While there was no denying Michael Jordan's talent when he was preparing to enter the NBA, no one expected him to become what he ended up becoming: the greatest of all time. Jordan entered as part of the 1984 NBA Draft class, including legends like Hakeem Olajuwon and Charles Barkley.
The focus was primarily on Hakeem Olajuwon, who many expected to dominate the NBA from the get-go. And while Jordan was considered supremely talented, thanks to a stint at UNC where. he won a national championship, it was his size that held him back to the third overall pick in the draft.
That's not to say that expectations were not high for Jordan. He was considered a game-changing athlete, and someone who could have a lot of success in the NBA. The Chicago Bulls selected him with the third overall pick, and it is the best draft pick in the history of the Bulls or any franchise in the NBA.
Jordan was being hyped up in the months leading up to his debut. He famously missed the NBA Draft night, as he was an Indiana trying to get selected for Team USA at the Olympics. And magazine covers from those months show just how highly touted Jordan was.
One magazine even dubbed him 'The Next Dr. J', a reference to Julius Erving, who was one of the best players in NBA history, famous for his incredible dunking ability. MJ had built a reputation for himself as one of the best dunkers in the collegiate game, and that was carrying over into the NBA.
Despite the high expectations for him, Jordan surpassed all of them. On the day of his debut, Jordan signed his first Nike sneaker contract and went on to have a great debut. Jordan went on to become the greatest player of all time, winning 6 NBA championships during the 1990s, and never losing a single NBA Finals.