Michael Jordan (1963–present)

Michael Jordan, the renowned basketball icon, guided the Chicago Bulls to a staggering six NBA championship victories, while also securing the coveted MVP Award a remarkable five times.

Table of Contents:

  • Recent Developments: Hornets Sale Finalized by Michael Jordan
  • Michael Jordan – An Overview
  • Key Details
  • Early Life and Family Background
  • University Years
  • Career in Professional Basketball
  • Jordan’s Numbers on the Jersey
  • Participation in the Olympics
  • Accolades and Recognitions
  • Statistics Overview
  • Retirement from Basketball Stints
  • Exploring Baseball
  • Entrepreneurial Endeavors of Jordan
  • Philanthropy Work
  • Spouses and Offspring
  • Michael Jordan’s Influence in Pop Culture
  • Notable Quotes

Latest News: Michael Jordan Completes Sale of Hornets

It was confirmed that Michael Jordan, the celebrated basketball figure, has concluded the sale of his predominant stake in the Charlotte Hornets NBA team on August 3. The team’s acquisition amounted to an impressive $3 billion, significantly surpassing the initial purchase price of $275 million back in 2010. Throughout Jordan’s ownership, the Hornets managed to secure playoff berths merely three times. “I anticipate the team’s promising future and will persist in backing the organization and the community in my renewed role over the forthcoming years,” stated Jordan, who retains a minority interest in the franchise.

Who Is Michael Jordan?

Michael Jordan, an ex-professional basketball player, American Olympic competitor, entrepreneur, and actor, is renowned as one of the most exceptional basketball players in history, having left an indelible mark on the sport from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. Leading the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championship victories, Jordan secured the league’s MVP Award on five occasions. His collection of five regular-season MVPs and three All-Star MVPs solidified his position as the most decorated player in the NBA.

Facts at a Glance

  • FULL NAME: Michael Jeffrey Jordan
  • BIRTH DATE: February 17, 1963
  • PLACE OF BIRTH: Brooklyn, New York
  • SPOUSES: Juanita Vanoy (1989–2006), Yvette Prieto (2013–present)
  • CHILDREN: Jeffrey, Marcus, Jasmine, Ysabel, and Victoria
  • ZODIAC SIGN: Aquarius

Early Life and Family

Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, on February 17, 1963. Deloris, his mother, served as a bank teller and later became an author of multiple books. James, his father, initially worked as a maintenance worker but eventually assumed a managerial position at General Electric. Jordan, who was the fourth child of Deloris and James, grew up alongside four siblings: James Jr. (often referred to as Ronnie), Deloris, Larry, and Roslyn.

Raised in Wilmington, North Carolina, Jordan cultivated a fierce competitive spirit from a young age. It was his father James who initially introduced him to baseball and constructed a basketball court in their backyard. Michael held his brother Larry in high regard, often engaging in intense one-on-one matchups that would extend late into the evening. He maintained an unwavering determination to emerge victorious in every game he participated in.

Jordan pursued his education at Laney High School in Wilmington, where he was initially placed on the school’s junior varsity basketball team during his sophomore year when he stood at less than 6 feet tall. However, he underwent significant growth and development, eventually emerging as one of the nation’s top prospects.

In the summer of 1980, during a basketball camp, Jordan’s remarkable skills captured the attention of the revered head coach of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dean Smith, and his coaching staff. Subsequently, he committed to the university by signing his letter of intent in 1981.

College Career

In 1981, Jordan commenced his studies at North Carolina and swiftly established himself as a vital asset to the university’s basketball squad. UNC clinched the NCAA Division I championship in 1982, with Jordan securing the crucial basket that led to victory against Georgetown University. His exceptional performance earned him recognition as the NCAA College Player of the Year in both 1983 and 1984.

Departing college after his junior year, Jordan entered the NBA in 1984. Despite his professional basketball commitments, he managed to complete his bachelor’s degree in geography in 1986.

Professional Basketball Career

Credit By: biography.com

Standing at 6-foot-6, Jordan embarked on his professional basketball journey after being chosen by the Chicago Bulls in the 1984 draft. Positioned as the third overall pick, he followed Hakeem Olajuwon, selected by the Houston Rockets as the first pick, and Sam Bowie, secured by the Portland Trail Blazers. This particular draft class also boasted renowned athletes such as John Stockton and Charles Barkley.

Jordan promptly demonstrated his prowess on the basketball court, aiding the Bulls in securing a spot in the playoffs while maintaining an impressive average of 28.2 points per game in his debut season. As a result of his outstanding performance, he garnered the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and secured a place in the All-Star Game.

