Michael Jeffery Jordan is the most respected name in the world of basketball. Born on February 17, 1963, in New York City, Jordan was responsible for making National Basketball Association or the NBA famous, during the 1980s and 1990s. He is the fourth child of his parents, James R. Jordan, Sr. and Deloris Jordan.
He developed his interest for basketball and baseball in Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington. Initially he was rejected because of his inadequate height. Jordan grew from 5′ 11” to 6′ 3” in just few months with the help of intensive training to get into the basketball team. He got a basketball scholarship in 1981 from the University of North Carolina because of his impressive records in schools. In the 1982 NCAA Championship game he made the game winning jump shot, which he describes as the major turning point in his career as a basketball sportsman.
He started his professional career in 1984 by joining NBA’s Chicago Bulls. He immediately became a public image by his well-known scoring and leaping skills. Just after a month after his joining, Jordan was featured on the cover page of Sports Illustrated with the title ‘A Star is Born’. He was nicknamed Air Jordan after his airiness when he performed the famous slam-dunk from the foul line. He got his first NBA championship in the year 1991 and became a well-known defensive player after that. He made a hat trick by winning the NBA championship consecutively three times from 1991-1993.
In October 1993, he took a temporarily retired from basketball, to pursue his interest in baseball and also because he lost interest in basketball due to his father’s murder the same year, to join back in 1995 again. He made a hat trick again by winning the NBA championships from 1196-1998. He took a break again in 1999 to returned back again in 2001, but this time he joined the Washington Wizards. He played with the team till 2003.
A day before a match against the New York Knicks, Michael Jordan was seen gambling in the Atlantic City. A year before, he said to have lost $ 57,000 in gambling. When asked about this on a television channel, he said that he would never risk his family and career to gambling.
Jordan was part of two Olympic gold medal winning American basketball teams. His team won the first gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics and the second one was in the 1992 Summer Olympic games. He set a record in NBA by making the highest career regular season scoring average of 30.1 points per game.
On a lighter note, Michael Jordan was a hot name in the world of advertisement. Some of the brands, which used his name, are Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Gatorade, Hanes, Ball Park Franks, etc. Nike made a signature for Jordan named the Air Jordan. He was shown in the Looney Tones Cartoon, which also made him appear in the feature film “Space Jam” in 1996. The name Air Jordan itself became a great marketing tool. The television ratings increased rapidly when his match was aired and every time he left the team, it would automatically lower.
His third retirement was the final retirement after which he played golf in various charity tournaments. He even started his line of clothing named after him. He was made the managing member of Basketball operations of the Charlotte Bobcats in June 2005 and is still working with them till the current date. He has two sons, Jeffery Michael and Marcus James, and one daughter, Jasmine, from his marriage to Juanita Vanoy.
His individual achievements are fourteen NBA All-Star Game appearances, ten All-NBA First Team Designations, ten scoring titles, nine All-Defensive First Team Honors, five NBA Most Valuable Player Awards, three stealing titles, and the NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award in 1988. ESPN named him the Greatest North America Athlete of the 20th century in 1999. Jordan is one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History.