With the premiere of “The Last Dance”, basketball from the 80s and 90s is back in the spotlight, mainly based on what the Chicago Bulls by Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Phil Jackson and company. It is usually located at the beginning of this period in 1984, when MJ was chosen by the Bulls with pick 3 of the first round. However, that almost does not happen and the story could have been very different.
This was stated Red Thorn, who was the GM of the Bulls in 1984 and was the man with the final decision on whom to draft. Jordan came to the NBA after completing his university period and about to play the Olympics, but nobody believed that he was the best prospect, but that all the lights pointed to Hakeem Olajuwon. This thought was also in the mind of Thorn, who in the documentary stated that “Olajuwon would have been the first pick of anyone he chose, including me.”
After seeing how two centers as Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie were chosen, the Bulls in the third pick chose Jordan, despite the fact that the franchise was looking for a center. Even on that night of the draft, Thorn said, “We wish Jordan was a seven-footer, but he just isn’t,” recalling that height was critical to playing in the NBA at the time.
Following the draft, Jordan went out at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, earning the gold medal and beginning to increase in popularity among Americans. After MJ’s first season, Thorn was fired, and in his place came Jerry Krause, the architect and worst enemy of the team that brought Jordan to the ultimate glory of basketball.