Today in 1984, the Chicago Bulls signed #1 draft pick Michael Jordan. And, they got the greatest basketball player ever at a discount.
Thanks to his ridiculous success as a professional, it’s easy to forget how great MJ was as a college player.
In 1981, as a freshman at North Carolina, Jordan was named ACC Freshman of the Year after he averaged 13.4 points per game on 53.4% shooting. He made the game-winning jump shot in the 1982 NCAA Championship game against Georgetown, which was led by future NBA rival Patrick Ewing. Jordan later described this shot as the major turning point in his basketball career.
In three seasons at North Carolina, he averaged 17.7 ppg on 54.0% shooting, and added 5.0 rpg. He was selected to the NCAA All-American First Team in both his sophomore (1983) and junior (1984) seasons.
After winning the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984, Jordan left North Carolina one year before his scheduled graduation to enter the 1984 NBA Draft. The ChicagoBulls selected Jordan with the third overall pick, after Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets) and Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers).
So I was curious; what did the #3 overall draft pick, and future greatest player ever make during his first year under his rookie contract? $630,000.
Considering inflation, $630,000 in 1984 is like 1, 416,414.63 in 2013 money.
In year two, Jordan made $845,000 dollars, which translates to $1,899,794.23 in 2013.
Jordan made a shade over $90 million dollars in 13 years as a pro. But he made over two thirds of that in two years, earning $30,140,000 in 1996-97 and $33,140,000 in 1997-98.
People talk a lot about how LeBron James, thanks to the current CBA, can never be paid what he is actually worth.
But Michael Jordan set the precedent in that regard, as he did in so many other areas of professional basketball.