Make no mistake, to get into the basketball fame as a player you'll need a golden ticket. The joke of all hall of fames, lines its walls almost entirely coaches and contributors rather than players. So given that ticket, and forced to use it on a one-time member of the Chicago Bulls organization (in any capacity), who gets in?
My list of potential nominees:
Johnny Red Kerr:
He was a three time all-star as a player though that's not quite as impressive in his era where about 15% of the league were all-stars. He was the first head coach of the Chicago Bulls, but he wasn't a particularly great one. His greatest case may be as a contributor given what he gave the league as a broadcaster for so long. His total body of work seems like it merits a mention for the HOF.
Norm Van Lier:
He was a three time all-star, a three time 1st team defender, and a five time 2nd-team defender. He also had a long term service with the franchise as the pre-game, half-time, and post-game commentator for comcast. His mantra of 48-minutes of intensity embodies the best of the Bulls franchise and what fans demand.
Love had a rough start to his career as his stuttering problem prevented teams from giving him a chance to play. The Bulls ended up giving him that chance and he went on to become a three time all-star, a two time 2nd team all-NBA player, and a three time 2nd team all defensive player. He presently serves as the Bulls director of community relations.
Gilmore makes the best case of any player. Counting his ABA career, Gimore was an 11 time all-star (5 ABA, 6 NBA). How does a man make it to the all-star game every year in his prime and NOT get into to the Hall of Fame?
The worm didn't get in on his first year of eligibility. He didn't even get nominated. We talk about playing the game the right way and how there are two sides to the ball, but a seven time 1st team defensive player isn't nominated to get into the Hall? The greatest rebounder of all time? 5 time NBA champion? I don't see how the Hall of Fame can be complete without Dennis in there. He's the exact type of player that belongs there as he stamped such a unique and powerful mark on the league.
Of these players, the only one who probably ever has a legit shot to get into the Hall is Rodman. Maybe Johnny Kerr, though they gave him some type of hall of fame recognition award without actually inducting him in prior to his passing, so if him dying from cancer wasn't enough to push him in, it'd be a mixed honor/insult to his memory to decide to put him in after he died.
The others have been eligible for so long they'll never get in, and maybe they shouldn't. There is a line where you don't want it to become the hall of very good. Except the present hall already is the hall of very good college coaches. Heck, I'm not even sure "very good" is a requirement. It might just be "good".
I'm torn as to whom to use my golden ticket on. Kerr represents a guy who's largely a contributor. He definitely belongs in a Bulls hall of fame, but as a player I'm not sure if he was hall worthy, and as a commentator he was only a local guy. He's the type of guy who maybe deserves it on the body of everything he's done given that he's borderline in two areas.
Love and Norm weren't guys I watched play, so it's harder for me to evaluate them against their peers and make the strong case or to pick one over the other. Both are guys who may just be in the hall of the very good as well.
Gilmore seems like the most deserving of the guys as a player, seriously 11 time all-star, but he doesn't have as strong a connection with the Bulls, so my bias isn't pushing him as hard.
Rodman is a guy who's only been eligible for a year, and I have to believe the Hall eventually realizes they're a bunch of dumbasses and votes him in while I know the other guys have virtually no chance.
In the end, I'll go with the worm. It's hard to vote that way as it might be a waste of my golden ticket, but the hall of fame simply isn't complete without one of the best and most unique players in the history of the game in it.