NB85-8: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – October 26 through November 9, 1984 | Podcast

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Michael Jordan grabs a rebound in his second NBA game

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s (1984) arrival in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* NBA regular season – October 26 through November 9, 1984

* Chicago and Milwaukee’s home-and-home series (Oct 27 & 29)

* Insightful early-season minutiae, all but lost to the annals of basketball history

 

In this episode, we discuss numerous happenings from the first 15 days of the 1984-85 NBA season. We talk about the debut of future Hall of Fame players – Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon & John Stockton, then detail the Bulls’ (late October) home-and-home series with the Bucks.

We chat about Stockton’s unwitting role in a Seattle radio station contest; his last-ditch shot had one-million dollars riding on it. In more random news of the era, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar‘s BMW succumbs to foul play (no pun intended). We also talk about the NBA’s best-performing players, milestones reached, the infamous Julius ErvingLarry Bird fight and much more.

This episode continues our coverage of the 1984-85 NBA season. We encourage your interaction. Feel free to suggest specific games, moments and events from within the season, for us to cover in future episodes of the series. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the show. If you enjoy the content, please share it with your friends!

The most prominent players mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Dave CorzineQuintin Dailey, Kiki VanDeWeghe & Adrian Dantley.

 

Topics / articles discussed (every effort has been made to confirm exact dates):

 

‘New’ Michael Jordan photo from 1984-85 preseason [via MJ Mexico]

Michael  Jordan - 1984-85 preseason
 

Oct 27, 1984 – NBA Preview – Taking a Look At The 1984-85 Season

Oct 27, 1984 - Observer Reporter

Oct 27, 1984 - Observer Reporter
Oct 27, 1984 – Stockton plays off key for Jazz

Oct 27, 1984 - Spokesman-Review
 

Box Score: Oct 27, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks

 

Box Score: Oct 29, 1984 – Milwaukee Bucks @ Chicago Bulls

 

Oct 30, 1984 – Rookie Jordan sparks Bulls

Oct 30, 1984 - Lewiston Journal
 

Oct 30, 1984 – Rookie Jordan takes control in second half to ignite Bulls

Oct 30, 1984 - The Courier
 

Oct 30, 1984 – NBA no-shows would have powerful team

Oct 30, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star
 

Box Score: Oct 30, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Kansas City Kings

 

Oct 31, 1984 – Chicago calls Dailey for walking

Oct 31, 1984 - Reading Eagle

 

Oct 31, 1984 – Jordan leads Chicago

Oct 31, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 
 

Box Score: Nov 1, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Denver Nuggets

Nov 2, 1984 | Bulls ‘Dunn’ by Nuggets

Nov 2, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star
 

Nov 6, 1984 – Theus, Free are at odds with new coaches

Nov 6, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star
 

Box Score: Nov 7, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ Detroit Pistons

 

  Nov 8, 1984 – Odds and Ends: Off-beat stats of the National Basketball Association

Nov 7, 1984 - Beaver County Times
 

Nov 8, 1984 – Detroit caught the Michael Jordan Show Thursday

Nov 8, 1984 - Beaver County Times
 

Nov 8, 1984 – Jazz signs top scorer

Nov 8, 1984 - Spokane Chronicle
 

Box Score: Nov 8, 1984 – Chicago Bulls @ New York Knicks

 

Nov 9, 1984: Julius Erving and Larry Bird exchange pleasantries

Nov 10, 1984 – Bird, Boston outfight 76ers

Nov 10, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star
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NB85-7: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Sam Smith – There Is No Next: NBA Legends on the Legacy of MJ | Podcast

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There Is No Next: NBA Legends on the Legacy of Michael Jordan

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s (1984) arrival in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* Sam Smith’s book: There is No Next: NBA Legends on the Legacy of Michael Jordan

 

In another special episode, we are joined by Bulls.com columnist, New York Times best-selling author (The Jordan Rules) and former podcast guest, Sam Smith. We deep dive into a great discussion of Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season (1984-85) and the Chicago Bulls franchise itself. We ask Sam all about his new book, which is part oral history / part narrative. Sam discussed MJ with an incredible cast of luminaries, including Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Phil Jackson, Isiah Thomas, Dominique Wilkins, President Obama and many more.

Thanks to (the appropriately named) ‘Johnny Kilroy’ for submitting a listener question. You’ll hear Sam’s answer within this episode.

This episode is (mostly) devoted to the 1984-85 NBA season. We encourage your interaction. Feel free to suggest specific games, moments and events from within the season, for us to cover in future episodes of the series. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the show. If you enjoy the content, please share it with your friends!

