Michael Jeffrey Jordan
Brooklyn, New York) is a former
National Basketball Association player, considered by many to be the
greatest basketball player of all time.
A remarkable force at both
ends of the floor, Jordan ended a career of 15 full
seasons with a regular-season scoring average of 30.12 points per
game, the highest in NBA history (ahead of
Wilt Chamberlain's 30.06). He won six championships, notched 10
scoring titles, and was league
MVP five times. He was named to the All-Defensive
First Team nine times, and led the league in steals three times. In
Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman
of the Year." These and other achievements have persuaded many fans
that Jordan was the best ever to play the game.
University of North
UNC freshman, Jordan was an exciting but not dominant player. He
ended the 1982
year in grand style, hitting the winning shot in the
NCAA championship game against
Georgetown, led by future NBA rival
Patrick Ewing. By his sophomore year, he was clearly the team's
biggest star; as a junior, he was named the national player of the year.
He was selected by the
Chicago Bulls in the first round of the
Draft as the third pick overall.
Jordan played 13
seasons for the
Bulls, generally as a
shooting guard, but his height (6'6", or 1.98 m), skills, and
physical conditioning also made him a versatile threat at
point guard and
small forward. He won six NBA Championships (1991-1993
and was league
MVP five times (1988,
was also named
Rookie of the Year (1985)
and Defensive Player of the Year (1988),
and won the Finals MVP award every year the Bulls reached the
Finals -- a feat not likely to ever be duplicated. He also earned the
elusive MVP triple crown (league, finals, all-star game) twice when he
won All-Star MVP in both 1996 and 1998 (he also won in 1988). Only
Willis Reed (1970)
Shaquille O'Neal (2000)
have won all three MVP awards in the same season. In
also recorded the only triple-double in an All-Star game.
Jordan's coach was
Phil Jackson. He had the following to say about Jordan:
- "The thing
about Michael is he takes nothing for granted. When he first came
into the league in 1984, he was primarily a penetrator. His outside
shooting wasn't up to professional standards. So he put in his gym
time in the off-season, shooting hundreds of shots each day.
Eventually, he became a deadly three-point shooter".
Perhaps weighed down
by the August 1993 murder of his father, Michael retired from basketball
two days before the 1993-94 NBA season, and the Bulls retired his #23
Jordan spent the next
year pursuing a childhood dream: professional baseball. He had an
unspectacular professional baseball career for the
Birmingham Barons, a
Chicago White Sox
team, batting .202 with 3 HR, 51 RBI, 30 SB (tied-5th in Southern
League), 11 errors and 6 outfield assists. He led the club with 11
bases-loaded RBI and 25 RBI with runners in scoring position and two
outs. He was never called up to the majors. Many consider this brief
stab at baseball the only tarnish on his athletic career.
Back To The Bulls
He ended his
by rejoining the Bulls. Because jersey #23 had been retired, he wore
#45, his Barons number. Jordan led the Bulls to the Eastern Conference
Semifinals that year. As he struggled with unaccustomed playoff
difficulty, he broke out his old #23 jersey during a second-round
playoff series against the
Orlando Magic. The switch did not immediately bring him luck, and
the Magic prevailed. But it was back to winning ways the following year,
the Bulls won three consecutive NBA titles between
Jordan retired again
came out of retirement a second time to play for the
Washington Wizards, though his skills were noticeably diminished by
despite an injury-plagued 2001-02
season, he still averaged nearly 23 points per game. Playing through
pain, especially in his knee, he was still an important player for the
Wizards. He returned for the 2002-03
season and averaged 20 points. He played in his 13th and final NBA
All-Star Game in 2002-03.
season was heralded from the beginning as Jordan's final goodbye to his
fans and he retired for the third time at the season's conclusion.
At the beginning of
the 2001-2002 basketball season, Michael Jordan donated his $1 million
salary to help the victims of the
September 11 attacks.
Out of respect for
Jordan's legacy, the
Miami Heat retired his #23 jersey on
even though he never played for the Florida team. It was the first
jersey the Heat retired in their then-15-year history, and it was half
Wizards blue, half Bulls red.
Jordan played on two
gold medal-winning American basketball teams: as a college player in
1984 Summer Olympics, and in the
1992 Summer Olympics as a member of the original "Dream
Team," with other legends such as
Magic Johnson and
Larry Bird. It is often rumored that Jordan kept guard
Isiah Thomas off the roster due to personal differences.
Nonetheless, it was a star-studded roster that cruised through pool play
and the medal round, restoring America to its place atop the basketball
Jordan spent his
Wilmington, North Carolina. He attended Emsley A. Laney High School,
where he was a standout in
baseball, and basketball. At UNC, he
Michael Jordan has
two older brothers, Larry and James R., one older sister, Delores, and
one younger sister, Roslyn.
James R. Jordan is a
Sergeant Major in the 35th Signal Brigade of the
XVIII Airborne Corps in the
U.S. Army. James gained certain celebrity when he announced, at the
age of forty-seven, that he intended to stay in
U.S. occupation ended.
currently lives in
Highland Park, Illinois.
James, was murdered in August
returning from the
of a friend, he pulled over onto the side of an interstate highway in
North Carolina for a nap. Two local criminals killed him and stole
a gift from Michael. The perpetrators made several calls from James'
cell phone and were quickly captured. But James' body was not
immediately identified. Michael and family did not immediately file a
missing persons report, because the elder Jordan frequently took long
trips by himself. By the time a report was filed, James' body had been
cremated per local health laws as a
Jordan is one of the
most marketed sports figures in history. He has been a major spokesman
for such brands as
MCI. He first appeared on
Wheaties boxes in 1988, and acted as their spokesman as well.
Nike created a
signature shoe for him, called the Air Jordan. The hype and
demand for the shoes even brought on a spat of "shoe-jackings" where
young boys were robbed of their sneakers at gunpoint. The innovation of
designer Tinker Hatfield spurred the basketball shoe industry to new
heights. Subsequently Nike spun off the Jordan line into its own
company. Athletes who endorse the company include Ray Allen, Michael
Finley, Derek Anderson, Gary Payton, and Jason Kidd. It has even crossed
over into other sports, with athletes such as Randy Moss, Derek Jeter,
and Roy Jones Jr. wearing Jordan apparel.
He has also been
connected with the
Looney Tunes. A Nike commercial in the
Super Bowl where he and
Bugs Bunny played basketball against some Martians inspired the
Jam, which also starred Michael and the Looney Tunes in a
fictional story set during his first retirement. They have subsequently
appeared together in several commercials for MCI.
After his second
retirement, Jordan formed the MVP.com sports apparel enterprise with
fellow sports greats
Wayne Gretzky and
John Elway in 1999. Unfortunately, it fell victim to the
bust, and the rights to the domain were sold to CBS SportsLine in 2001.
NBA Most Valuable Player Award:
1987-88, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1995-96, 1997-98
NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award:
1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98
NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award:
NBA Rookie of the Year Award:
Naismith College Player of the Year:
John R. Wooden Award:
Adolph Rupp Trophy:
ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year:
- NBA All-Star Dunk
Contest Champion: 1987, 1988