Bob Love

Robert Earl "Butterbean" Love (born December 8, 1942) is an American former professional basketball player who spent the prime of his career with the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls. A versatile forward who could shoot with either his left or right hand, Love now works as the Bulls' Director of Community Affairs.[1]

Bob Love
Love with the Chicago Bulls
Personal information
Born (1942-12-08) December 8, 1942 (age 78)
Bastrop, Louisiana
Listed height6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)
Listed weight215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High schoolMorehouse
(Bastrop, Louisiana)
CollegeSouthern (1961–1965)
NBA draft1965 / Round: 4 / Pick: 33rd overall
Selected by the Cincinnati Royals
Playing career1965–1977
PositionSmall forward
Number21, 9, 10
Career history
1965–1966Trenton Colonials
19661968Cincinnati Royals
1968Milwaukee Bucks
19681976Chicago Bulls
1976–1977New York Nets
1977Seattle SuperSonics
Career highlights and awards
Career NBA statistics
Points13,895 (17.6 ppg)
Rebounds4,653 (5.9 rpg)
Assists1,123 (1.4 apg)
Stats Edit this at Wikidata at

Early yearsEdit

After starring at Morehouse High School (now defunct) in Louisiana, Love played basketball for Southern University, where he also became a brother of Alpha Phi Omega.[2] He earned All-America honors in 1963, and in 1965, the Cincinnati Royals selected the 6’8" forward in the fourth round of the 1965 NBA draft. Love failed to make the team, and instead spent the 1965–66 NBA season in the Eastern Basketball League. After averaging over 25 points per game, Love earned the EBL Rookie of the Year Award and gained enough confidence to try out for the Royals once more. He made the team on his second attempt and played two seasons for the Royals, largely in a reserve role. Love made his NBA debut on October 18, 1966.[3] In 1968, the Milwaukee Bucks selected him in the NBA Expansion Draft and traded him to the Chicago Bulls in the middle of the 1968–69 season.

Chicago Bulls (1968–1976)Edit

Love flourished while playing for Dick Motta's Bulls. In 1969–70, he became a full-time starter, averaging 21 points and 8.7 rebounds. The following two seasons he averaged 25.2 and 25.8 points per game, appeared in his first two NBA All-Star Games, and earned All-NBA Second Team honors both seasons. Love also appeared in the 1973 All-Star Game, and he would average at least 19 points and six rebounds every season until 1976–77. Love was named to the NBA's All-Defense Second Team in 1974 and 1975.

His #10 jersey was the second jersey number to be retired by the Chicago Bulls. Jerry Sloan's #4 was the first. Love's 1995 wedding ceremony to Rachel Dixon took place at the United Center.

Post-basketball careerEdit

Love in 2010

Love ended his NBA career with the Bulls after spending parts of the 1976–77 season in New York and Seattle. He would finish with career totals of 13,895 points, 1,123 assists, and 4,653 rebounds. Love developed a stutter in childhood,[4] and some say it prevented him from finding meaningful employment after his playing days were over. At one point, Love was hired as a busboy and dishwasher by Nordstrom where he earned $4.45 an hour.[4][5] Eventually, John Nordstrom, the director of the family business, was so impressed with the former NBA star's work ethic, he offered to pay for speech therapy classes. Nordstrom later promoted Love to be the corporate spokesperson. In 1993, Love returned to the Chicago Bulls as their director of community relations.[4][6] One of his duties in this position involves regularly speaking to school children.[4] Love has also become a motivational speaker.

He wrote a book, The Bob Love Story: If It's Gonna Be, It's Up to Me (ISBN 0-8092-2597-2), in 1999.


  1. ^ "Staff Directory". October 1, 2007.
  2. ^ "Bob Love Biography". The History Makers. Retrieved December 18, 2020. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d Bob Greene (March 21, 1993). "Basketball star's greatest triumph came after cheering stopped". Chicago Tribune.
  5. ^ " Bob Love Bio". Retrieved December 18, 2020.
  6. ^ "Former Chicago Bulls player Bob Love to talk about business and basketball at Triton College". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 18, 2020.

External linksEdit