Michael Jeffrey Jordan, born in 1963, is the most recognizable and outstanding players in the world history of the National Basketball Association (NBA). His family lived in Brooklyn for some years. There were five children in the family, three boys and two girls. James Jordan, Michael’s father, was a supervisor at one of the General Electric plants. His mother, Deloris, worked at the bank. When Michael was very young his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina (Gutman, 1991).
In his childhood, his first passion was baseball. His father used to play baseball with Michael, and it helped him to develop a good reaction. His father paid a lot of attention to his children. He taught his children to work hard in order to gain something in this life. Michael was very good at playing baseball and even reached success in this kind of sport. It is worth mentioning that he was greatly influenced by his brother Larry. It was his brother who taught him to play and love basketball. Michael could have never thought that this sport, basketball, would change his future life. Living in a large family, he had an opportunity to play with his brothers and developed a very important character trait that is competitiveness. Every time when he played with his friends or brothers, he tried to be the best. When he was at school, Michael had a desire to become a member of the basketball team, but he was denied because he was too short. He was only 175 centimeters, and it was not enough for him to become the member of the school basketball team. This fact did not affect Michael’s persistence, and he went on practicing basketball. His physical nature helped him solve this problem, and during the summer, he added 10 centimeters needed. As a result, he became the member of the school basketball team together with his elder brother, Larry. Jordan took number 23, and it turned out to become his lucky number. This number accompanied Jordan in the different teams and during his professional basketball career.
Michael was not a very remarkable pupil at school. Sometimes he cut classes in order to improve his basketball skills. Nevertheless, he managed to enter the University of North Carolina due to the sport grant. In the University, Jordan took geography to be his major. He became the member of the University basketball team and received an award in his first year of studying. Michael was recognized as the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Rookie of the Year for 1982.
That year, his team was able to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship, and Michael made the last shot in the match to beat the Georgetown University team for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) championship. He was named as the NCAA Best College player of the Year in 1982 and in 1983. In 1984, Michael Jordan was selected to be the member of the USA Olympic Basketball Team to participate in the Olympic Games which took place in Los Angeles, California. The USA team won the gold medals (Encyclopedia of World Biography).
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Michael Jordan’s NBA carreer started at the moment when he was chosen as the third overall pick during the NBA 1984 Draft by the Chicago Bulls. It was not an outstanding team which drew attention of a lot of fans. Before Michael coming to this team, fans had failed to visit all games which were played at home. The situation changed very tremendously because of Michael Jordan’s splendid play. Fans were astounded when they saw Michael’s playing. It was Michael who made fans visit all games of the Chicago Bulls. He also led his team to the playoffs series against the Milwaukee Bucks where the Bulls lost in four games. In 1987, Michael Jordan added one more trophy to his awards collection. It was the NBA Rookie of the Year, and he was selected to the NBA All-Star Team. During the All-Star weekend, Jordan took place in the slam dunk contest. Michael is well-known for his stunning ability to leap very high. He was able to illustrate his outstanding and glorious slam dunks from the free throw line. Jordan managed to win this contest and gained the nick name Air Jordan or His Airness for such ability.
During the next season 1985-1986, Michael Jordan missed 64 games because of his broken foot. But Jordan did not waste this time. Michael graduated from the University and obtained the Bachelor degree in Geography.
In the 1986-1987 season, Michael came back to prove that the only thing he did really want to do was to win. In the first game of the playoff series against the Boston Celtics, Michael Jordan scored 49 points in the first and 63 points in the second game. This became the most outstanding NBA playoff record during the whole history of this association. It should be stressed that this record, 63 points per game in the playoff series, has remained unbeatable up to the present time (NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition; Bradly & Grasso). He also established one more record during that season. In a single season, Jordan managed to score 3000 points.. It was a magnificent success for Michael Jordan and his future career. He again was nominated to be the player of the All-Star Basketball Game after he had gained 1.5 million votes of his fans. The Chicago Bulls failed and could not go farther as the first playoff series till 1988. Jordan tried to improve his defensive abilities and did succeed in aiming his goal. That year turned out to be very generous and brought Michael many awards. He was named as the League Most Valuable Player (MVP) and the Defensive Player of the Year. After he had participated in the All-Star Game, he was recognized as the Most Valuable Player of the All-Star Game.
