Looking through my closet today, I found some old jersey's collecting dust. Hanging in my closet are a Tyson Chandler, Kirk Hinrich, and Jamal Crawford jerseys as well as an autographed Marcus Fizer shooting shirt. Recently removed was a Ben Gordon jersey I gave away this summer. This made me reflect on what the perfect jersey to buy the ultimate Bulls fan is.
The obvious answer is a Derrick Rose, and while I don't think you can go wrong with that, there's no guarantee that it becomes timeless. That Gordon jersey looked pretty good for his first four years, and that Tyson Chandler jersey was pretty sweet after 04/05 where he made clutch defensive play after play.
On top of that, everyone and their dog will be wearing a Derrick Rose jersey. Rose is already #4 on the list of top endorsers in the NBA, so while you can't go wrong wearing a Rose jersey (much like a Jordan), you also won't stand out.
My list will be sure to surprise you for some of the names left off of it, and also some of the names on it. I place a lot of emphasis on having a unique jersey that still says something powerful about your connection to the franchise dropping out the obvious choices. So without further adieu, the top five list of jersey's for the hard core Bulls fan:
5: Toni Kukoc - Kukoc give you a connection to the second threepete without having to trot out a tired Jordan or Pippen jersey. Sure, Pippen and Jordan are obviously the key pieces to the dynasty, but everyone has a Pippen or Jordan hanging in their closet. There's no uniqueness or power whipping out one of those.
Rodman would be the other obvious choice, but in my opinion, Rodman's impact on the second threepete was overstated, he wasn't here for any additional time, and by the end of his tenure he felt like more style than substance.
Kukoc also gets credit for saving Scottie's career reputation by hitting that shot when Scottie refused to take the court.
4: John Paxson - This choice makes you cheer or makes you turn off my blog never to come back again. A Paxson jersey will never go out of style. He was a likable role player from better days, but you don't see hundreds of Paxson jerseys floating around.
A Paxson jersey gives you a connection with the dynasty, a feeling of uniqueness, support of a high character and high quality player, and he's still linked to the team via his career of broadcasting, coaching, and now as executive vice president.
3: Bob Love - Love is still universally recognized as a great Bulls player, he's still involved with the team, and he's got his jersey hanging from the rafters. Love also has a great personal story on his rise to stardom in the league, his fall to nothing, and working his way back on top.
It'd be a powerful jersey that never goes out of style, and isn't seen frequently around the United Center.
2: Norm Van Lier - First, everyone knew Norm Van Lier, and everyone loved him. He symbolized everything hard nosed basketball and has been a fixture around the organization up until his death. On top of that, I've seen a total of one Norm Van Lier jersey in my life out there on the street, and no reason to fear fellow Bulls fans, he lives in California, so you won't have much competition. This jersey is timeless, powerful, and unique.
The only downside is that at a quick glance someone will think you have an Eddy Curry jersey on when they see the front unless you can find a way to get a custom build of a throwback jersey which wasn't possible last I tried.
1: Red Kerr - It's not even a real jersey, but if you custom made a Red Kerr jersey at the Bulls shop, how sweet would that be? Perhaps no person symbolizes the Chicago Bulls franchise like Johnny Red Kerr did. He was around since the inception of the franchise and has been the voice of it for all of the big moments.
A Kerr jersey would be timeless, unique, and impactful. He's a guy whom almost every Bulls fan connects with and misses.