Why Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are in the Circle, but not on the Mountain

(Note: I made this fanpost in response to JayPatt's Bull's Mt. Rushmore posting as it turned out to be too long for a comment)

With all due respect to Derrick and Jo, at this point of their respective careers, neither has really outperformed or accomplished as much in comparison to other Bull's greats to warrant a spot on the Bull's Mt. Rushmore.. Fading memories due to the passage of time, increased athleticism with the emergence of successive generations of athletes and ongoing rules changes that limit/restrict contact are among the culprits that make comparisons across time difficult, but for the sake of discussion, just looking at key performance categories, such as points scored, total rebounds and total assists, which are products of their time and were accomplished within the prevailing rules, competition and athleticism of the era, as a basis for comparison, and adding the modern day PER for additional reference, the following are the top 10 all-time Bull's leaders in these categories:

(source: - link)


  1. Michael Jordan* 29277
  2. Scottie Pippen* 15123
  3. Bob Love 12623
  4. Luol Deng 10286
  5. Jerry Sloan* 10233
  6. Chet Walker* 9788
  7. Artis Gilmore* 9288
  8. Reggie Theus 8279
  9. Kirk Hinrich 7717
  10. Ben Gordon 7372

Total Rebounds:

  1. Michael Jordan* 5836
  2. Tom Boerwinkle 5745
  3. Scottie Pippen* 5726
  4. Jerry Sloan* 5385
  5. Artis Gilmore* 5342
  6. Horace Grant 4721
  7. Dave Greenwood 4222
  8. Joakim Noah 4161
  9. Luol Deng 4078
  10. Bob Love 3998

Total Assists:

  1. Michael Jordan* 5012
  2. Scottie Pippen* 4494
  3. Norm Van Lier 3676
  4. Kirk Hinrich 3510
  5. Reggie Theus 2472
  6. John Paxson 2394
  7. Bob Weiss 2008
  8. Tom Boerwinkle 2007
  9. Derrick Rose 1954
  10. Toni Kukoc 1840

Player Efficiency Rating

  1. Michael Jordan* 29.1
  2. Artis Gilmore* 21.7
  3. Elton Brand 20.5
  4. Scottie Pippen* 19.6
  5. Derrick Rose 19.6
  6. Chet Walker* 19.6
  7. Bob Boozer 19.0
  8. Toni Kukoc 18.6
  9. Joakim Noah 18.0
  10. Carlos Boozer 17.7

(Note: I didn't use Per Game or Percentage stats because it really gets confusing and muddied; for example: Ennis Whatley is the all time leader in both Assists Per Game and Assists Percentage)

Without a doubt, MJ and Pip are inarguable inclusions for the Bull's Mt. Rushmore, due to their dominance in the categories above (and others not shown above), their all-around level of play and also league-wide recognition due to the HOF status. But, just on the above, I fail to see how Noah or Rose belong on the mountain at this time or possibly in the future.. Based on the above, it seems that Jerry Sloan (5th overall in total points, 4th overall in total rebounds - and, he was a shooting guard) should have one of the spots; and, if non-players are included, okay, Red Kerr for the fourth slot. If it's players-only, then for the fourth spot, one could make a case for Luol, Bob Love, Artis Gilmore, and, albeit on a lesser, perhaps, facetious tier, Tom Boerwinkle, Reggie Theus or even Kirk.

Regarding Derrick, at this point, not only is he not among the Top 10 in scoring, but Tom Boerwinkle, a great rebounder on the classic 70's era Bulls, has more assists (8th overall, one spot ahead of Derrick). Much as I enjoyed watching Derrick Rose pre-injuries, and as much as I felt I was watching someone who could have landed in the top three all-time Bulls leaders in points and assists, and possibly been a HOF'er, sadly, now, I feel as if I am watching a rerun of Grant Hill's career - another great player who came out looking like a definite HOF'er in the making during the first half of his career, but had a disappointing second half due to terrible injuries.

Jo is currently my favorite Bull, and although one great, All-Star season (so far) gets you in the circle, it doesn't put you on the mountain. Tom Boerwinkle, a bruiser of a center, is 2nd overall in total rebounds and 8th overall in total assists. Boerwinkle was a classic banger, and did not posses a fraction of Jo's athleticism, but they have similar career trajectories regarding an orientation towards rebounds and assists. If he maintains his current level of play, I think that Jo could take the fourth spot on the mountain someday, but, I don't see Derrick taking it, unless he changes his previous style of play, moving away from a primary scoring option role and towards, dare I say it, a Hinrichian, gritty floor-general, run-the-offense-and-create-defensive-havoc approach.

Yes, Kirk Hinrich - 9th overall in scoring and 4th overall in assists - think of where John Paxson's prodigal son would have been on those lists had he not been forced to wander the wilderness for a few years for reasons of that era's financial flexibility.

FanPosts are user-created posts from the BlogABull community, and are to be treated as the opinions and views of that particular user, not that of the blogger or blog community as a whole.

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