NEW YORK -- Michael Jordan, who led all players in points during one of the most remarkable first-year performances in NBA history, was the runaway winner Thursday in the league's Rookie of the Year voting.
Jordan, the 6-foot-6 guard of the Chicago Bulls, beat out Houston center Akeem Olajuwon in the voting -- 57 to 20 . Jordan and Olajuwon were the only players to receive votes from 78 members of the media, three from each league city and nine members of the national media.
Jordan became only the sixth rookie to lead the league in points scored with 2,313. His average of 28.2 points per game, third best in the league, was the highest for a rookie since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar averaged 28.8 ppg for the Milwaukee Bucks in 1969-70.
Jordan entered the NBA draft after completing his junior year at North Carolina, where he was twice named College Player of the Year. After spending last summer as a leading member of the U.S. Olympic gold medal basketball team, Jordan joined the Bulls as the third draft pick overall.
Picked ahead of Jordan were centers Olajuwon and Sam Bowie of the Portland Trail Blazers.
At the start of the season he was afraid he might not be able to deliver all that the fans wanted.
Jordan, from Wilmington, N.C., broke six Chicago records and led the team in just about every statistical category, including rebounds (534) and assists (837) to take the team to the playoffs for the first time since the 1980-81 season.
'With all the expectations people had, I thought I might be a disappointment,' he said, but added, 'I didn't let that affect my confidence.'
Almost single-handedly Jordan turned the Chicago franchise around. Attendance at Bulls games rose to an average of 11,887. That was up a robust 87 percent over last year.
His popularity extended beyond Chicago. Jordan was voted to start at guard for the East team in the All-Star Game, receiving more votes than Boston's Larry Bird or the 76ers' Julius Erving.
Olajuwon, the Rocket's 7-foot staring center who teamed with last year's Rookie of the Year, Ralph Sampson, ranked fourth in the NBA in rebouding with 11.9 per game and was second in blocked shots with a 2.68 ppg average.