May 16th, 1985: Michael Jordan Wins Rookie of the Year

Even the Greatest of All Time had to start at square one upon his entrance to the NBA. Sure he was a star in the NCAA but as we all know that never guarantees similar success in the pros, so Michael Jordan had something to prove in his 1984-85 rookie season. Prove it he did, and he abandoned square one pretty quickly as it turns out, finishing third in the league in points per game (28.2 with 51.5% shooting on the season), being named a starter for the East in that year’s NBA All-Star Game, and taking the Chicago Bulls to the playoffs for the first time in four years. Those efforts were not unnoticed by the league, who immediately recognized Michael as a rising star and crowned him Rookie of the Year on May 16th, 1985.

And what sneakers did MJ wear during that initial year? The easy answer is of course his initial signature silhouette, the . Heads who really know their history though will recall that Michael actually showed up in the Nike Air Ship, an early spin-off of the ubiquitous Nike Air Force 1, quite a few times as well. Stay with us after the jump for a photo gallery of classic Michael Jordan sneaker moments from that rookie year, as well as a vintage video spot from the award ceremony that went down on this day, May 16th, 27 years ago. Photos: Complex


May 16th, 1985: Michael Jordan Wins Rookie of the Year

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May 16th, 1985: Michael Jordan Wins Rookie of the Year
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May 16th, 1985: Michael Jordan Wins Rookie of the Year
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May 16th, 1985: Michael Jordan Wins Rookie of the Year