Skip to main content

Why rookie Michael Jordan found his transition from college to the NBA "pretty easy"

Michael Jordan

If he made the transition from college to the big leagues, look effortless, maybe because it was.

In his rookie season in the NBA, Michael Jordan averaged a whopping 28.2 points per game (51.5 percent from the field), 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 2.4 steals. If he made the transition from college to the big leagues, look effortless, maybe because it was.

Transition to the NBA was easy for Jordan

An interview from 1984 reveals Jordan admitting that the adjustment from amateur to a professional ball was "pretty easy."

He didn't credit his supreme mastery of the sport as the main reason for his dominance. Young Mike was humble, unassuming, and knew precisely why it was a relatively seamless transition for him. Before donning the Chicago Bulls jersey, Jordan represented his country in the Olympics. And from his experience, the physicality of the games mimicked that of the NBA.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

"It's been pretty easy. I think the Olympics was kind of pre-professional. It was face-paced, physical, and that's just the NBA game. Coming into this level is a brand new start for me. Start from the bottom and work my way up. I think the hard work is ahead of me and I'm willing to take the challenge and go out the best I can," Jordan said.

Bob Knight and Dean Smith played a big role

Jordan also credited his college coaches Bob Knight and Dean Smith for honing his game. From his observation, the two coaches were on the opposite ends of the pole regarding their coaching style. Knight, the head coach on the 1984 Olympics Team, was the "hard type" who pushed his players to the limit. Smith, who coached Jordan in North Carolina, was the "mild type" who utilized all sorts of psychological methods to his players.

Interestingly, Jordan's penchant for hogging the ball — a criticism that followed him in his first few years — was already noticed by his first NBA coach Kevin Loughery. According to Jordan, Loughery reminded him several times that it is a team game and he should trust his other teammates rather than trying to do everything himself.

In his rookie year, Jordan powered the Bulls into the playoffs as the seventh seed. It was the first time in three years that the franchise got a taste of the postseason. The Bulls got booted out by the Milwaukee Bucks. Yes, it was heartbreaking. But it was good proof that the franchise were correct in picking Jordan as their third overall pick. 

Kevin Love and Dwayne Wade confirm that LeBron James is the cheapest guy in the NBA

Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade confirmed that LeBron James is the cheapest guy in the NBA

Kevin Love and Dwyane Wade are a puzzled at how cheap LeBron James is.

We're entering the Luka Doncic-Jayson Tatum era, and Jimmy Butler and Steph Curry hope to postpone the invetable

We are entering the Luka Doncic, Jayson Tatum era, and Steph Curry and Jimmy Butler hope to postpone the inevitable

The performances of Luka Doncic and Jayson Tatum tell us they are going to be good for a very long time. Meanwhile, Steph Curry and Jimmy Butler are going to do everything to postpone the young stars' ascension to superstardom

anthony-edwards-chris-paul-min

Anthony Edwards bashes the Suns after Game 7: "They were talking so much sh*t. This is a disgrace!"

LeBron also warned the Suns to pipe down last year: "Stay humble.. You was at home a year and a half ago. Now you wanna pop off."

deandre-ayton-monty-williams-min

Monty Williams on Deandre Ayton playing only 17 minutes: "It's internal."

This sounds like the Suns as we know them are falling apart.

Damian Lillard reaveals one guy he'd like to team up with

Damian Lillard opens up about the player he dreams to team up with

Maybe there's a universe where Dame Lillard finally realizes that the Blazers won't go anywhere given their mediocrity over the last decade

Chris Paul after a Game 7 loss to the Dallas Mavericks

Phoenix Suns collapse in embarrassing 33-point blowout loss to the Dallas Mavericks

The Suns, who were the best team regular season team in the NBA (standing-wise), showed no fight, no heart, and no execution in Game 7

NBA reacts to a Mavs blowout win against the Suns

NBA Community reacts to the Dallas Mavericks blowout win against the Phoenix Suns

The NBA community was astonished by the Mavs blowout win against the Suns behind another great performance from Luka Doncic