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Artis Gilmore missed the heights with Bulls


Artis Gilmore

Artis Gilmore

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Updated: October 19, 2011 2:51AM



SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Poor Artis Gilmore.

The 7-2 center was in the ABA when the Bulls of Bob Love, Chet Walker, Jerry Sloan and Norm Van Lier were at their peak, and when he returned to the Michael Jordan-led Bulls to play 24 games during the 1987-88 season, the last of his 17-year pro career, he was a washed-up 38-year-old who was traded to the Boston Celtics for his last 47 games.

“My [61/2 seasons] in Chicago were really special, and I loved them, even though we often struggled, and the media was tough on us,” Gilmore said. “Then when I came back [in 1987], I was only able to play the first half of the season with Michael Jordan.”

Gilmore averaged only 4.2 points and 2.6 rebounds with the Bulls in 1987-88. Jordan averaged a league-high 35 points, and the Bulls finished 50-32 in coach Doug Collins’ second year. In his prime, nine years earlier, Gilmore averaged 23.7 points and 12.7 rebounds for a Bulls team that finished 31-51 under Larry Costello and Scotty Robertson in 1978-79.

His combined ABA-NBA career averages of 18.8 points, 2.4 blocks and 12.3 rebounds earned him his Hall of Fame induction Friday night.

Wasted induction?

Dennis Rodman beat out Reggie Miller, Jamaal Wilkes, Don Nelson, Bernard King, Rick Pitino, Mark Jackson, Rudy Tomjanovich, Spencer Haywood, Maurice Cheeks and Chet Walker to make the Hall of Fame this year.

Imagine how they felt when Rodman told the world Thursday that he didn’t believe he deserved to be in the Hall.

“I never played to be here,” he said. “I don’t need this. It means nothing to me.”

Quotable

Hall of Fame guard Teresa Edwards: “If [Rodman] wears a dress better than me, I’m going to have to beat him up before we leave.”



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