Despite facing setbacks due to injury in his second season, Jordan achieved groundbreaking success during the 1986-87 season. He became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to exceed 3,000 points in a single season. As the late 1980s unfolded, the Chicago Bulls rapidly evolved into a formidable team, with Jordan serving as a pivotal driving force behind their triumphs.

In 1990, the Bulls advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, ultimately clinching their first NBA championship the following year by triumphing over the Los Angeles Lakers. By then, Jordan had already gained widespread recognition for his exceptional athletic abilities on the court and his remarkable leadership skills.

In 1992, the Chicago Bulls secured their second NBA championship by defeating the Portland Trail Blazers, following it up with a third championship the subsequent year, cementing their dominance in the basketball sphere.

After the passing of his father in 1993 and a brief venture into minor league baseball, Jordan made his comeback to both the Bulls and the basketball court in March 1995. The subsequent year saw him returning even more resilient, achieving an average of 30.4 points per game and leading the Bulls to a then-unmatched record of 72 regular-season victories, culminating in their triumph over the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA championship.

In 1996-97, Chicago nearly replicated their previous year’s success with 69 wins, concluding the season with a Game 6 triumph over the Utah Jazz in the NBA Finals. The two teams once again clashed for the championship in 1998, with Jordan sealing the victory with a decisive shot in Game 6, marking his sixth and final title. Alongside these six championship rings, Jordan secured each of his five league MVP awards during his time with Chicago.

Following his second retirement from basketball in 1999, Jordan assumed the role of part owner and president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards in 2000. However, in the fall of 2001, he relinquished these positions to make a return to the court. He concluded his professional basketball career with the Washington Wizards, playing for the team during his last two NBA seasons.

Jordan’s Jersey Numbers

Throughout the majority of his illustrious career, Jordan was famously recognized for sporting No. 23. He once revealed that the number was a tribute to his brother Larry, being approximately half of Larry’s high school number, which was 45.

Upon his comeback to the NBA in 1995, Jordan briefly opted for the number 45, as it was the identifier his late father associated with him, signifying a fresh start. However, this alteration lasted merely a couple of months before he reverted to his iconic No. 23 during the 1995 playoffs.

On February 14, 1990, Jordan notably donned No. 12 for a single game due to his jersey being stolen. Despite the temporary change, his performance remained unaffected, as he managed to score an impressive 49 points in a game against the Orlando Magic, albeit in a losing effort.

Olympics

In the summer of 1984, Jordan participated in the Olympic Games for the first time as a part of the U.S. Olympic basketball team. During the Los Angeles-held games, the team of college amateurs secured the gold medal.

Subsequently, Jordan played a pivotal role in aiding the American team to attain the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. Notably, that year marked the debut of professional players on the U.S. squad, with renowned figures such as Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Jordan himself, leading the team to be famously dubbed the “Dream Team.”

Awards and Honors

In 1988, Jordan was granted his inaugural MVP Award from the NBA, a distinction he would go on to secure four more times, in 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998.

In April 2009, Jordan attained one of basketball’s most prestigious accolades as he was formally inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Reflecting on the induction ceremony, Jordan expressed mixed emotions, highlighting that being present at such an event signaled the definitive conclusion of his basketball career.

In 2016, Jordan was honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama, marking a remarkable acknowledgment of his significant contributions to the sport and beyond.

Career Average Statistics

  • Minutes: 38.3
  • Field Goal Percentage: 49.7%
  • 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: 32.7%
  • Free Throw Percentage: 83.5%
  • Offensive Rebounds Per Game: 1.6
  • Defensive Rebounds Per Game: 4.7
  • Assists Per Game: 5.3 Steals Per Game: 2.3
  • Blocks Per Game: 0.8
  • Turnovers Per Game: 2.7
  • Personal Fouls Per Game: 2.6
  • Points Per Game: 30.1

Career Total Records

  • Games: 1,072
  • Games Started: 1,039
  • Minutes: 41,011
  • Field Goals Made: 12,192 out of 24,537 attempts
  • 3-Point Field Goals Made: 581 out of 1,778 attempts
  • Free Throws Made: 7,327 out of 8,772 attempts
  • Offensive Rebounds: 1,668
  • Defensive Rebounds: 5,004
  • Total Rebounds: 6,672
  • Assists: 5,633
  • Steals: 2,514
  • Blocks: 893
  • Turnovers: 2,924
  • Personal Fouls: 2,783
  • Points: 32,292

Retirements from Basketball

Throughout his extensive 19-year professional career, Jordan announced his retirement from the sport on three separate occasions. His initial departure occurred on October 6, 1993, at the age of 30, as he opted to explore a career in baseball subsequent to the tragic death of his father. In July of the same year, James Jordan was tragically murdered, with his body discovered in a swamp in McColl, South Carolina, 23 days after he went missing. The culprits, two teenagers, were eventually apprehended, tried, and convicted of first-degree murder, subsequently receiving life sentences for their heinous act.

