When Michael Jordan was drafted in 1984, people expected him to be great, but nobody expected him to reach the level where he’d be the ‘GOAT’ of basketball.
Yet, 37 years later, here we are. Jordan is widely considered the best basketball player ever to have played in the NBA, and his legacy is the standard to which all great players are compared to.
After all, LeBron James, perhaps the only modern day NBA player who could even rival Jordan, said it himself, he’s chasing the ghost of MJ, not Magic, not Larry Bird, not anyone else.
Michael Jordan’s list of accolades is just ridiculous. 🔥 pic.twitter.com/ChT4L6dHbU
— SLAM (@SLAMonline) February 17, 2018
Jordan’s mindset was always set on winning, even if there was no pressure to as the Chicago Bulls appeared to have become complacent with losing.
Michael Jordan Took Away An Important Lesson From His Teammates, ‘Not To Be Like Them’
The Bulls weren’t the greatest of teams before Jordan’s arrival. Prior to the 1984, the Bulls had been in existence since 1966.
From 1966-1974, Chicago was a very competitive team, even though they never won a title or made it to the Finals, making the playoffs in eight out of nine seasons. However, from 1975 to 1984, they quickly fell to one of the worst teams in the league.
They would only make the playoffs twice in nine seasons, and the furthest they went was the second round. Nobody thought of Chicago seriously, there was no reason to.
Jordan was a great prospect out of college and picking him up at number three in the 1984 was definitely great for the Bulls, but there’s no way that he would alone would change the fortunes of the franchise right? Wrong.
The Bulls never missed the playoffs during Jordan’s years and as you know, during the 1990s, there wasn’t any team that could compete with them as they won six titles off two different three-peats. Jordan knew the Bulls’ history of losing, but he wasn’t going to be complacent the way his teammates had become.
When speaking to SLAM Magazine in 1977, Jordan spoke about the important lesson he took away from his teammates.
“Not to be like them [laughs]. You know, go out there, and … I learned how to be a leader in all respects,” Jordan would comment. “Just try to lead them or help them out of their situation of losing all the time. The attitude was pretty acceptable here, of losing, so I was trying to break the mold.” Jordan definitely broke the mold and much more.