Right after their first meeting even before Michael Jordan’s rookie season in 1984, Larry Bird predicted that the Chicago Bulls legend would go down as the greatest player ever once all said and done.
Michael Jordan is easily one of the greatest players the league has ever witnessed. Apart from being one of the most impactful players, Mike was considered a basketball god. Till today, fans rave about his insane gameplay and achievements.
It was because of Michael that the Chicago Bulls franchise is one of the greatest dynasties in history. Of course, with the help from stars like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, MJ helped the Bulls be the most dominant team in the 1990s. Winning two successful three-peats, finishing a season with a flawless 72-10 record, there was virtually nothing that the Bulls hadn’t achieved because of their leader.
With 14 All-Star appearances, 10 Scoring titles, 11 All-NBA selections, 6 NBA championships, 6 Finals MVP and 5 league MVPs under his belt, MJ has one of the most decorated resumes in NBA history to rightfully claim the GOAT title.
Larry Bird had predicted that Michael Jordan would be the greatest player once all said and done, immediately after their first-ever meeting before MJ’s rookie season.
It didn’t take Mike long enough to dominate the league when he stepped on the hardwood. In fact, in only his first season, as a young 21-year-old, His Airness torched the league night in and night out, averaging an incredible 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds and 5.9 assists.
Larry Bird was one of the many legends who the 21-year-old young kid dropped buckets on at will. Back in 1984, even before MJ was a professional NBA player, Jordan was handing buckets to some of the league’s best. His Airness was a member of those Olympics teams which beat teams of NBA All-Stars during prep for Los Angeles Games.
After an incredible outing, Air Jordan did manage to win Bird’s respect that night. According to a former “Boston Globe” reporter Dan Shaughnessy, the Boston legend had predicted Michael’s successful career right after their first matchup. Dan told NBC Sports:
“Jordan came into the league in ’85, and the first night Larry played against him — I knew he (Jordan) was good — but Larry said, he said to me, he said, ‘That guy is gonna be the greatest player ever, you watch.’”
“I didn’t see it. He [Bird] saw it, he was out there on the floor. I didn’t think it was that remarkable, [Jordan] was a good rookie,” Shaughnessy continued. “And he [Bird] said after the game, he just said, ‘You watch.’ And I said, ‘You’re just blowing smoke’ — which he never did. But he knew. First night.”