During the 1988-1989 and 1989-1990 seasons, the Chicago Bulls approached their first title. Changes are an inevitable part of every team life, and the Chicago Bulls were not an exception in this case. The previous coach, Doug Collins, had left, and Phil Jackson, the new one, was hired to train and create an outstanding team. Jackson proposed a new scheme of basketball. This scheme is known as the triangle offense. It implies a fluid cutting and passing system which permits all five players to score. When the time was running out, Michael Jordan was allowed to lead his team and make the final shot. The management of the club decided to build a strong team where Michael should become the leading player. Such players as Bill Cartwright, John Paxson, Scottie Pippen, and Horace Grant joined the team. These changes were rather effective, and during the 1990-1991 season, the Chicago Bulls won their first title in the NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers led by the another great player, Magic Johnson. This was just the beginning of the three year Chicago Bulls domination in basketball. The Bulls won their second title against the Portland Trail Blazers during the 1991-1992 season. In the playoff series against the Blazers, Jordan appeared to be the power which could not be stopped by anyone.
In 1992, Michael Jordan was invited to the USA Olympic Basketball Team, the so called ‘Dream Team’, because the level of players, their skills, and huge valuable experiences earned in the world greatest basketball league as the NBA, made them unbeatable. This allowed the USA Dream Team to win the gold medals in the Summer Olympic Games which were held in Barcelona, Spain. It is worth pointing out that the Olympic Committee was against the professional players to take part in the Olympic Games. They considered that professional athletes could not give any chance for other players and teams to win in the Games.
In 1993, the Chicago Bulls defended their title for the third time. After the playoff series against the New York Knicks, they played against the Phoenix Suns for the third NBA championship battle. They won and Michael received the playoff MVP award again.
The same year, one event happened that deeply influenced the life of Michael Jordan. His father, James Jordan, was murdered during the robbery attempt. It was a great shock and loss for Jordan. It was his father who had taught him everything he knew, he had prevented Michael from being absorbed by the life of the streets. This caused Jordan to announce that he was going to leave the basketball. The most outstanding player who had won 3 titles in a row, 3 MVPs of the regular season, and 3 playoffs MVP titles, the All-Star Team member, left the GAME. It was considered to be a great unexpected loss for basketball, players, and fans.
Michael decided to try himself in the first kind of sport which he had liked before – baseball. In such a way, he decided to fulfill his father’s dream. Jordan thought that he had realized himself in basketball completely and won all possible titles. He wanted to prove himself that he was a real son of his father. During 1994-1995, he played for the Birmingham Barons baseball team in a position of outfielder. But that was not his cup of tea, and he announced that his retirement must be over, and he was ready to come back to basketball. During the regular season of 1994-1995, Michael played rather well, but it was not enough to win in the playoff series against the Orlando Magic. In the six playoff games, the Chicago Bulls tried to do their best against the Orlando Magic led by Shaquille O’Neal. In this year, Jordan opened some new thing for himself. He was invited to take part in the “Space Jam” cartoon movie where he played together with Bugs Bunny and other famous cartoon characters. It turned out to be a very successful and profitable case.
1995-1996 did show that Michael Jordan came back completely. The Chicago Bulls finished this season with the 72 won games and lost only 10. It became the NBA record for the most wins in the season.. They won the whole playoff games with the general score fifteen victories to three losses. Jordan did get back to the top of the NBA mountain. He became the 10-th NBA player who scored more than 25000 points (NBA Encyclopedia Playoff Edition). The Bulls won their fourth title against the Seattle Supersonics six game series, and that was just the beginning of their new three year NBA championship streak. Jordan was given new titles such as the regular season MVP and the Finals and All-Star Game MVP. Michael Jordan became the second person, after Willis Reed (1970), who managed to collect all three titles during the same season.
