What Happened to Pete Myers, the Man Brought in by the Bulls to Replace Michael Jordan in 1993?
When the Chicago Bulls lost Michael Jordan to retirement for the first time in October 1993, the franchise faced the unenviable task of trying to replace the man many consider the greatest basketball player in the history of the world. Now, had Jordan made his announcement a little sooner than he did, Jerry Krause could have handled free agency or the draft a little differently that summer. But he didn’t and the Bulls were left with less than a month to find a new starting shooting guard. Enter Pete Myers.
It’s sometimes easy to forget that Myers was actually drafted by the Bulls back in 1986, but was let go after just one season. He then bounced around the NBA, CBA, and Europe for a few years before returning to Chicago to replace the man he’d practiced against every day as a rookie. But once Jordan returned to the NBA in 1995, Myers was again let go and again bounced around the NBA, CBA, and Europe for the remainder of his playing career.
But Myers certainly wasn’t done in the Windy City once his playing days were behind him as he spent the vast majority of the last two-plus decades back with the Bulls.
Pete Myers was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in the sixth round of the 1986 NBA draft
Following two years at Faulkner State Community College and two years at Arkansas-Little Rock, where he averaged 17.1 points per game, Myers was taken in the sixth round (120th overall) of the 1986 NBA draft by the Bulls. Serving as a backup shooting guard to Jordan, he appeared in 29 games during the 1986-87 season, averaging 2.3 points in just over five minutes per game.
With his services no longer needed in Chicago, Myers stayed in Illinois to join the CBA’s Rockford Lightning, for whom he became an All-Star before returning to the NBA with the Spurs in January 1988. San Antonio traded him to Philadelphia that August and Myers controversially chose to play in Spain during the preseason, which led to a lawsuit. Myers did suit up for the 76ers but only played four games in Philly before being released.
Over the next few years, he bounced around the NBA, playing for the Knicks, Nets, and Spurs a second time before returning to Europe in 1991 to play in Italy. Myers returned to the CBA that same year to play for the Albany Patroons and then headed back to Italy in 1992, where he remained until the Bulls brought him back to replace Jordan.
After replacing Michael Jordan with the Bulls, he again bounced around the world to finish his playing career
When Myers was brought back to Chicago to replace Jordan as the Bulls’ starting shooting guard, nobody was expecting him to actually replace Jordan as that just wasn’t possible. And he obviously wasn’t going to be the focal point of the offense with the likes of Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, and Toni Kukoc around. So he simply served his purpose and contributed when he could. Myers started 81 of 82 games for the Bulls in 1993-94 and averaged 7.9 points, good for sixth on the team.
He initially wasn’t re-signed for the 1994-95 campaign but was given a new deal a few weeks into the season after the Bulls got off to a slow start. Myers appeared in 71 games for Chicago that year but was mainly a backup to Ron Harper. His role diminished even further when Jordan returned in March 1995 and it certainly wasn’t a surprise when he wasn’t brought back the following year.
He signed in Charlotte ahead of the 1995-96 season but was traded to Miami before ever suiting up for the Hornets, although he returned to the Queen City when the Heat waived him after 39 games. After finishing out the season in Charlotte, Myers once again returned to Italy but found his way back to the NBA ahead of the 1997-98 season with the Knicks. He played just nine games in New York before being waived and finished his playing career back in the CBA, playing a season each for the Lightning and Quad City Thunder before retiring in 1999.
Myers was an assistant coach with the Bulls and Warriors
In the two-plus decades since Myers retired as a player, he spent the vast majority of that time back in the NBA as an assistant coach. About two months into the 2001-02 season, he joined the Bulls’ coaching staff and actually served as the interim head coach on two separate occasions, once when Bill Cartwright was fired in 2003 and again in 2007 when Scott Skiles was shown the door. Chicago went 0-3 in those games.
Myers was moved to the Bulls’ front office as a scout when Tom Thibodeau was hired ahead of the 2010-11 season but was back on the bench as an assistant for the Warriors the following year. However, he was let go when Golden State replaced Mark Jackson with Steve Kerr, who went on to lead the Dubs to three NBA titles. In June 2015, Myers rejoined the Bulls and served as an assistant for four more seasons before resigning after the 2018-2019 season to spend more time with his family.
In total, Myers spent 16 years with the Bulls, three as a player and 13 as a coach. And he’ll always be the answer to a fun trivia question.
Stats courtesy of Sports Reference