Twenty-nine years ago today, third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft Michael Jordan made his NBA debut. More clearly, the game’s greatest player of all time hit the hardwood for the first time. Who knew on this very day that everything about the game of basketball was about to change? The Chicago Bulls defeated the Washington Bullets at the Chicago Stadium by a score of 109-93 in Jordan’s debut. He shot 5-of-16 from the field and 6-of-7 from the free-throw line for 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
The birth of the legendary tongue wag was on display for the world to see, and sources say Jordan averaged 38 tongue wags this game. The grace he showed during this contest—smooth and slick dribbles past defenders with ease—was inspiring to watch. It was a solid debut for the legend, but no one expected him end the rookie campaign and the rest of his career in the manner he did.
Looking back on the young Jordan, teammate Rod Higgins said, per NBA.com:
I don’t think you could think that way back then,” said Rod Higgins, then Jordan’s teammate and now his partner as general manager of the Charlotte Bobcats. “He wasn’t a dominant 7-foot center, the kind of traditional big man you built teams around, or a point guard who always had the ball in his hands. I mean, he was a shooting guard. How much could he control?
Jordan went on to have one of the greatest rookie seasons in history, averaging remarkable 28.2 points, 5.9 assists and 6.5 rebounds.
Check out the highlights of the game below. History folks.