The following seasons, 1996-1997 and 1997-1998, were expected to prove that the Chicago Bulls were worth of gaining new victories and titles. And again, Michael Jordan was inevitable part of the Chicago Bulls triumph. But these seasons turned out to be not so lucky and successful for the players and Michael. The multiply illnesses and injuries greatly influenced the health of the Chicago Bulls members but not their will for the victory. They were able to create a new basketball sensation. They won both season finals against the Utah Jazz lead by Karl Malone. So, they repeated their own past success winning three championships in a row.
In 1999, Jordan made up his mind to leave the game for the second time. He considered that he had reached his limit and he saw no other ways to realize and show his best results. But this was a short break again. Jordan was looking for another ways to connect his life with basketball. In 2000, Jordan bought a share of the Washington Wizards basketball club. This was a remarkable event because Michael Jordan became the third African American person who became the co-owner of the NBA club. In 2001, he returned to basketball as a member of his Washington Wizards club. He helped to improve the play of his team and played for this club for two years. Finally, in 2003, it was his third and last time when he finally said farewell to basketball.
In 2006, he became the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team. Michal Jordan occupied the team’s executive position as a member of managers of the basketball club. Later on, in 2010, he succeeded in buying the club completely and became its full owner. It is for the first time in the history that the former NBA player owned the NBA club.
In April, 2009, one event happened which finally proved the greatness and recognition of the Michael Jordan’s personality as a basketball player. Michael Jordan was introduced to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. When Michael attended the official ceremony, he even joked about this event saying, that his professional career as a basketball player was completely over, because he was in the Hall of Fame.
Michael Jordan succeeded not only in playing basketball and receiving high incomes for this, but he was also famous for the cooperation with the sport wear producing company such as Nike. They created a new line of sport wear goods with recognizable symbol, the so called “Jumpman”. This logotype was created and used to promote the Air Jordan brand. Michael is an owner of the golf company and other goods such as Michael Jordan cologne which made him a multimillionaire. This cologne has been sold all over the world for many years. This helped him to become the owner of the NBA club. Jordan is also the owner of the chain of restaurants which are rather popular.
In 1984, the common friend introduced Juanita Vanoy to Michael, and they began dating. In 1987, Michael made a proposal, but Juanita suggested postponing their marriage. It took them almost a year to draw to the unanimous decision. Finally, the couple got married in 1989. Their marriage gave them three kids, two boys and a girl. The eldest son, Jeffrey Michael Jordan, was born before the parents got married. Marcus James Jordan, the second son, and a daughter, Jasmine Michael Jordan, were born after the marriage. The family lived a happy life till the year 2002 when Juanita Vanoy demanded a divorce. But later, she changed her mind and cancelled the divorce procedure. They lived together for four years up to 2006. This year brought a divorce into the family (Encyclopedia of World Biography).
The next year, Jordan announced that his son was going to follow his example. Jeffrey Jordan has started playing basketball for his Illinois University basketball team. Michael Jordan is very confident that his son will cope with all problems and find his own way of playing basketball. He supports his son and thinks that his remarkable career will not have a great influence on Jeffrey.
For The Love of The Game: My Story, Michal Jordan wrote:
There is no such thing as a perfect basketball player, and I don’t believe there is only one greatest player either. Everyone plays in different eras. I built my talents on the shoulders of someone else’s talent. I believe greatness is an evolutionary process that changes and evolves era to era. Without Julius Erving, David Thompson, Walter Davis, and Elgin Baylor there would never have been a Michael Jordan. I evolved from them (Jordan, 1998).
In conclusion, Michal Jordan has played an essential role in the development of basketball not only in the United States of America but in the whole world. He is one of the unique examples in the sport history who has managed to gain success and recognition. All his life Michal Jordan has been working hard in order to get what he really wants. He has devoted all his life to basketball. This game was, is, and will be the greatest passion of all his life. It is worth mentioning that it is Michael Jordan who has managed to open a new epoch in basketball. His achievements are so high that they can be the best examples for the next generations of basketball players.