 13 Bulls legends and the 1995-96 team, which won a then-record 72 games and the franchise’s sixth title, will be honored at halftime during the Bulls’ game against the Golden State Warriors on Jan. 12. 

Here’s a look at the inaugural class:

  • Artis Gilmore (Hall of Fame player, 1976-82, 1987)
  • Phil Jackson (Hall of Fame coach, 1987-98)
  • Michael Jordan (Hall of Fame player, 1984-93, 1994-98)
  • Johnny “Red” Kerr (Head coach, 1966-68 / Broadcaster, 1975-2008)
  • Dick Klein (Bulls founder / President and general manager, 1966-69
  • Jerry Krause (Hall of Fame general manager, 1985-2003)
  • Toni Kukoc (Hall of Fame player, 1993-2000)
  • Bob Love (Player, 1968-77) 
  • Scottie Pippen (Hall of Fame player, 1987-98)
  • Dennis Rodman (Hall of Fame player, 1995-98)
  • Jerry Sloan (Player, 1966-76)
  • Chet Walker (Hall of Fame player, 1969-75)
  • Tex Winter (Hall of Fame coach, 1985-99)
  • 1995-96 team (NBA champions)

There are, of course, some notable omissions from the inaugural class, such as Horace Grant and Norm Van Lier. Grant, of course, was just as instrumental to the first three-peat as Rodman was to the second one, if not more so considering his offensive output. Van Lier, meanwhile, was a three-time All-Star and eight-time All-Defensive honoree during the 1970s when the team went to multiple conference finals.

It’s worth noting, though, that the Bulls plan to add to their Ring of Honor every two years, with the next class planned for 2026. They likely wanted to save some big names for that second group. More so, in regard to the Grant/Rodman debate, it makes sense to honor Rodman this time around since they’ll also be inducting the entire 1995-96 team. 

In addition to their presentation at the Jan. 12 game, there will be a special Ring of Honor experience at the United Center from Jan. 10-12 that will be open to the public. 

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