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Chapter 10: NBA debut


Last chapter: 1984 Olympic Games

Coming off an Olympic Gold Medal in Los Angeles, Michael Jordan suited up for the Bulls 1984-85 regular season in the all too familiar #23 jersey.

The year before drafting Jordan, the lowly Chicago Bulls finished the season with a 27-55 record. However, Michael Jordan made an immediate impact with the Bulls and lifted the team to another level.

Here’s a great article on NBA.com on the Bull’s first impressions of Michael Jordan.

The Debut

Michael Jordan’s first game ironically came against the Washington Bullets, the only other team Jordan would play for.

“Time and again on that first night, in that first game, the shots didn’t go down and Jordan didn’t back down. Once he went backdoor to take a feed from Woolridge, but had his shot blocked by Ruland. When Ruland turned the ball back over, Jordan went up again, using the double-pump, the hang time that would became a signature of his game and banked the ball home over a sprawling Ruland. On another drive into the paint, Ruland fouled Jordan hard, nothing dirty, but sent the rookie slamming to the floor.”

“He told me, ‘Wow! That’s a tough dude,’ ” Higgins recalled. “But Michael just bounced right back up and kept going at them.”

It was not a spectacular game for Michael. Jordan scored 16 points on 5-16 shooting in the win over Washington. However, the other players, coaches, and especially the fans, got a glimpse of the beginning of greatness.

The video starts with the Bulls leading the Bullets 60-45

A funny moment happens at 5:55 when the announcer says “As great an acquisition as Michael Jordan is, I personally feel, the fate of this Chicago Bull’s team is gonna fall on the shoulder of Caldwell Jones.”

Yea I know, who the hell is Caldwell Jones???

I understand you might be a little disappointed with the lack of Jordanesque moments in his debut. So I have also included his second NBA game, this time vs. the Bucks. Air Jordan really takes off in this game. Enjoy.

Next chapter: Rookie year in Chicago


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