Michael Jordan is considered one of the best basketball players of all time. His career spanned from 1984 – 2003 and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009.
Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Wilmington, North Carolina as a young child. There, he played basketball for Laney High School, but was famously cut from the team during his sophomore year. He used that as motivation to make the team later in his high school career and led his team to a state championship. After high school, Michael Jordan accepted a college scholarship to play basketball at the University of North Carolina and earned instant infamy for scoring the game winning basket in the 1982 NCAA national championship game. In 1984,Jordan was named the college player of the year and was a part of the gold medal winning men’s basketball team at the Summer Olympics.
Michael Jordan was selected third overall in the 1984 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. In his rookie season he was among the top scorers in the league earning him the Rookie of the Year award and a spot in the All Star Game. He led the Bulls into the playoffs every year, eventually capturing three consecutive championships in 1991, 1992, and 1993. As well, during the time, Michael was part of the legendary “Dream Team”, the men’s basketball team that won gold at the 1992 Summer Olympics.
Following the 1993 championship, Michael Jordan’s father was tragically murdered in North Carolina. As well, Jordan faced allegations of illegally betting on NBA games, for which he was eventually cleared. But amongst this turmoil, Michael lost motivation to play basketball and decided to retire from the game in order to take up another passion of his, baseball. He signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox and played outfield for the Birmingham Barons. His presence led to increased attendance but his play on the field was lackluster. Michael Jordan’s time as a baseball player was captured in the ESPN ’30 for 30′ documentary “Jordan Rides the Bus”.
In 1995, Michael Jordan announced “I’m Back” and returned to the Chicago Bulls in time for a playoff run. They lost to the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, but this would be the last time the Bulls would lose for a while. Jordan led the Bulls to another three straight championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, making for a total of six championships in his career. After that season, the Bulls team began to get dismantled and Michael Jordan retired again.
A year later, Jordan joined the Washington Wizards as a part owner and President of Basketball Operations. After a season of mixed reviews of Jordan’s capabilities as a front office manager, he returned to the court as a player for the Wizards at the age of 38. Although much hype surrounded his return again, Michael Jordan was unable to lead the Wizards into the post season and retired for a third and final time in 2003.
There’s no question that Michael Jordan is among the most elite players in the history of basketball. By the end of his career, Jordan won 5 league MVPs, 10 scoring championships, 6 Final’s MVP, and 6 team championships. He finished his career with 32, 292 points and a career average of 30.12 points per game, the best in NBA history. Michael Jordan is now the part owner of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets and maintains his relationship with Nike and the Air Jordan brand, one of the most lucrative sponsorships in professional sports history.