By Grace Jones | posted on January 26, 2019
A CHOPPER custom built for Chicago Bulls legend Luc Longley takes pride of place in the memorabilia collection of his former Olympic teammate and fellow Denmarkian, one time LA Lakers pick Paul Rogers.
The bike was built in the late 1990s by custom motorcycle guru Arlen Ness to commemorate the 1995-1996 NBA season when the Bulls, including Longley, set the record for most wins in a regular season of 72 wins and 10 losses.
Rogers says the Bulls team that season was arguably the best sporting side in history.
“Having that link to Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Toni Kukoc and Luc Longley in this bike is really special,” he says.
“This chopper is a real piece of sport history and an unbelievable piece of art.”
The motorcycle has all the bells-and-whistles including a Chicago Bulls insignia on the fuel tank. The bike is two-to-three inches longer than usual to accommodate an NBA-sized owner.
“It was built for a big guy,” Rogers says.
“It’s not a ridiculously big bike but it’s definitely quite long.
“I actually made a few adjustments lately so it can be ridden by my mates.”
Rogers recently put the one-off chopper up on Gumtree but says it is no longer for sale.
“I can see this sitting in someone’s private collection or in a man cave where it can be admired,” he says.
“I don’t think I could sell it now though.
“If the day ever comes where I do part ways with it, I’m sure I’ll shed a quiet tear.”
Rogers played for the Perth Wildcats from 2006 to 2010, Spain’s Real Madrid for a season, the Adelaide 36ers for two seasons and was drafted to play for the Lakers in 1997.
“Basketball was a huge part of my life for 20-plus years,” he says.
“I grew up in the ‘90s and loved the Bulls and idolised Luc Longley.
“So, having the chance to meet him, play in the  Olympic Games with him and get this incredible bike from him is just a great story.”
Rogers says Longley’s is as big a name as you can get in Australian basketball.
“I wouldn’t have had the dream of going to America to play basketball if I hadn’t have seen Luc in Hoop magazine playing in the NBA when I was around 15 or 16,” he says.
Rogers says although the chopper looks a little worn in parts, it blows him away every time he looks at it.
“Seeing it in real life is just so different to seeing it in pictures,” he says.
“It’s absolutely breathtaking.”
This year, he starts a new job at Denmark Senior High School as the new physical education teacher.
“I really enjoy giving back where I can,” he says.
“Coaching and mentoring young basketball players is really rewarding after having a long career playing basketball.”
Longley turned 50 on Saturday.