Michael Jordan As A Rookie: Awards And Accolades

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Credit: Sports Kingdom

Credit: Sports Kingdom

Michael Jordan's talents were never doubted. Right after he made his debut with the UNC Tar Heels, it was pretty clear that he was bound to have a special career in the NBA. Still, perhaps not even the most optimistic Jordan fan thought he'd be that good that fast.

Jordan never took his feet out of the gas. He took the NBA by assault and held no prisoners. He was an outspoken leader on and off the court and made sure even the team veterans lived up by his standards. Either you work your butt off or you get the hell out of here.

Michael was one of the most impactful rookies ever. He put the world on notice right away and finished close to the top in pretty much every single major award. Today, we're going to let you know about his historically great rookie year:

Rookie Of The Year


Jordan averaged 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.4 steals per game on 51.5% shooting during his rookie year. He played all 82 games and averaged 38.3 minutes per game, and looked like a veteran even among the deadliest defenders in the league.

Moreover, Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to a 38-44 record, which was significantly better than the 27-55 they had prior to his arrival to the league. That's why he finished ahead of Hakeem Olajuwon for the Rookie of the Year award.

2nd Team All-NBA Selection

Michael Jordan

It's not usual at all to have a rookie make it to one of the All-NBA Teams and, honestly, Jordan could have been a part of the 1st team and no one would have complained. He joined Terry Cummings, Ralph Sampson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Sidney Moncrief in the 2nd team instead.

The All-NBA 1st team featured nothing but future Hall of Famers that year. Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Moses Malone, and Bernard King were the ones to make the cut, so yeah, the league was pretty stacked back in the day.

2nd In The League In PER

(via CBS Sports)

(via CBS Sports)

Michael Jordan was always a synonym to efficiency. He truly knew how to make the most of every single touch he had, and that was like that even in his first year in the league when he finished in 2nd in PER (25.85), trailing only Larry Bird (26.54)

To make his rookie season even more impressive, we have to consider the fact that Jordan actually had a higher PER than legends and veterans of the likes of Bernard King (25.21), Magic Johnson (23.19), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (22.94), and Moses Malone (22.53)

3rd In League In PPG

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

As we mentioned before, the greatest player of all time, averaged 28.2 points per game during his rookie season. He did that on 51.5% from the floor and 84.5% from the free-throw line. To make it even more impressive, he only took 52 three-pointers that season (scoring 9).

 Credit: Basketball-Reference

Credit: Basketball-Reference

Jordan scored a league-leading 2,313 total points throughout his rookie season, more than Larry Bird, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bernard King, Moses Malone, Dominique Wilkins, and Alex English. Even so, Bernard King's average of 32.9 points per game took the Scoring title away from him.

6th Place In MVP Voting

(via CBS Sports)

(via CBS Sports)

It was pretty clear that Jordan was going to win multiple MVPs throughout his career. And, honest to God, he could have even been higher in the MVP voting during his first year but hey, like all great rookies, he had to earn his stripes first.

Jordan finished in 6th in MVP voting with 134 total points and 2 first-place votes. Ahead of him were Terry Cummings, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Moses Malone, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, who won the award with 73 first-place votes and 763 total points.

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