Feb 13, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Eastern Conference guard Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls (21) talks to Eastern Conference center Pau Gasol of Chicago Bulls (16) during practice for the NBA All Star game at Ricoh Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Here is a look back at some of the memorable All-Star moments in Chicago Bulls History.
The Chicago Bulls finished the first half of the season with a 28-29 mark. Given the fact that their level of play has been inconsistent at best, there wasn’t much for Bulls fans to cheer about through the first 57 games.
However, the one lone bright spot has been Jimmy Butler, who is having yet another breakout season.
Not only has Butler increased his scoring average for the fifth consecutive season, he is also averaging career highs in points (24.5), rebounds (6.3) and assists (5.0) on slash lines of .452/.337/.868.
Being that Butler has established himself as one of the best two-way players in the league, he was selected as a starter for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. But in a game, that featured very little defense (West 192, East 182), Butler’s impact was minimal.
Mar 23, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose (1) shoots before the NBA game against the Charlotte Hornets at United Center. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
5. Skills Challenge — Derrick Rose (2009)
Coming off a dismal 33-49 season, the Bulls were in need of a franchise player who could help turn things around. As fate would have it, they somehow beat the odds and landed the top overall pick in the 2008 draft.
With that pick, the Bulls selected Derrick Rose out of Memphis. Early on, it was obvious to most that Rose was a special player. But for those of us who didn’t get the memo, he showcased his talents during the Skills Challenge in 2009.
Not only did Rose make it through the competition without any major flaws while easily coming in under the time that he needed to win the event, he put his stamp on the evening with a vicious double-clutch reverse jam.
During his tenure with the Bulls, Rose won the Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player awards in 2009 and 2011, respectively. Furthermore, Rose helped the Bulls secure the conference’s best record in 2011 and 2012.
Being that Paxson hit the game-winning jumper from deep in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals, he will be forever remembered as one of the players who helped the Bulls become the first team to win three consecutive titles in 27 years.
However, one name that has flown under the radar during the Bulls’ first two championship runs was Craig Hodges.
Although Hodges’ contributions were not fully appreciated during his four seasons in the Windy City, he was certainly capable of knocking it down from distance, as illustrated in the video clip below from 1991.
Hodges went on to win the three-point shootout three consecutive times, and while his playing time diminished each year he was a member of the Bulls, Hodges never converted less than 37 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc.
That stat, along with this fantastic shooting display, is why he was included on this list.
20 May 1997: Chicago Bulls forward Scottie Pippen dribbles up the court during playoff game against the Miami Heat at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls won the game 84-77. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
3. All-Star Game MVP — Scottie Pippen (1994)
Although Scottie Pippen coming into his own played an integral role in the Bulls becoming perennial playoff contenders and eventually NBA champions, the consensus was that he merely played second fiddle alongside one of the greatest players to ever lace up a pair of sneakers in Michael Jordan.
After Jordan retired prior to the start of the 1993-94 campaign though, Pippen cemented his place as one of the top players in the league at the 1994 All-Star game.
In that contest, Pippen scored 29 points, pulled down 11 rebounds to go along with four steals. Additionally, Pippen shot an efficient 9-for-15 from the field, including a 5-for-9 effort from distance.
“It was one of those games where I came out and I got myself a good warm-up where I wasn’t missing any shots,” Pippen said via NBA.com. “I was feeling pretty hot that day… I was in such a great rhythm.”
Pippen helped lead the East to a 127-118 victory; won the MVP award, but even more important, he proved that the Bulls were not a one-man show.
5 Jun 1991: A close up of Michael Jordan #23 of the Chicago Bulls as he points down the court during game two of the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Bulls defeated the Lakers 107-86. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
2. All-Star Game MVP — Michael Jordan (1998)
Jordan and the Bulls had already cemented themselves as the dominant team of the 1990s, having won five of the previous seven titles from 1991-97.
Although Jordan had won the All-Star MVP award on two other occasions (1988 and 1996), he showed that his competitive fire burned hotter than ever as he took aim at some of the league’s up-and-coming stars, including a 19-year-old Kobe Bryant, who many dubbed as the heir apparent to Jordan.
In what should have been a blowout for the West, the East ran away with this one in convincing fashion 135-114. Jordan was the game’s leading scorer with 23 points on 10-for18 shooting. He also added eight assists, six rebounds and three steals en route to winning his third MVP award.
This would mark Jordan’s final appearance at the All-Star game as a member of the Chicago Bulls.
21 May 1996: Guard Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls shakes hands with NBA Commissioner David Stern as he is presented with the 1996 NBA Most Valuable Player award prior to the start of game two in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Orlando
1. All-Star Game MVP — Michael Jordan (1988)
Jordan kicked off the weekend festivities with a bang, narrowly defeating Dominique Wilkins in the Slam Dunk Contest by a 147-145 margin in what is considered to be one of the most memorable duels in NBA history.
While both players put on an awesome show for the fans at the old Chicago Stadium, the best was yet to come for Jordan.
In the actual All-Star game the next day, Jordan would lead the East to a 138-133 victory, collecting his first All-Star MVP award.
Jordan led all scorers with 40 points on a ridiculous 17-for-23 shooting from the field to go along with eight rebounds, four steals, four blocks and three assists.