Fresh off of a stellar performance in the ’84 Summer Olympics, anticipation for Michael Jordan’s NBA debut grew, and grew, and grew. The Tar Heel solidified himself as a top draft pick with his clutch play in the NCAA tournament while suiting up for UNC, so with the 3rd overall selection the Chicago Bulls drafted Michael Jeffery Jordan. Before everybody wanted to ‘be like Mike’, before the famous Larry Bird quote, “I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan” he was a mortal man, a newbie fulfilling his dreams of NBA stardom…
Michael Jordan, armed with fresh chains a fresh Nike contract played his first NBA game exactly 34 years ago today against the Washington Bullets. It’s important to note that rookie MJ didn’t garner the same kind of respect as veteran MJ. His own teammates, namely Orlando Woolridge and Quintin Dailey weren’t about to defer to a rook’, especially a rookie with the potential to outshine both of them (in their defense, the jealousy/ fear of Michael outdoing them was well rooted in fact). Throughout the course of the game Jordan operated within the flow of the offense, made timely passes, and rushed into the paint for rebounds off of jump-shots (you know, how basketball used to be played). It’s incredibly odd to watch footage of Jordan playing without being the focal point of an offense, for the game he totaled sixteen points, six rebounds and seven assists in the Bulls 109-93 victory. See for yourself below:
Wait, hold on a minute. Why wasn’t the Air Jordan 1 on Mike’s feet in this game? Is the footage wrong?
For those in the dark, the Air Jordan 1 wasn’t the first shoe Jordan wore in the NBA, nor was it the ‘banned’ shoe. The actual ‘banned’ Jordans weren’t Jays at all, they were the Nike Air Ship. Later in the season Mike laced up well known classis like the Chi-Town and Bred 1’s but in this game, his very first game, MJ wore straight up (rarely seen) Nikes. Jordan Brand finally acknowledged the Air Ship as the ‘banned’ shoes around the time of 2016’s Air Jordan 1 ‘Bred’ Retro, even though the ‘banned’ moniker continues to be used in describing MJ’s legendary black/ red Air Jordan 1s.