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Probably not many people in the world didn’t catch the name that was sung by millions of fans in the mid-1980s and 1990s. Even those who do not like basketball or those who do not watch sports at all know about him. His name is Michael Jordan and belongs to one of the biggest legends of all times. He is a living proof that hard work can fulfil even the biggest dreams.
During the matches, he showed a combination of grace, ferocity, speed and strength. A brief list of his accomplishments includes titles such as Rookie of the Year, 5-time Most Valuable Player, 6-time NBA Champion, 14-time NBA All Star and a full-fledged member of the Hall of Fame. Let’s have a look at the life of one of the best basketball players of all time, who managed to touch the stars.
He wanted to be a winner ever since he was a child
Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on February 17, 1963 in Brooklyn. He grew up in Wilmington and had one competitive advantage in his early childhood. He wanted to win every game he played. Unlike many well-known colleagues, MJ had a stable background as a child. He was the son of mechanic James and bank clerk Deloris. He was introduced to sports by his father, who bought and installed a basketball hoop in their backyard.
Michael spent a lot of free time under the hoop, especially with his older brother Larry. Despite the fact that he was younger at that time, he gradually found a way how to beat his brother and improved his game more and more. He was developing his growing love for sports in high school, where he wanted to join the school basketball team.
He was rejected by the school basketball team
Young Michael was full of enthusiasm, but even that was not enough. The school basketball team turned him down. They said he was too short and they need someone taller. Although he was disappointed with the decision, he wasn’t giving up.
He joined the youth team, where he continued to work on his game and managed to get a spot in the McDonald’s All-American Team. It was a selection of the best high school players. For his increasing performance, he was later given a scholarship which was offered to him at the University of North Carolina.
The year before, he had been part of a basketball camp, where he amazed everyone with a combination of athleticism, speed, intensity and instincts. At the university, a well-known coach Dean Smith, who used to treat rookies as harshly as pros, took him under his wings.
Michael was glad that he was getting a sufficiently demanding training, which was also a challenge. Before long, Jordan became an important part of the university team with the title Freshman of the Year.
NBA – the offer one cannot turn down
Michael’s phenomenal performance was an important part of the NCAA Championship Cup. At that time, his talent could no longer be overlooked. He found himself on the map of young sports stars, ready for the next career steps, inevitably leading to success and fame. During his studies, an offer to the NBA landed on his desk, which confirmed that he was definitely one of the best.
He was drafted into the Chicago Bulls team, which until then showed only average performances. However, this was soon to change with the arrival of Michael. He left college to devote himself fully to basketball. In the meantime, he also got on the Olympic team, where he contributed to winning gold at the Los Angeles Olympics. Then, however, he returned to school and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in geography.
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Sports Illustrated: A Star Is Born
Michael’s success in the NBA was practically instant. He won the Rookie of the Year award and the audience loved him. His basketball skills were quickly noticed by the media. The New York Times called him the phenomenal rookie of the Bulls. He later appeared on the cover of the prestigious Sports Illustrated with the caption: A Star Is Born.
However, even the stars have it hard sometimes. In the All-Star match selection, Michael represented the Eastern Conference team. However, Michael’s team lost the match with the West, which had names like Magic Johnson or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, with a score of 129:140.
‘Frozen out’ by his own teammates
There is also a controversial situation in the run-up to the All-Star game. Several experienced players, led by Isiah Thomas, were angered by the amount of attention directed at Michael Jordan. This led to a situation called ‘freeze-out’, where his teammates refused to pass him the ball and literally ignored him.
However, he was not particularly affected by the incident, and he successfully returned the same season. The success came with the Chicago Bulls team. He returned directly to the starting line-up and began to break records.
With his help, the average Chicago Bulls returned to the playoffs
After Jordan’s arrival, the Bulls were only an average team. But with his help, they gradually began to crawl up. At that point, the head coach Kevin Loughery already knew that he is most likely looking at one of the best players of all times.
However, his rocketing career was momentarily stopped by a broken leg. The doctors’ predictions were not promising at all, but Jordan shocked everyone and recovered from the injury in record time. Then he unleashed a literal point frenzy and started breaking record after record. He earned the nickname Air for his legendary slam dunks, which later became a Nike sub-brand. Forbes magazine estimates that the cooperation with Nike has earned Michael Jordan about $1.3 billion.
He led the Bulls to six titles and beat many records
The Chicago Bulls, with Jordan’s help, went from being an average team to one of the best teams in the NBA. They managed to win six titles, and from 1987 to 1993, Michael Jordan was the NBA’s top scorer. The success of Bulls was mainly attributed to him and his teammate Scottie Pippen.
Fans of this duo were literally at their feet. In the years 91, 92 and 93, they led the Bulls to a hat-trick and won gold 3 times in a row. Jordan himself became three times the most valuable player of the playoff finals and in 91 and 92 also the most valuable player of the entire NBA season.
Leaving the NBA at the peak of his career
In 1993, Bulls seemed to be in the best shape in the history. The team led by Jordan was fully prepared to face all opponents and continue to rewrite the record charts. That year, however, a turning point came and Michael Jordan shocked the world of basketball by declaring that he was ending his professional career at the age of 30.