The most prominent players (and coaches) mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Orlando Woolridge, Dave Corzine, Quintin Dailey, Reggie Miller, Don Nelson & Kevin Loughery.

 

Topics discussed: Michael Jordan’s debut, 30 years ago

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NB85-6: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – MJ’s Chicago Bulls regular-season debut – October 26, 1984 | Podcast

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Michael Jordan's NBA regular-season debut with the Chicago Bulls

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s (1984) arrival in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* Michael Jordan’s NBA regular-season debut with the Chicago Bulls (October 26, 1984)

 

In this special episode, we detail Michael Jordan’s regular-season debut in the NBA. Until very recently, specifics of MJ’s first professional game have been scarce. Wait no more, as we break down the entire contest – from pre-game, to quarter-by-quarter discussion and post-game statistics.

You may be surprised to learn that His Airness only just avoided serious injury in the game’s first half, after landing awkwardly following his first slam dunk attempt. He lay motionless on the court, for almost 30 seconds.

This episode commences our coverage of the 1984-85 NBA season. We encourage your interaction. Feel free to suggest specific games, moments and events from within the season, for us to cover in future episodes of the series. Thanks for taking the time to listen to the show. If you enjoy the content, please share it with your friends!

The most prominent players mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Orlando Woolridge, Caldwell Jones, Jeff Ruland, Rick Mahorn, Dave Corzine & Quintin Dailey.

 

Topics / articles discussed (every effort has been made to confirm exact dates):

 

Oct 26, 1984 – Jordan show premieres

Oct 26, 1984 - The Bulletin

 

Oct 26, 1984: Washington Bullets @ Chicago Bulls (pre-game / introductions)

 

Oct 26, 1984: Washington Bullets @ Chicago Bulls (highlights)

 

Box Score: Oct 26, 1984 – Washington Bullets @ Chicago Bulls

 

Rick Mahorn welcomes MJ to the NBA!

Rick Mahorn sets monster pick on Jordan

 

A scary moment for Bulls fans – Michael Jordan takes a terrible fall

Jordan lay motionless on the court, after a terrible fall

 

May 28, 1986: Mike Schuler press conference

 

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NB85-5: Michael Jordan’s rookie NBA season – Chicago, Nike sign Jordan, 1984-85 Bulls training camp and preseason games | Podcast

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Rod Thorn and Michael Jordan

Adam & Aaron celebrate the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan‘s (1984) arrival in the National Basketball Association. This episode covers:

 

* Chicago Bulls’ negotiations to sign Jordan

* Details of Nike’s efforts to secure Jordan’s signature

* Chicago Bulls’ 1984-85 training camp and preseason games

 

In this episode, we discuss the lead-up to the Bulls’ signing of Michael Jordan (September, 1984); including newly-discovered details that his first-pro contract may not have been what we thought it was. Thanks to Roland’s Lazenby’s, Michael Jordan: The Life and Julie Strasser’s, Swoosh: Unauthorized Story of Nike, we cover Nike’s play to obtain MJ’s signature and discuss whether or not Adidas & Converse had a real chance to lure him away. We’re also pleased to detail all seven games from Michael Jordan’s first preseason with the Chicago Bulls (October, 1984).

After listening to this, our fifth episode, you’ll be anticipating our next installment – we’ll discuss Michael Jordan’s regular-season debut – the day that NBA history would be changed forever.

The most prominent players mentioned in this episode, include: Michael Jordan, Orlando Woolridge, Caldwell Jones, Terry Cummings, Eddie Johnson & Ricky Pierce.

 

Topics / articles discussed (every effort has been made to confirm exact dates):

 

Aug 12, 1984 – Basketball: Rockets-Bulls trade

Aug 12, 1984 - Beaver County Times

 

Aug 16, 1984 – Wilmington’s Jordan ready to join Bulls

Aug 16, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Aug 25, 1984 – Olympic hero Jordan gets keys to hometown

Aug 25, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

Aug 25, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Sep 12, 1984 – Bulls to sign Jordan today

Sep 12, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Sep 13, 1984 – Jordan’s signature step up for Bulls

Sep 13, 1984 - The Courier

 

Sep 14, 1984 – Jordan’s pact is reported even richer

Sep 14, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Oct 4, 1984 – Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer [MACC] Fund (ad)

Oct 4, 1984 - Milwaukee Sentinel

 

Oct 6, 1984 – Jordan leads Bulls

Oct 6, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 Part III: Year One — Jordan’s Rookie Season | Chicago Bulls

 

