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The Emergence of Michael Jordan

It's hard to name a player who had a better rookie season...at least individually.
Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan

Before starting his campaign of winning several championships and becoming the GOAT, MJ was known as the most prolific scorer the league has ever seen since Wilt Chamberlain retired from the game of basketball. Unlike many other young players who need time to get accustomed to the NBA, MJ immediately had an impact on the league.

Amazing start

In 1986-87, Jordan began a string of consecutive NBA scoring titles that would last for seven seasons until his surprise temporary retirement in 1993. He scored a career-high 37.1 points per game and became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to top 3,000 points in a season.

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In November and December, he went on a rampage and rang up 40 points or more in nine straight games. He poured in 58 points against the New Jersey Nets on February 26, then toasted the Atlanta Hawks for 61 on April 16 in a game in which he sank an NBA-record 23 points in a row. Jordan also became the first player in league history to record 200 steals and 100 blocked shots in a season.

Even better second half

Jordan played in the All-Star Game, won the Slam Dunk Championship, and was named to the All-NBA First Team. Despite MJ's all-world performance, the Bulls still couldn't break above the .500 mark. They slipped a notch in the Central Division, finishing fifth with a 40-42 record, and drew Boston in the first round of the playoffs. 

For the second straight year, the Celtics sent the Bulls home with a three-game sweep. Jordan averaged 35.7 points but shot just .417 from the field in that series.
It’s safe to say MJ had some really tough years when entering the league, and it took time for the Bulls' management to assemble a team that was able to compete for a championship.

The rest is history…

Zach Randolph

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Tracy McGrady

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Rick Barry

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Reggie Miller

“When people say they don’t regret it, they’re lying” - Reggie Miller once revealed not winning a ring “burns” him

Miller also opted to remain loyal with the Pacers instead of chasing a ring with the Celtics in 2007.

JJ Redick talks about how he almost got into a fight with a teammate while with the 76ers

“My offseasons were harder than the season... I couldn't do another offseason.” - JJ Redick gets real on why he retired in 2021

While the offseason grind had helped Redick, perhaps his old age made it more difficult to work out like had had before.

Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (right) reacts with forward Mike Miller (18)

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Mike Miller is blazing a trail for other retired players who want to enter the industry, like T-Mac and J.O.