After the Chicago Bulls drafted Michael Jordan with the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft, the UNC product was asked by a reporter what he wanted to accomplish with the franchise. The Bulls missed the playoffs three consecutive years before drafting Jordan, and they had one of the worst attendance numbers in the NBA.
Despite joining a losing and dysfunctional organization, Jordan had one bold goal he wanted to accomplish with the Bulls, and in typical MJ fashion, he achieved it with flying colors.
Michael Jordan wanted Bulls to be like Lakers, Celtics and Sixers
Bulls fans presumably fell in love with Jordan before the shooting guard even played his first NBA game after hearing what he had to say on draft night. The Brooklyn native said he wanted to turn the franchise into a winner like the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Philadelphia 76ers. It was an audacious statement since Chicago had zero championships and only 10 playoff appearances before drafting Jordan.
“I just want the franchise and Chicago Bulls to be respected as a team,” Jordan said. “Like the Lakers or Philadelphia 76ers or the Boston Celtics. It’s very hard for something like that to happen, but it’s not impossible, but hopefully, this team and this whole organization can build a program like that.”
These comments from Jordan are fascinating, especially when you consider that the Bulls were a joke of a franchise when he first got there and then became one of the best dynasties in sports history.
Michael Jordan turned Bulls into champions
Jordan not only never missed the playoffs with the Bulls, but he also turned the franchise into champions with the help of Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson. After Chicago finally got past its arch-nemesis — the Detroit Pistons — in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals, Jordan and Co. went on an incredible run.
From 1991 to 1998, the Bulls won six championships. They three-peated twice and never lost in the Finals, beating the Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, Phoenix Suns, Seattle SuperSonics, and Utah Jazz (twice). Jordan won all six Finals MVPs for the Bulls, who never had to play in a Game 7 in the Finals. That’s how dominant they were during the Jordan-Pippen-Jackson era.
Jordan wanted the Bulls to be respected when he got drafted in 1984, and the Hall of Famer saw his goal come to fruition. His Airness also established himself as arguably the best player in NBA history.
MJ’s career was sensational
Along with winning six championships and six Finals MVPs, Jordan also won five regular-season MVPs, 10 scoring titles, three steals titles, three All-Star Game MVPs, and one Defensive Player of the Year Award with the Bulls. Superman is not only the NBA’s all-time leader in points per game and player efficiency rating in the regular season and playoffs, but he’s also one of three players to win MVP and DPOY in the same season. Hakeem Olajuwon and Giannis Antetokounmpo are the other two.
In 1,072 NBA games, Jordan averaged 30.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.3 assists, and 2.3 steals. He made 14 All-Star teams, 11 All-NBA teams, and nine All-Defensive teams. Captain Marvel was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009, and he’s such an icon that the Miami Heat retired the No. 23 as their way of paying homage to Jordan.
No one could have predicted that Jordan would lead the Bulls to six titles and become an all-time great when he was drafted in 1984. However, Black Jesus accomplished everything he wanted to with Chicago and turned the franchise into a global phenomenon in the ’90s.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference