It was on October 26, in 1984, that Michael Jordan landed in the NBA. The same evening as a certain Charles Barkley or a John Stockton. An evening rich in discovery of future legends.
Third choice of the Draft, the number 23 of the Bulls already has a good track record: NCAA champion with North Carolina and Olympic champion in Los Angeles. It is perhaps for this reason that the Bullets, his first opponents, will multiply the catches to two for his first at Chicago Stadium.
A sort of hazing from which he had come out rather well with 16 points, certainly 5 out of 16 on shots, but with 6 rebounds and 7 assists, but also 4 blocks and 2 interceptions! And above all the victory (109-93).
That evening, the leaders and the public had still trembled. From the first minutes, Michael Jordan had decided to tackle the rough Jeff Ruland, a sort of little brother to Bill Laimbeer. Wanting the posterizer, he falls badly on his back.
A big stamp as a welcome!
“He took off on the left to go up to the dunk on the head of the robust Bullets pivot, Jeff Ruland. The latter shrugged his shoulders at this intrusion and sent Michael to the ground. says Roland Lazenby in the biography “Michael Jordan, The Life”. “The Stadium suddenly fell silent as Jordan lay motionless on the floor. He finally gets up. Later, he complained of pain in his neck and head. He and Ruland both later claimed that the contact was not voluntary. However, it was the signal for a new pattern: Jordan reaching the treetops to attack the circle and the trees letting their minds be known. After 7’27 of play in the first quarter, he scored his first basket in the NBA, a shot from 3.50 meters on the right side. From there, his nervousness made him erratic at shots. Michael managed only 5 of 16. He scored 16 points, sent 7 assists and took 6 rebounds. He also lost 5 balls, in addition to his 9 missed shots. Still, fans got their money’s worth. “It was a good start for my career, he said afterwards. My main goal was to get everyone into it tonight. First, make sure you give your all. Then serve the pivots. There, everything falls into place. For sure, one thing was about to change. In this first game, the ball had spent a lot of time in the hands of his teammates. »
Against the Bullets, it was the late Orlando Woolridge and Quintin Dailey who finished as Chicago’s top scorers, but as Roland Lazenby implies, Michael Jordan will quickly take over the team. In his third game, he planted 37 points in a win over the Bucks. It must be said that a few days earlier, against this same team, he had sent an ugly airball on the equalizer shot. Already a first revenge…
He plants 45 points in his 9th game
” Milwaukee had the best defenseman of the year, Sidney Moncrief said a few years ago Rod Thorn, the man who drafted Michael Jordan. ” They had taken two on him in the second half from midfield. Despite that, they couldn’t stop him. They had Moncrief, Pressey, Junior Bridgman, and Don Nelson was a defense nut in those days. Whatever they did, he scored! In the fourth quarter, he had to score 15, 16, 17 points for them, and he single-handedly won the game. There, I said to myself that we had really recovered a hell of a player. »
In fact, he scored 20 of his team’s last 26 points, and a few days later, for his ninth NBA outing, he scored 45 points for Spurs, while grabbing 10 rebounds!
During this first career road trip, he passed through Los Angeles, and it was he who scored the two baskets that allowed the Bulls to beat the Clippers, then Chicago won by a small point against the Lakers. The Lakers of the great era, and when he returns to Chicago, he plants the basket of victory against the Knicks! The phenomenon is launched, and he will end the season with 28.2 points on average, finishing on the podium of the best scorers.
The rest is history.