Oct 8, 1984 – Jordan nets 32 points, Chicago topples Kings

Oct 8, 1984 - Lawrence Journal-World

 

Oct 9, 1984 – No parades yet for undefeated Bulls [couldn’t locate source]

Oct 9, 1984 - Daily Herald

 

Oct 9, 1984 – Jordan hits 22 as Bulls bump Bucks

Oct 10, 1984 - Milwaukee Sentinel

Oct 10, 1984 - Milwaukee Sentinel

 

Oct 14, 1984 – Nelson pleased as Bucks win

Oct 14, 1984 - Milwaukee Journal

 

Oct 16, 1984 – Jordan scores 20 to lead Bulls’ win

Oct 16, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Oct 18, 1984 – Michael Jordan preseason interview @ Madison Square Garden

 

Oct 19, 1984 – Jordan has 23 in win

Oct 19, 1984 - Wilmington Morning Star

 

Oct 20, 1984 – Bulls’ preseason closes with defeat [couldn’t locate source]

Oct 20, 1984 - Daily Herald

 

Oct 24, 1984 – Jordan Appears to Be for Real

Oct 24, 1984 - Sarasota Herald-Tribune

 

Oct 26, 1984 – Olajuwon, Jordan ease into rookie spotlight

Oct 26, 1984 - Kentucky New Era

 

May 16, 1985 – Winning Teammates Respect Toughest Aspect for Jordan

May 16, 1985 - Victoria Advocate

 

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Video: Michael Jordan’s first regular-season NBA game (1984 debut)

Michael Jordan

Historically-important footage of Michael Jordan has emerged. Here is the pre-game show, including player introductions, from MJ’s NBA debut – October 26, 1984.

Michael Jordan gets his first taste of NBA-stardom. He receives a rousing-ovation from the Chicago-faithful; even though it is clearly, far from a full house. In the 1984 NBA season, the Bulls were a lackluster 27-55; missing the post-season completely. The 1984 NBA Draft changed all that and the Windy City welcomed a young Michael Jeffrey Jordan into its arms. Jordan had just led Team USA to gold, at the Los Angeles Olympics. Prior to that, he was the 1984 NCAA Player of the Year and collected a slew of awards and honors in a decorated, three-year career with the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Prior to this footage surfacing, a ‘Hardwood Classics’ version of MJ’s first NBA game, was all that existed. The game was joined in progress, in the 3rd quarter. It’s remarkable that it has taken almost 30 years since this game was played, for it to appear in its entirety.

In the first half of this game, Jordan, on a strong drive to the hoop, was met at the rim, by a man mountain named Jeff Ruland (my recent podcast guest):

For the record, Michael Jordan finished with 16 points, in a 109-93 Bulls victory.

 

Kendall Gill: Illinois great, All-American and NBA star | Interview

Illinois Fighting Illini great, All-American and NBA star, Kendall Gill.

Due to audio issues, our initial recording of Kendall’s podcast episode failed. Here is the transcribed interview of that conversation – featuring discussion topics that didn’t make it into the re-recorded episode. Thanks again Kendall for your great generosity.

 

Podcast: In all Airness – Jordan-era | NBA History

Guest: Kendall Gill | Record date: Jan 28, 2014 | Key: A = Adam / K =Kendall

 

A: Kendall Gill, thanks for joining me.

K: No problem. It’s a pleasure to be heard Down Under in Australia.

A: Have you ever been to Australia before?

K: Never been to Australia before – but someday, I plan on making it.

A: How do you compare the in-arena atmosphere of college basketball, to the support your Charlotte Hornets received in the NBA?

K: It was a little bit different, because an important thing to remember about the Illini players – each and every one of those players; even the walk-ons – was from the state of Illinois. All of us were home grown. It was special.

When I go to North Carolina and play for the Charlotte Hornets, it was great as well, because of the 22,000 fans they had there every night – they were basketball crazy. At that time, the Hornets were the only show in town. It seemed like a college atmosphere, but it was a little different playing pro basketball to college basketball, because players can get traded and you don’t get to form the special relationships as a pro player, that you can as a college player. The fan support was awesome in Charlotte.

A: How was it, playing with a unique team mate like Muggsy Bogues?

K: Well, with Muggsy, it was great playing with him, because he was a point guard that could deliver the basketball to you. That was his first priority. In today’s day and age, you have guys that shoot first. Muggsy was not at all like that – he pushed the basketball up the court. If you ran, he would give you the basketball. Defensively, people didn’t want to dribble the basketball up against Muggsy Bogues.

