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Former Bulls head coach Doug Collins named to Basketball Hall of Fame

Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2024 (Photos courtesy Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame).

In recent news, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced former Chicago Bulls head coach Doug Collins will be inducted into the 2024 Hall of Fame class.

Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf said he believes Collins’ accomplishments are special.

“Doug Collins’ basketball accomplishments are special,” said Reinsdorf, Bulls Chairman.

“Doug did enough to be an Olympic basketball star. He was one of the NBA’s best guards and an All-Star four consecutive seasons before knee surgery prematurely ended his playing career. He then became a premier NBA coach who coached an All-Star game and a Basketball Hall of Fame Gowdy Award winner for his broadcasting and TV game analysis.

“But Doug, who is a dear friend, also holds a special place in the hearts of Chicago Bulls fans and the franchise, as the coach who started the climb toward the great dynasty of the 1990s by leading the Bulls and Michael Jordan to the franchise’s first 50-win season and conference finals appearance in more than a decade.

Reinsdorf said Collins later returned “as an adviser and mentor to Bulls staff and coaches in the Tex Winter tradition. The Bulls congratulate Doug and are proud to have been a part of his legendary Hall of Fame career.”

According to his bio, Collins was named head coach of the Chicago Bulls in May, 1986. The team featured a young Michael Jordan who was entering his third season. Despite having Jordan, the Bulls were coming off a 30–52 season and had fired their past two coaches after one season each.

Collins immediately helped the Bulls turn their organization around, showing an improvement of 10 games in each of his first two seasons, coaching Chicago to a 50–32 record in his second year. In his third year as coach, he brought the Chicago Bulls to their first Eastern Conference finals appearance in 15 years; however, they were unable to get past their Central Division rival, the “Bad Boys,” Detroit Pistons, despite the Bulls’ success and popularity in Chicago.

In addition to Collins, the Class of 2024 includes Chauncey Billups, Vince Carter, Michael Cooper, Walter Davis, Bo Ryan, Charles Smith, Dick Barnett, Harley Redin, Michele Timms, Herb Simon and Jerry West.

The Class of 2024 will be enshrined during festivities on August 16-17 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper | + posts

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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