It was 32 years ago on this date that a rookie sensation by the name of Michael Jordan made his first of what would end up being a total of 14 All-Star Game appearances. The game was held in Indianapolis, and even though Jordan was the new kid on the block he was very quickly cementing his name into the record books.
The night before Jordan was part of what many believe to be the best slam dunk contest in history. The star-studded list of competitors included Clyde Drexler, Julius Irving, and of course Dominque Wilkins. Even though it was his first contest, it surely wasn’t the first time Jordan logged some air time. He went out and put on quite the show and ended up making it to the final round after getting the highest overall score in the semifinal. This was thanks to his first time pulling off his free throw line dunk. It was looking as if “Air Jordan” was going to come out victorious but then Dominque Wilkins put the rookie in his place. And in a spectacular your fashion, if I might add. He put on a clinic that received perfect scores from two of the three judges giving him a near perfect score of 147.
Jordan was selected to compete in the also famous 1986 contest but unfortunately had to sit out due to an injury. That’s when Spud Webb edged out Dominque by just two points after scoring a perfect score of 100 (only 2 judges) in the final round. Jordan hoped to get his rematch the following year but this time it was Dominique that wasn’t able to play. He went out claimed his first slam dunk contest victory and had to wait until the 1988 contest for the high-flying showdown. It was a duel of the titans throughout the entire contest that included now famous dunks like Jordans jump from the free throw line. In the end, Jordan came out on top in the final round, including a perfect score of 50 and finally claimed his revenge against Dominque with a score of 147-145.
“Air Jordan” would never return to the contest even though he was elected and participated in ten more all-star games. In creating this article, I attempted to locate the reason Jordan didn’t compete. So naturally, I speculated that it was because he had accomplished what he needed to do in that regard and shown the entire world why he’s the greatest and why the nickname “Air Jordan” is so fitting.