Saturday, February 14, 2009

(Bob) Love is Here

I have never met Bobby Valentine. Nor Ellis Valentine. So representing this special day will be former Chicago Bull All-Star, Bob Love.
Bob Love was drafted by the Cincinnati Royals in 1965. After failing to make the roster, he spent time in the Eastern Basketball League. He went on to play 2 seasons in a reserve role before being selected by the Milwaukee Bucks in the expansion draft. After playing less than a season in Milwaukee, the Bucks traded Love to the Bulls.
In Chicago, Love became a 3 time All-Star, while averaging at least 19 points and 6 rebounds per game for 7 seasons. These were the glory days of the 70's for the Bulls.
Love split the 1976-77 season between Chicago, the New York Nets and the Seattle Super Sonics. Love retired after that season. Eventually, Love's #10 became the second jersey number to be retired by the Bulls (Jerry Sloan's #4 was the first).
As great as Love's career was, more impressive is the fact that he overcame a stuttering problem after his career ended. He was washing dishes in a restaurant until the owner offered to pay for speech therapy classes. This resulted in Love's second career with the Bulls. Love is now Director of Community Relations and also a motivational speaker.
Those Bulls teams of the early 70's will always be special to me. Sloan, Norm Van Lier, Chet Walker and Love were the heart of those teams. Nobody had more heart than Bob 'Butterbean' Love!
Bob Love at the Harlem-Irving Plaza in Norridge, IL-early 2009.

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