Posted January 30, 2013

In Focus: Michael Jordan as a rookie

In Focus
Jordan grabs a rebound during a game against Milwaukee. (Manny Millan/SI)

Jordan grabs a rebound during a game against Milwaukee. (Manny Millan/SI)

By Andy Gray

Portland’s Damian Lillard is not only the front-runner for Rookie of the Year but he’s also bidding to become the first rookie guard to play in the All-Star Game since Michael Jordan 28 years ago. As fans continue to vote, we look back at Jordan’s rookie year of 1984-85.

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Jordan stretches with his teammates before a Nov. 1984 game. (Manny Millan/SI)

Jordan stretches with his teammates before a November 1984 game. (Manny Millan/SI)

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Jordan chats with Dr. J before a game against the 76ers. (Manny Millan/SI)

Jordan chats with Julius Erving before a game against the 76ers. (Manny Millan/SI)

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Jordan drives to the hoop during an early-season game. (John Biever/SI)

Jordan drives to the hoop during an early-season game. (John Biever/SI)

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 Jordan spends a day off on the mini-golf course with teammates Orlando Woolridge (L) and Rod Higgins. (Manny Millan/SI)

Jordan spends a day off on the mini-golf course with teammates Orlando Woolridge (L) and Rod Higgins. (Manny Millan/SI)

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Jordan poses with Clyde Drexler, Orlando Woolridge, Julius Erving, Terrence Stansbury, Dominique Wilkins, Larry Nance and Darrell Griffith before the 1985 Slam-Dunk Contest. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

Jordan poses with (from left to right) Clyde Drexler, Orlando Woolridge, Julius Erving, Terrence Stansbury, Dominique Wilkins, Larry Nance and Darrell Griffith before the 1985 Slam Dunk contest. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

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Jordan dribbles past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the 1985 NBA All-Star game. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

Jordan dribbles past Kareem Abdul-Jabbar at the 1985 NBA All-Star Game. (Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE/Getty Images)

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Jordan watches the action from the bench. (Manny Millan/SI)

Jordan watches the action from the bench. (Manny Millan/SI)

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For more historic sports photos, NBA and otherwise, visit the SI Photo Blog and follow Andy Gray on Twitter.

3 comments
240tt
240tt

Notice the slam dunk contest picture "Jordan poses with (from left to right) Clyde Drexler 6'7", Orlando Woolridge 6'9", Julius Erving 6'7", Terence Stansbury 6'5" , Dominique Wilkins 6'8", Larry Nance 6'11" and Darrell Griffith 6'4". Jordan is short in that pic no way he was 6'6" as a rookie. This really caught me off guard although idolized him. Had first pair of Air Jordans for HS ball in '85 and when 19-20 yrs old worked up to easy over 42" vert for 6' white boy due to watching Jordan. Could dunk flat foot straight up one hand or drop step two hand off two feet - Thanks Mike for the inspiration but 2 knee surgeries later in life was cost.

Big Top Peewee
Big Top Peewee

I really admire Lebron James and he is great.  But Michael Jordan gave the impression he was super human. He was great on a super-natural level. That's something James doesn't have.

 

I remember the Saturday Night Live "Super Fans" skit where they talk about how many championships the Bulls would win and the consensus was: "not 3-peat, 4-peat, or 5-peat, but minimum 8-peat" Eight championships in a row. Everybody laughs at it like its a joke but in hindsight, it was prophetic.

 

If it weren't for the hiatus in Jordan's NBA career after  his dad was murdered, he would have stayed in and the Bulls would have rolled over the rest of the NBA eight years in a row if not ten.