Jordan temporarily retired from the Bulls once more on January 13, 1999, at the age of 35, before eventually making a comeback with the Washington Wizards. Ultimately, at the age of 40, he decisively bid farewell to his basketball career on April 16, 2003, marking the definitive conclusion of his time on the court.

Baseball

In a surprising turn of events following the culmination of the 1992-93 basketball season, Jordan created a stir by declaring his retirement from basketball to pursue a career in baseball. From 1994, for a duration of one year, Jordan took to the field as an outfielder for the Birmingham Barons, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.

This significant choice transpired in the aftermath of the tragic murder of Jordan’s father, who had long harbored the desire to see his son excel in baseball. Notably, Jordan’s last participation in baseball had been during his senior year of high school back in 1981.

“You tell me I can’t do something, and I’m going to do it,” expressed Jordan, highlighting his characteristic determination.

Despite his brief stint in baseball, which many enthusiasts perceived as a fleeting endeavor, Jordan struggled with a relatively modest batting average of .202. Nonetheless, individuals who collaborated with him during this period emphasized his unwavering commitment and recognized his underlying potential as a player.

“He possessed an impressive combination of talent, potential, and an unyielding work ethic. He consistently displayed respect for the game and a genuine consideration for his teammates,” remarked former Barons manager Terry Francona. “Of course, there was much for him to grasp. I firmly believe that with an additional 1,000 at-bats, he could have made it. Nevertheless, there’s more to that season than just baseball. Jordan rediscovered something profound – his passion for competition. We rekindled his desire to play basketball again.”

Subsequent to his time with the Barons, Jordan extended his baseball journey to the Arizona Fall League, donning the jersey of the Scottsdale Scorpions. With a batting average of .252 and self-identifying as the team’s “worst player,” he eventually re-entered the NBA in March 1995, marking his return with a concise two-word press release: “I’m back.”

Jordan’s Business Ventures

Beyond his illustrious basketball career, Jordan has actively engaged in numerous lucrative business and commercial endeavors, most notably his enduring association with Nike. In 1984, Jordan inked his initial contract with Nike, a pivotal move that laid the groundwork for the introduction of the iconic Air Jordan basketball sneakers in 1985. Initially, Nike generously offered Jordan a 25 percent share in royalties as part of the agreement.

The Air Jordan brand swiftly gained immense popularity, and even after more than three decades, it continues to reign as a top-seller for the renowned apparel manufacturer. This collaboration has proven to be immensely profitable for both Nike and Jordan, with the Air Jordan line contributing significantly to Nike’s reported revenue of nearly $2.9 billion in 2018.

The narrative chronicling Jordan’s association with Nike has become the central theme of the 2023 biographical drama “Air,” featuring Ben Affleck in the role of Nike founder Phil Knight and Matt Damon portraying marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro.

Throughout his career, Jordan has entered into numerous endorsement agreements with various brands, including Hanes, Upper Deck, Gatorade, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, and Wheaties. Particularly notable is his collaboration with Gatorade, which featured a memorable advertising campaign encouraging people of all ages to “Be Like Mike.”

In 1998, Jordan ventured into the restaurant industry, becoming the proprietor of Michael Jordan’s The Steak House N.Y.C. Exemplifying Jordan’s distinctive taste and style, this classic steakhouse boasted a seating capacity of 150 individuals and 60 at the bar, encompassing an impressive 7,000 square feet within Grand Central Terminal, until its closure in late 2018.

As of April 2023, there exist four Michael Jordan’s Steak House locations, situated in Chicago, Oak Brook, Illinois, the Mohegan Sun casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, and the Ilani Casino in Ridgefield, Washington.

Part Owner of the Charlotte Hornets

In 2006, Jordan acquired a share of the Charlotte Hornets (formerly recognized as the Bobcats) and assumed a position within the team’s executive leadership as the managing member of basketball operations. By 2010, he had ascended to the role of majority owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.

Elevating the team’s performance appeared to be Jordan’s foremost objective. In November 2012, he affirmed to ESPN, “I don’t foresee stepping away from this business. My competitive spirit compels me to strive for success. It’s often said that when I encounter an obstacle, I will persist until I overcome it.” Despite the Hornets’ lackluster on-court achievements—enduring a six-season playoff drought from 2016 to 2022—the organization’s value surged from $175 million in 2006 to an impressive $1.7 billion by October 2022.

According to an ESPN report in March 2023, Jordan engaged in negotiations to divest his majority stake in the franchise to a consortium led by two NBA minority owners. Subsequently, on August 3, Jordan finalized the sale to a group inclusive of the team’s minority owner, Gabe Plotkin, along with acclaimed music artists J. Cole and Eric Church. Jordan retained a minority interest in the franchise.