If you remember Rod Strickland, who is one of the great point guards – most underrated point guards that has ever played in the NBA – bringing the ball up against Muggsy, he never wanted to do that. He always passed the ball off to the two-guard and let him bring it up. That lets you know that even though Muggsy was 5’3”, he could change the game at any time.

A: True. Rod Strickland had great handle of the ball, so it’s a testament to how good Muggsy was. It must have been quite jarring to see someone of his (Bogues) stature, compete and be so good at NBA level, where players are much taller. Can you talk about his competitiveness?

K: Absolutely. He’s a big-time competitor and confident. Totally confident. Even though he was small, he used his speed to his advantage. He had a great ability to cause disruption on the defensive end. These are his strengths. We know he wasn’t the greatest scorer – he was great at other things and that is what he kept him in the league for so long.

A: Most listeners will know, as we record this chat, the Charlotte Bobcats will soon revert back to being named the Charlotte Hornets. As one of the Hornets’ best players in their franchise history, what’s your opinion of their name change?

K: I think it’s great. I think the fans were so hurt when the franchise left for New Orleans, that when the NBA brought them back, it still wasn’t the same – they were the Bobcats. I think the city identifies with the colors of purple and teal. They identify that with the Hornets name. Now, it seems like the real girlfriend is back (laughs) – so to speak.

I think the city will embrace it and with the name change, there will be more pride instilled in the franchise. Michael Jordan and Fred Whitfield and all those guys understand that. That’s why they wanted to bring the name-change back. It is going to be great for the franchise.

A: [Mutombo’s Nuggets defeated Gill’s Sonics: 1994 NBA Playoffs] After losing Game 5 and returning to the locker room, what happened behind closed doors?

K: Well, it was like a morgue. It was completely silent and like a train hit us. We didn’t know what happened. I don’t know if you saw, but I’m a big boxing fan. Manny Pacquiao fought Juan Manuel Marquez; in a fight in which he got knocked out. Manny was winning the fight and then, all of sudden – boom – one punch…he’s out. Exactly the feeling we had when we lost to the Denver Nuggets.

A: At what point in your career, did you increase your physical conditioning, with boxing and aerobic-type exercises?

K: About my 10th year in the league, I started to do mixed-martial arts – things you’d see on the UFC. I did that for extra conditioning in the summer time – being a 10th year player, you need something else to take it to another level, to keep you ahead of the younger players and that’s why I did it. My first love was always boxing. I used to box when I was a kid. I went back to my first love. I had four professional fights – I may have another one – I’m not sure right now. I’m trying to work out the details. However, that is my passion and I do it every day.

A: I know that recently you set a goal to get back to your ideal NBA game-shape. The physical conditioning that you’re talking about – is this one of the driving forces behind that decision?

K: It is. My brothers actually bet me that I couldn’t get into that type of shape again. At Christmas, at my parents’ house, my brothers actually bet me that I couldn’t do it. I said, ‘OK’. It’s a challenge – I always look for challenges – I’m going to do it. I’ve already been in a month of training and I’ve got about a month and a half to go. We’ll see. I’m half way there (laughs).

A: Who did you get amped up for and look forward to playing, when you read your NBA schedule?

K: Well, I’ll tell you what. I used to get amped up to play against Drazen Petrovic. He always brought the best out in me. He and I had some terrific battles. I loved playing against Michael, because…one thing, Michael had the Mike Tyson effect. He had the other guys beat before they even got to the arena. They were afraid of him, you know. That never worked on me. I was never afraid and I relished playing against him – even though he was the greatest to ever play the game. I’m not going to stop him; but, I’m going to make it hard for him. I made it very hard for him to score, but, he still scored. He also had the best offense – the Triangle.

You know, we can go back to Kobe Bryant and how great he was. Shaquille O’Neal. Scottie Pippen. Another guy I loved playing against, even though I didn’t guard him – Hakeem Olajuwon. I think he was the second best player I’ve ever played against. Players like that…you know, Glen Rice and I had a lot battles. Also, Grant Hill. A lot of people don’t know; had Grant Hill never been injured, we’d be talking about one of the greatest players to ever play this game. He was one of the most difficult guys to cover as well.

 

Links to topics discussed:

Statistics courtesy of Basketball Reference | Profile

NCAA: Retrospective | Flyin’ Illini1989: Elite Eight

NBA: Draft | Dunk Contest | Highlights | Nuggets v Sonics | Kendall v MJ

Boxing: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Fight Night

Kendall Gill online: Twitter | Instagram | The Backcourt Online

 

I appreciate all feedback, FB Page ‘Likes’ and iTunes ratings / reviews.

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