Ron Harper - Under Estimated
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Uploaded on May 1, 2008
Ronald Harper (born January 20, 1964 in Dayton, Ohio) is a retired American professional basketball player whose career spanned from 1986 to 2001 with four teams in the NBA. At 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m), his position was shooting guard/point guard.
After playing collegiately for Miami University in Ohio, he was selected 8th overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 1986 NBA Draft. He averaged 22.9 points per game in his rookie season, placing second in Rookie of the Year balloting. After initially spending 3 seasons at the Cavaliers, he would later play for the Los Angeles Clippers, the Chicago Bulls, and Los Angeles Lakers, where he finished his career. He won five championships in his career, three with the Bulls and two with the Lakers.
While with the Clippers Harper sustained a knee injury which robbed him of much of his speed and jumping ability, though he averaged just under 2 steals per game which still remains a team record. In 1994, he signed a lucrative free agent deal with the Bulls, who were rebuilding following the initial retirement of Michael Jordan. After his first tumultuous season in Chicago, he reinvented himself as a defender and jump shooter. With the return of Jordan in late 1995, Harper remained a key component of the Bulls' perimeter defense and a third scoring option on offense. He became a fan favorite in Chicago. Although he suffered an injury late in the Bulls' record-setting 72-win season in 1996, he returned to the starting lineup for the final game of the 1996 NBA Finals.
He was a mainstay of five of Phil Jackson's last 6 championship teams, following Jackson to Los Angeles to win two more championships (after winning 3 with the bulls). Along with Harper, Dennis Rodman, John Salley, and Robert Horry are the only players to win multiple NBA Championships with two different teams. Interestingly, Rodman (Chicago Bulls 1996-1998), Salley (Los Angeles Lakers 1990-2000) and Horry (Lakers 1999-2001) were teammates of Harper.
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