Jordan’s NASCAR Team

Credit By: biography.com

In 2020, Jordan collaborated with NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin to establish the 23XI Racing team, deriving its name from Jordan’s iconic basketball number and Hamlin’s No. 11 race car.

Being a devoted NASCAR enthusiast, Jordan grew up watching esteemed figures in the sport such as Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, and Dale Earnhardt. Hamlin, on the other hand, is both a Jordan brand athlete and a devoted fan of the Charlotte Hornets, fostering a pre-existing friendship between the two before their joint venture in NASCAR.

The team made its debut in the 2021 Daytona 500, featuring Bubba Wallace behind the wheel of the No. 23 car. Later in the season, Wallace secured the team’s first NASCAR Cup victory on October 4 at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama.

For the 2022 season, the team expanded to encompass two cars, with former champion Kurt Busch taking charge of the No. 45 car. During the season, both Busch and Wallace each secured victories at Kansas Speedway. Moving into the 2023 season, Tyler Reddick took over the No. 45 car, promptly adding a fourth race win for the team at the Circuit of the Americas.

Charity

Between 2001 and 2014, Jordan spearheaded a yearly charitable golf event recognized as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, with the generated proceeds contributing to various foundations, such as Make-A-Wish, Cats Care, the James R. Jordan Foundation, Keep Memory Alive, and Opportunity Village.

The multi-day tournament and festivity drew the participation of numerous renowned personalities, including Wayne Gretzky, Michael Phelps, Chevy Chase, Samuel L. Jackson, and Mark Wahlberg, among others.

In 2023, Jordan marked his 60th birthday by making a generous donation of $10 million to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, thus creating the most substantial individual contribution in the history of the foundation.

Wives and Children

In 1989, Jordan entered matrimony with Juanita Vanoy, with whom he shared three children: Jeffrey, Marcus, and Jasmine. However, their union came to an end after 17 years, culminating in a divorce in December 2006.

Subsequently, on April 27, 2013, Jordan tied the knot with Yvette Prieto, a 35-year-old Cuban American model, in Palm Beach, Florida. Notable celebrities, including Tiger Woods, Spike Lee, and Patrick Ewing, were reportedly present at the wedding ceremony. In February 2014, the couple joyously welcomed twin daughters named Victoria and Ysabel into their family.

Both of Jordan and Juanita’s sons, Jeffrey and Marcus, pursued basketball during their collegiate years, harboring aspirations of making it to the NBA. Jeffrey became a member of the basketball team at the University of Illinois in 2007, with both Jordan and Juanita providing unwavering support and guidance to help him navigate the challenges of competing in the shadow of an NBA legend. Following a three-season stint at the University of Illinois from 2007 to 2010, Jeffrey transitioned to the University of South Florida for the 2011-2012 season before ultimately retiring from basketball. He subsequently enrolled in a management training program at Nike.

Meanwhile, Marcus, Jordan’s younger son, played basketball for the UCF Knights for three seasons spanning from 2009 to 2012. He eventually ventured into the establishment of a basketball shoe and apparel store in Florida. Reflecting on their aspirations, Juanita remarked in 2013, “They wanted to be like their dad. What boy doesn’t? But they both got to a point where they said, ‘We’re not going to the NBA.

Michael Jordan in Pop Culture

Credit By: biography.com

In 1996, Jordan took on the starring role in the highly acclaimed movie Space Jam, creating a significant impact with his performance. The film skillfully blended live action with animation, showcasing Jordan alongside the beloved Looney Tunes characters, including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. However, Jordan did not make an appearance in the 2021 sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy, which starred LeBron James in the lead role.

Jordan and the 1997-98 Bulls served as the focal point of the 2020 documentary The Last Dance, a collaborative effort between Netflix and ESPN Films. ESPN broadcasted the 10-part series following the suspension of the 2019-20 NBA season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, capturing the attention of basketball enthusiasts worldwide. Alongside archival footage of Jordan and interviews with his teammates and rivals, The Last Dance delved into the tensions between the Bulls’ management and their unparalleled superstar during his final triumphant season with the team.

Furthermore, Jordan has graced the cover of the widely popular NBA 2K video game franchise on four separate occasions, with his most recent appearance being in 2022.

A photograph depicting Jordan in tears during his induction into the Hall of Fame in 2009 sparked the creation of the widely recognized internet meme known as “Crying Jordan.” The meme involves superimposing Jordan’s emotional expression onto pictures of other individuals experiencing various mishaps, resulting in its widespread circulation across the internet.

Reference

https://www.biography.com/athletes/michael-jordan

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Michael-Jordan

https://www.forbes.com/profile/michael-jordan

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