Chapter 14: 1985 All-star game
Half way through his rookie season, Michael Jordan had become so popular that he was voted onto the starting lineup of the Eastern conference all-star team. Starting alongside future Hall of famers Julius Erving (Dr. J), Larry Bird, Moses Malone, and Isiah Thomas. The Western conference all-stars featured a lineup of Adrian Dantley, Ralph Sampson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Earvin (Magic) Johnson, and George Gervin.
There was much controversy going into the game about a “freeze out” against Michael Jordan. The media had started a story that the other Eastern conference All-stars, led by Isiah Thomas, had decided to lock Jordan out by not passing him the ball. Jordan only managed to score 7 points on 2 of 9 shooting in 22 minutes. Michael had to face questions about the controversy after the game. Although Thomas refuted the accusations, the media kept the story alive in the coming years, and helped to create on of the most bitter rivalries in NBA history.
Here are the top 10 plays from the 1985 all-star game ( Jordan has one of them)
You can watch the entire 1985 all-star game here.
Okay, I know an all-star game without Jordan highlights is pretty boring, so I have something else here for your enjoyment.
At the end of the 84-85 season, the Push Excel program sponsored another all-star game between NBA veterans and NBA rookies. Push Excel is a program led by the Rev. Jesse Jackson with the goal of pushing disadvantaged youths towards academic excellence. Since this was a game purely for entertainment purposes, it is filled with highlights and fun plays. The final score of the game was 177-155, with the NBA veterans winning in style. Jordan contributed 37 points, and plenty of highlight dunks to his team.
1985 P.U.S.H excel all star game at Chicago Stadium
Watch the entire Push Excel all-star game here.
By this time Michael had won the Rookie of the Year title, and was well on his way to establishing himself as one of the NBA’s greatest players.
Oh right, this was also the year Michael began wearing his trademark Air Jordans.