Chapter 11: Rookie year in Chicago
It didn’t take long for the NBA and the fans to notice the arrival of Michael Jordan.
The great Larry Bird had this to say about Michael after an early season meeting between the Bulls and the Celtics.
“Jordan scored 27 in an early loss to the Celtics at Chicago Stadium. “I’ve never seen one player turn a team around like that,” Bird said afterward. “All the Bulls have become better because of him. . . . Pretty soon this place will be packed every night. . . . They’ll pay just to watch Jordan. Heck, there was one drive tonight. He had the ball up in his right hand, then he took it down. Then he brought it back up. I got a hand on it, fouled him, and he still scored. All the while, he’s in the air.
“You have to play this game to know how difficult that is. You see that and say, ‘Well, what the heck can you do?”
Highlights from Michael Jordan’s first NBA game
Jordan’s second game came against the Milwaukee Bucks. He scored 21 points in a close loss.
You can watch the full game of Bulls vs. Bucks here.
Here is a collection of TV news highlights of Jordan’s rookie year games.
Not only did Michael fly on a nightly basis, he also did a little bit of everything. Michael led the Bulls in points, steals, blocked shots, and was second in rebounding. He finished the season with a 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game, easily taking home Rookie of the Year honors. Adding yet another accomplishment to his already impressive collection. Less than a year into the league, Jordan was already being compared to the greats like Doctor J (Julius Erving) and Magic (Earvin) Johnson.
Michael did not only know how to score, he also learned how to help his team win games.
Michael’s first game winning shot.
A feat he will repeat on dozens of frustrated opponents in the coming years.
The Chicago Bulls improved from 27-55 a year ago to 38-44 and making the playoffs, losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in 4 games in a best of 5 series. Jordan averaged 29.3 points per game during the series.