Michael Jordan (2014)

Michael Jordan (2014)

Michael Jordan (born 17/02/1963) is a Basketball player who attained legendary status in the world of sports through his NBA career. His most remarkable feats span his time at the Chicago Bulls, who he played with for 15 seasons. He is nicknamed ‘Air Jordan’ and ‘MJ’, and he is widely recognized as the best Basketball player of all time. He is currently the most decorated player in the NBA. His awards include being crowned Most Valuable Player in 5 seasons, 3 All-Star game MVP awards, NBA Rookie of the Year and two time Slam Dunk contest champion.

 

Childhood

Jordan was born in Brooklyn, NY. His father, James R Jordan Sr. was an equipment supervisor. With his family, he moved to North Carolina at a young age and was brought up there with his four siblings.

Jordan was competitive at an early age, eager to win every game he played. His father is quoted as saying he had a ‘competition problem’, which meant he was not only competing against other players, but more importantly, himself.

Early Years

In 1981, at age 18 he went on to go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a valued member of the University’s basketball team, and helped them to win the 1982 NCAA Division 1 Championship. In the final, Jordan scored the winning basket against Georgetown U. Continuing to have success as a College player, Jordan was voted the NCAA Player of the Year in both 1983 and 1984.

Jordan’s next success came from the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic games, in which he played for the USA Basketball team. Jordan and his team won gold that year, the first of his two Olympic Gold medals.

NBA Career

Following his success at College and the Olympics, Jordan entered the NBA draft in 1984, one year before his what would have been his graduation at North Carolina. He was picked up by the Chicago Bulls and quickly rose to fame. He scored an average of 28.2 ppg, and was singled out as an up and coming superstar by Sports Illustrated. The amount of attention he received during his first year led to some resentment among older players, which led to a so-called ‘freeze-out’ on Michael Jordan that meant he would not be passed the ball. Unaffected, Jordan helped the Bulls reach the playoffs, which they ultimately did not win. His contribution is reflected in his NBA Rookie of the Year award that he received the same year.

Jordan left college after his junior year to join the NBA. Drafted by the Chicago Bulls, he soon proved himself on the court. He helped the team make it to the playoffs and scored an average of 28.2 points per game that season. For his efforts, Jordan received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was selected for the All-Star Game.

Jordan saw continued success from 1986 onwards, receiving the NBA MVP award in 1988, an honor he would earn another four times. The Chicago Bulls had quickly become a powerhouse thanks to Jordan’s efforts, and in 1991 they won their first NBA Championship. The success continued as the Bulls won the Championship again in 1992 and 1993, and Michael Jordan had become a nation’s favorite and landed a big sponsorship from Nike.

Baseball Stint

Jordan_Scorpions

Jordan playing Baseball

At the end of the 1992-93 season, his father, James R Jordan, was shot by two teenagers who were later convicted of the crime. Michael Jordan then retired from Basketball, stating a loss of desire to play the game, which he later partially attributed to his father’s death.

In 1994, Jordan signed a deal with the Chicago White Sox, and played an outfielder for the Birmingham Barons, an affiliate Minor League team of the White Sox.

 

Return to the NBA

In 1995, just one year later, Jordan returned to the NBA, rejoining the Chicago Bulls. He helped them win the 1995-96 Championship the same year. Away from the court, he also made his appearance in the 1996 film, Space Jam.

With the help of Jordan, the Chicago Bulls were unstoppable, and they went on to win the next two Championships in 1997 and 1998, beating the Utah Jazz in the finals both years. The popularity of Basketball had grown immensely as a result of Jordan’s success, and the 1998 Finals holds the highest television rating of any Finals series in history.

Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson, 1997

Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson, 1997

He annouced his retirement from Professional Basketball for the second time in January 1999.

Washington Wizards

One year on from his retirement, Jordan became a part owner of the Washington Wizards as president of basketball operations. However, after expressing a desire to play the sport again, he joined the team as a player and would see play between 2001-2003. He did not reach the dizzying heights he achieved at the Chicago Bulls, but his status as a hero of the sport brought in many viewers.

 

Legacy

Jordan became an executive at the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006. He became the majority owner of the team in 2010 and currently serves as the team’s chairman. His current goal is to make the team one of big players in the league.

Away from Basketball, Jordan is involved in many other business ventures, including the food and hospitality industry and charity work.