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Adam Silver On Watching Michael Jordan And The Bulls Struggling In The 80s: "Michael Was A Phenom But They Weren't Winning... You Felt Like You Were In A Special Club Watching Michael Jordan On Those Teams."

Adam Silver On Watching Michael Jordan And The Bulls Struggling In The 80s: "Michael Was A Phenom But They Weren't Winning... You Felt Like You Were In A Special Club Watching Michael Jordan On Those Teams."

When Michael Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984, the franchise wasn't exactly in great shape. They had made the playoffs just once in 7 years before Jordan got there and the culture of the team was quite poor as well. That's how they got a pick high enough to draft the GOAT and it eventually led them to unprecedented success, but in Jordan's early years, his brilliance wasn't enough to win them much in the playoffs. 

As such, the initial Jordan years were looked at with a fair amount of skepticism, with people suggesting that MJ played for the stats and didn't improve his teammates enough to lead a team to the championship. But the fans in Chicago, the ones that got to see MJ from his very first game, knew that something special was brewing in their city, especially after his ridiculously good 1987-88 season

Adam Silver, the current NBA Commissioner, was in college during those days at the University of Chicago. He was able to see those Jordan years personally at the arena and spoke about how it felt on The Dan Patrick Show. 

(Answer starts at 1:20 minutes)

“Michael was a phenom but they weren’t winning in those early years. You could just go to the old Bulls stadium 10 minutes before the game buy a ticket and go. So used to go with my law school friends. And I remember early days and the Bulls you thought you were experiencing something pre-internet, everything else that no one else sort of understood. You felt like you were in a special club watching Michael Jordan in those teams.”

Michael Jordan and his Bulls lost in the first round of the playoffs in each of their first 3 attempts before they finally won a series against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jordan in his first 4 years of the league averaged a whopping 32.7 points per game though, and there was nothing quite like that anywhere across the league.