Ron Harper was one of the most underrated cogs of an all-time great Chicago Bulls championship machine, sacrificing his own scoring totals for the good of the team and helping lead the Bulls to three championships.
Harper wasn’t a stat sheet stuffer by any means with the Bulls, averaging less than 10 points in four of his five seasons with the team, but he certainly was during his first 10 seasons in the league.
Ron averaged 22.9 points, 4.8 assists and 4.8 rebounds and a block in his rookie season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, showing off his impressive athleticism, defensive skills, and superb all-around game at the shooting guard position.
Harper was just one in a long line of star-caliber NBA players who took a backseat on championship teams.
It was a blueprint followed by the Bulls’ original arch rivals, the Detroit Pistons, who brought in small forward Mark Aguirre (nearly a 30-point scorer for the Dallas Mavericks in 1983) before turning him into a role player in their second championship season.
I personally will always remember Ron Sr. for his cameo in the 1997 commercial “CEO Jordan.”
At the conclusion of the one-minute TV spot, Harper asks Jordan if his dress shoes (wing tips) are “the new Air Jordans” or not.
Do you remember this commercial?
Ron Harper Jr. Drops 30 — Is He an NBA Prospect?
Harper’s son, Ron, Jr., has been turning heads for the Rutgers Scarlet Knights lately, putting up 30 points against Farleigh-Dickinson in the second game of the year and leading Rutgers to a great start out of the gate.
Harper, Jr. leads the team with 21.1 points per game and 7.7 rebounds per game in the early going, with a showdown against Syracuse looming on December 8 followed by the start of Big Ten play.
Watch the game game highlights below to check out his quick release from three, excellent finishing ability and active hands on defense.
The 6-foot-6 junior averaged 12.1 points and 5.8 rebounds per game last year, as Harper played often at the power forward position.
Excellent as a slasher to the basket, Harper, Jr. also had one of the lowest turnover rates among all underclassmen 6-foot-6 or taller according to USA Today Rookie Wire writer Brian Kalbrosky, who projected him to go at the bottom of the first round in the next year’s draft.