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Michael Jordan Draft Class

Michael Jordan Draft Class: A Deep Dive into the 1984 NBA Draft

Basketball aficionados often hark back to the golden era of the NBA, with one epochal event repeatedly coming up: the 1984 NBA Draft. An unprecedented blend of talent, ambition, and future legends, this draft remains unparalleled in its contribution to the sport. In this detailed guide, we dissect the 1984 NBA Draft, the prodigies it introduced, and the indelible impact it left on basketball’s tapestry.


  • Overview: Understanding the significance of the 1984 NBA Draft.
  • The First Pick: Hakeem Olajuwon’s monumental selection.
  • The Legend: Michael Jordan’s initiation into the NBA.
  • The Underdog: Sam Bowie, the unsung hero.
  • Dynamic Powerhouses: The introductions of Charles Barkley and John Stockton.
  • Ripples in Time: How the ’84 draft class reshaped the NBA’s narrative.

Key Takeaways

  • The 1984 NBA Draft is considered one of the most influential in basketball history.
  • Aside from Michael Jordan, the draft introduced several game-changing players.
  • Teams’ decisions during this draft would shape NBA dynamics for decades to come.

“The 1984 draft wasn’t just about introducing players; it was about sculpting the future of basketball. And boy, did it deliver!”
– Basketball Analyst

1. Overview of the 1984 NBA Draft

The 1984 NBA Draft, held at the Felt Forum in New York, was more than just a recruitment process; it was the birthplace of legends. With unparalleled talent making their debuts, the draft class of ’84 became synonymous with basketball excellence.

2. Hakeem Olajuwon’s Selection as the 1st Overall Pick

While Michael Jordan often steals the limelight, Hakeem “The Dream” Olajuwon’s selection as the first overall pick by the Houston Rockets shouldn’t be overshadowed. His impeccable skill set and unparalleled court vision placed him at the forefront, and rightfully so.

3. Michael Jordan’s Selection by the Chicago Bulls

With the third pick, the Chicago Bulls made what’s arguably the most consequential selection in NBA history. Michael Jordan didn’t just bring his game to the Bulls; he brought an era of dominance, fundamentally reshaping the team’s legacy.

4. Sam Bowie – The Pick Before Jordan

Selected second by the Portland Trail Blazers, Sam Bowie remains one of the draft’s most debated picks. While injuries marred his NBA journey, his undeniable talent and potential made him a noteworthy mention in the class of ’84.

5. Charles Barkley’s and John Stockton’s Entrance

Both Charles Barkley, chosen by the Philadelphia 76ers, and John Stockton, picked by the Utah Jazz, showcased stellar careers. Their unique playstyles and dedication made them stalwarts of the game.

6. The Ripple Effect of the ’84 Draft Class

The introduction of these giants didn’t just influence their respective teams; it set a new standard for NBA drafts. Their legacies, both individual and collective, became the benchmark for future players and draft classes.

7. Surprising Selections and Notable Undrafted Players

Every draft has its share of surprises, and 1984 was no exception. Players like Alvin Robertson and Otis Thorpe, who were chosen later in the draft, would go on to have influential NBA careers. On the flip side, there were notable players who went undrafted but still made their mark in subsequent years.

8. Retrospective Views on Team Decisions and “What Ifs”

The drafting process is as much about strategy as it is about talent. Teams make decisions based on immediate needs, future projections, and sometimes, sheer intuition. In retrospect, the choices made during the ’84 draft, especially by the Portland Trail Blazers, have led to countless “what if” scenarios. What if the Blazers had picked Jordan? Would the NBA landscape look different today?

9. Comparisons with Other Notable Draft Classes

While the 1984 draft class stands tall, other years like 1996 (with Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, and Steve Nash) and 2003 (featuring LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwyane Wade) also boast stellar line-ups. Yet, there’s a unique allure to ’84, a combination of raw talent, future potential, and the overarching narrative it crafted for the NBA.

10. The Broader Impact and Legacy

Beyond individual success stories, the 1984 NBA Draft’s true legacy lies in how it elevated basketball as a sport. It wasn’t just about the games, the scores, or the championships; it was about hope, ambition, and the endless possibilities that the world of basketball presented.


Q: Who were the top three picks of the 1984 NBA Draft?
A: The top three were Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets), Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers), and Michael Jordan (Chicago Bulls).

Q: How many players from the ’84 draft have been inducted into the Hall of Fame?
A: As of 2023, five players from the draft class – Hakeem Olajuwon, Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, and Oscar Schmidt (though not an NBA star, he was drafted in 1984) – have been inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Q: What is the enduring legacy of the 1984 NBA Draft?
A: Beyond the incredible talent it introduced to the NBA, the 1984 draft set new standards for scouting, team strategy, and the broader narrative of basketball. Its influence is felt even today, nearly four decades later.


The 1984 NBA Draft, often hailed as the gold standard of draft classes, is a testament to the game’s ability to craft legends, stories, and dynasties. While the players have long retired, their legacy, the moments they created, and the hope they symbolized will forever remain etched in the annals of basketball


Unearth the Moments of 1984 NBA Draft: A Turning Point

1984 NBA Draft – Wikipedia
Highlights from the 1984 NBA Draft – YouTube

  • By Scott Jones
  • Reviewed By Staff
  • Last Update: October 2023