Flashback Friday: Bulls signed Michael Jordan 30 years ago todayContinue reading.
Michael Jordan was drafted by the Bulls 30 years ago today
Thirty years ago today, Sam Bowie became the most memorable No. 2 pick in NBA Draft history.
After winning a coin flip with Portland, the Houston Rockets drafted first in the 1984 NBA Draft and, despite having 7-4 Ralph Sampson on their roster, they wanted to go big. Akeem (later Hakeem) Olajuwon, a 6-11 center from Houston, was the consensus best player. They couldn’t pass on “The Dream.” In addition, the Rockets already had an up-and-coming 6-6 shooting guard on their bench—Craig Ehlo. Ha!
Portland selected next and was in dire need of a center. The Blazers filled their void at shooting guard in the 1983 draft with Clyde Drexler. Bowie, a 7-2 oft-injured player from Kentucky, was the next-best center after Olajuwon. It was surprising the Blazers even considered gambling on Bowie after their injury-filled years with Bill Walton. But they did.
Bulls general manager Rod Thorn (pictured above) had talked extensively with North Carolina coach Dean Smith about Jordan, but the Bulls never brought him in for a pre-draft workout. The Bulls also liked Jordan’s North Carolina teammate Sam Perkins.
Then a young, mustachioed David Stern, in his first year as NBA commissioner, went to the podium and said the words that changed basketball, sports, fashion and the world: “The Chicago Bulls select … Michael Jordan of North Carolina.”