What happened to Michael Jordan then? It definitely wasn’t the last time we heard from him on the field. After leaving the NBA, he tried a new challenge in the form of baseball, which he pursued for several months. Then came the sobering up and the fans had a huge reason to rejoice. Jordan announced his return to the NBA with a two-word and now legendary press release – “I’m back”. And the pause didn’t hurt him at all.
A triumphant return and even more titles
The Bulls were reinforced the following season by the talented Dennis Rodman. Together with Jordan, they also managed to win the title in seasons 96, 97 and 98. Michael was named the most valuable player of the finals for the fourth time. Thanks to that, he broke the record of another legend – Magic Johnson. He was later placed in the TOP 50 most useful players in history and again announced the end of his career. However, he did not stay completely out of basketball. He became an official at the Washington Wizards club, where he became the President of Basketball Operations.
He was also one of the shareholders. The Wizards were an average team that made no real impact in the world of basketball. That led Michael Jordan to the decision to take a radical step and put on his jersey again. However, he didn’t play many matches for the Washington Wizards due to a knee injury. However, his desire to play was also driven by a noble thought. He donated all his salary to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack.
The last dance in the Washington Wizards jersey
Michael Jordan played his last game of his career on April 16, 2003. It was in the Washington Wizards jersey and his team lost to the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite the loss, Jordan earned applause from the players and a three-minute standing ovation from the entire audience after the match.
One of the best players in the NBA has a rich career behind him, accompanied by many titles. He also successfully collaborated with brands such as McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Hanes and Coca-Cola. He has also starred in several films. Of these, it is worth mentioning the cult comedy Space Jam, where he joined forces with animated characters Looney Tunes for a basketball game. However, the documentary series The Last Dance from Netflix was a huge success as well. It maps his career and the milestones of the Chicago Bulls team in the authentic form of old video recordings.
The richest retired athlete
In 2021, Michael Jordan lives in his house in Florida. He is accompanied by his wife Yvette Prieto and their two daughters. His net worth is estimated at an incredible $1.6 billion, and he can rightly be proud of his title – the richest former athlete in the world. He is still part of a very successful partnership with Nike, which is estimated to have brought him hundreds of millions of dollars.
In addition, he owns The Grove XXIII, a private celebrity golf club. Its members include former US President Barack Obama, legendary golfer Tiger Woods and seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady. Michael Jordan’s property also includes several luxury properties and a network of steakhouses. In addition, he owns a basketball team called Charlotte Bobcats (later renamed the Charlotte Hornets). However, Jordan is also known for giving and using his wealth for philanthropic purposes and to support charity.
What is your opinion on the phenomenal Michael Jordan? Which fact from his life fascinated you the most? If you enjoyed this detailed description of the life of an NBA legend, support us by sharing the article.
 Legends profile: Michael Jordan – https://www.nba.com/history/legends/profiles/michael-jordan
 Basketball Superstar Michael Jordan Born – https://www.ncdcr.gov/blog/2013/02/17/basketball-superstar-michael-jordan-born
 Michael Jordan's Life Before He Became an NBA Star – https://www.biography.com/news/michael-jordan-life-before-nba-early-career
 Chicago Tribune – https://graphics.chicagotribune.com/michael-jordan-timeline/early-blurb.html
 'The Last Dance': Michael Jordan flirted with the idea of playing football instead of baseball in 1993 – https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/the-last-dance-michael-jordan-flirted-with-the-idea-of-playing-football-instead-of-baseball-in-1993/
 History, Heritage & Tradition – https://www.mcdonaldsallamerican.com/aag/en-us/history.html
 Michael Jordan Earns a Basketball Scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – https://worldhistoryproject.org/1981/michael-jordan-earns-a-basketball-scholarship-to-the-university-of-north-carolina-at-chapel-hill
 On this day 36 years ago, the Chicago Bulls drafted Michael Jordan – https://www.dailytarheel.com/article/2020/06/michael-jordan-unc-mens-basketball-1984-nba-draft#:~:text=June%20of%201984%20would%20catapult,10%20rounds%20and%20228%20selections.
 5 superstar athletes who went back to school – https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/27/5-superstar-athletes-who-went-back-to-school.html
 Former Baltimore Bullets Star Kevin Loughery On Coaching Michael Jordan As Rookie – https://pressboxonline.com/2020/04/26/former-baltimore-bullets-star-kevin-loughery-on-coaching-michael-jordan-as-rookie/
 Chicago Bulls History – https://www.nba.com/bulls/history/Chicago_Bulls_History-24393-42.html?nav=ArticleList#8
 Michael Jordan Has Made Over $1 Billion From Nike — The Biggest Endorsement Bargain In Sports – https://www.forbes.com/sites/kurtbadenhausen/2020/05/03/michael-jordans-1-billion-nike-endorsement-is-the-biggest-bargain-in-sports/?sh=6ca991c61363
 WHERE ARE THEY NOW? The other big-name players from Michael Jordan's final NBA game – https://www.businessinsider.com/michael-jordan-final-nba-game-where-are-they-now-2018-4