The 1984 NBA draft class is often considered one of the best in history, perhaps mainly due to the fact that everyone remembers that was the year that Michael Jordan entered the league. But Jordan isn’t the only member of that class that had a great career and not the only one to end up in the Basketball Hall of Fame.
While still considered a great class, the 1984 group certainly wasn’t the deepest class ever. Of the 228 players selected that year (there were 10 rounds back then), only seven ever played in an NBA All-Star Game. Of those seven, six were named to at least one All-NBA team. Of those six, four eventually made it to the Hall of Fame. However, there were five players selected in the 1984 NBA draft that wound up being inducted into the Hall of Fame, one of whom never played a single game in the league.
Taken with the first overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft, Hakeem Olajuwon was one of the most dominant players of his generation. The Nigerian-born center was one of many great centers in the ’80s and ’90s, including Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Dikembe Mutombo, Alonzo Mourning, and Shaquille O’Neal.
In 18 seasons, Olajuwon averaged 21.8 points, 11.1 rebounds, and 3.1 blocks per game. He still holds the NBA record for career blocks with 3,830. Olajuwon won the NBA MVP in 1994, the year he won the first of two consecutive titles, and NBA Finals MVP awards, with the Houston Rockets. He was a 12-time All-Star, a 12-time All-NBA selection, and a two-time Defensive Player of the Year. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2008.
After a stellar career at North Carolina, Michael Jordan won an Olympic gold medal in 1984 and changed the course of the NBA forever when he arrived. Taken third in the draft, he took the torch that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird had lit and ran with it, achieving fame and fortune never before seen in sports.
In 15 NBA seasons, Michael Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 5.3 assists. He sits in fifth place on the all-time scoring list. MJ won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, winning NBA Finals MVP each time. He was a five-time NBA MVP, a 14-time All-Star, a 10-time All-NBA selection (all First Team), a nine-time All-Defensive selection, and won Defensive Player of the Year honors in 1988. He was a 10-time scoring champion and led the league in steals three times. Michael Jordan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2009 on his own and again in 2010 as a member of the 1992 Dream Team that won Olympic gold in Barcelona.
Charles Barkley was selected fifth overall in the 1984 NBA draft and became one of the most dominant power forwards in the league. What Barkley lacked in height, he made up for with an unrelenting tenacity. Never one to back down from anyone or keep quiet, Barkley developed into one of the biggest personalities in the NBA as well.
In 16 seasons with the 76ers, Suns, and Rockets, Barkley averaged 22.1 points and 11.7 rebounds. He was named the NBA MVP in 1993, the lone year he appeared in the NBA Finals. The Suns lost to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in six games. Barkley was an 11-time All-Star, an 11-time All-NBA selection, and won two gold medals. Barkley was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2006 on his own and again in 2010 as a member of the Dream Team.
John Stockton was the 16th overall selection in the 1984 NBA draft and the Gonzaga alum spent his entire 19-year career with the team that drafted him, the Utah Jazz. Stockton is considered one of the best point guards in NBA history and for good reason.
In 19 years, Stockton averaged 13.1 points, 10.5 assists, and 2.2 steals per game. He’s the league’s all-time leader in assists (15,806) and steals (3,265), both by big margins. He was a 10-time All-Star, an 11-time All-NBA selection, and a five-time All-Defensive selection. He led the league in assists nine times and in steals on two occasions. He and longtime teammate Karl Malone led the Jazz to their only two NBA Finals appearances in 1997 and 1998, losing both times to Michael Jordan and the Bulls. Stockton was inducted to the Hall of Fame alongside Jordan in 2009 and again in 2010 with the Dream Team.
The name most might not recognize on this list is Oscar Schmidt, considered by many to be one of the best players to never play in the NBA. Schmidt was a Brazilian star that was selected in the sixth round of the 1984 NBA draft by the New Jersey Nets but chose to stay in his home country.
Schmidt was a star in Brazil and also wowed crowds in Italy and Europe. He led the Italian Basketball League in scoring seven times and also led the Spanish Basketball League in the same category. Schmidt represented the Brazilian national team in five Summer Olympics, leading the entire tournament in scoring in three of them. He averaged 42.3 points in the 1988 Games in Seoul. Schmidt scored close to 50,000 points in his career, the most in basketball history. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.