Bob Love grew up in near poverty, with thirteen brothers and sisters in a small Louisiana town.
Bob dreamed of being a professional basketball player and practiced everyday with a coat hanger hoop nailed to the side of his grandmother’s door.
As a 6’8” high school senior, Bob’s basketball dream became a reality. Bob played college basketball for Southern University in Louisiana and was named to the All- American Team by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. After college, Bob played for the Cincinnati Royals, the Milwaukee Bucks, the Chicago Bulls, and the Seattle Supersonics.
Bob played for the Chicago Bulls from 1969-1976. For seven straight years he led the Chicago Bulls in team scoring. He is third in history in points scored for the Chicago Bulls only behind Michael Jordan & Scottie Pippen. Bob was a 3-time NBA All-Star and named 3 times to the second NBA All-defensive squad scoring 12,623 points in his illustrious career.
Despite his great success as an athlete, Bob never had an endorsement deal, and was hardly ever interviewed after games because he was unable to speak due to a stuttering problem he had since childhood. Bob dreamed of being able to speak to large audiences like his hero Martin Luther King. When his basketball career ended due to a back injury, Bob found himself jobless. It took him seven years to find a job at a Seattle Nordstrom Café as a dishwasher earning $4.45 an hour. He endured humiliation as customers and former players recognized him busing tables. He would hear people whisper, “Hey that’s Bob Love… he was a great basketball player…. what a shame.”
At the age of 45, Nordstrom helped find a speech therapist that helped him learn how to speak without stuttering and realize his dreams.
The Chicago Bulls heard Bob’s story and in 1992 hired Bob as the Director of Community Relations. Bob speaks to groups on behalf of the Bulls and shares his life story. On January, 14, 1994, Bob’s Chicago Bulls jersey was retired.
Bob ran for Chicago Alderman in the 2002 election and lost. Bob has earned many awards and recognitions including: the Individual Achievement Award for Communicative Disorders, the Oscar Robertson Leadership Award, and the March of Dimes Lifetime Achievement Award.