Michael Jeffrey Jordan, usually known by his initials MJ, is a former professional basketball shooting guard and a businessman from the United States. He was born on February 17, 1963. He serves as the chairman and primary owner of 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series as well as the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He competed in the NBA for 15 seasons, earning six titles with the Chicago Bulls. By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time,” reads his biography on the NBA website. In the 1980s and 1990s, he played a key role in the NBA’s globalisation and rose to fame as a global cultural hero.
Jordan played three seasons of collegiate basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels under coach Dean Smith. He participated in the 1982 Tar Heels squad that won the national title as a freshman. Jordan was selected third overall in the 1984 NBA Draft and immediately became a sensation in the league, thrilling spectators with his prolific scoring and building a reputation as one of the best defensive players in the league. He gained the moniker “Air Jordan” and “His Airness” for his leaping prowess when participating in Slam Dunk Contests and slamming the ball down from the free throw line. With the Bulls, Jordan won his first NBA title in 1991. He then completed a “three-peat” by winning championships in 1992 and 1993. Prior to the 1993–94 NBA season, Jordan abruptly announced his retirement from basketball to play Minor League Baseball. However, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and guided them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998 in addition to a then-record 72 regular season victories in the 1995–96 NBA season. After his second retirement in January 1999, he played in the NBA for two more seasons (2001–2003) with the Washington Wizards before his last retirement.
Six NBA Finals MVP Awards, ten scoring titles (both all-time records), five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team selections, nine All-Defensive First Team honours, fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, three steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award are just a few of Jordan’s individual honours and achievements. He owns the NBA records for both career playoff scoring average and career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) (33.45 points per game). He was ranked second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press’ list of the greatest athletes of the 20th century, and he was crowned the greatest North American athlete of the century by ESPN in 1999. As a member of the 1992 American men’s Olympic basketball team and for his individual career, Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice: first in 2009 and again in 2010. (“The Dream Team”). In 2015, he was admitted to the FIBA Hall of Fame.
Jordan, one of the athletes of his generation with the best marketing campaigns, is also well-known for his commercial endorsements. He contributed to the popularity of Nike’s Air Jordan shoes, which were first released in 1984 and are still in style today. Jordan is also the subject of the Emmy Award-winning documentary miniseries The Last Dance and acted as himself in the 1996 live-action animation picture Space Jam (2020). In 2006, he became a co-owner and the team’s director of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats (now known as the Hornets), and in 2010, he acquired a majority stake. Jordan became the first NBA player to earn a billion dollars in 2014. He is the fourth-richest African American, behind Oprah Winfrey, David Steward, and Robert F. Smith, with a net worth of $2.1 billion.
Michael Jordan was the third son of James and Delores Jordan, who had moved the family to Wilmington, North Carolina when Michael was a young child. Michael was born in Brooklyn, New York. Jordan first went to Ogden Elementary before moving on to Trask Junior High. Jordan has a younger sister, an elder sister, two older brothers, and an older brother. Jordan attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School while his family was temporarily residing in the Washington, D.C., area. He improved his academic performance and excelled in baseball, basketball, and football while attending Emsley A. Laney High School. He was cut from the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year because he was considered underdeveloped at 5 ft. 9 in. (1.75 m). However, over the summer, he gained four inches (10 cm) and worked even harder in the gym. He scored 25 points per game on average throughout his next two seasons. He started concentrating on basketball and started practising with his high school varsity coach every morning before school. Jordan averaged a triple-double during his senior year at Laney High School: 29.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 10.1 assists. As a senior, he was chosen for the McDonald’s All-American Team.
Jordan attended the University of North Carolina on a basketball scholarship and majored in geography. Jordan won the ACC Freshman of the Year award as a rookie under famed coach Dean Smith’s system. The Tar Heels were headed by All-American and future Hall of Famer James Worthy, who was an entertaining but not overwhelmingly dominant player. In the 1982 NCAA Basketball Championship game against Georgetown, who was led by future NBA rival Patrick Ewing, Jordan made the game-winning jumper. After being named the 1984 Naismith College Player of the Year, he left Carolina early to join the NBA Draft. The Chicago Bulls chose him with the third overall pick in the first round, behind Sam Bowie of the Portland Trail Blazers and Akeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets. In 1986, Jordan went back to North Carolina to finish his degree.
Jordan spent two seasons with the Washington Wizards and 13 seasons with the Bulls. His 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) height, abilities, and physical condition allowed him to be a danger at point guard and small forward in addition to his primary position as a shooting guard. He was the league MVP five times and won six NBA championships (1991-1993 and 1996-1998). (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998). In addition, he received awards for Rookie of the Year in 1985 and Defensive Player of the Year in 1988. He also won the Finals MVP title each time the Bulls advanced to the championship game. Additionally, in 1996 and 1998, he twice won the coveted MVP triple crown (regular season, Finals, and All-Star Game). The only players to win all three MVP honours in the same season are Shaquille O’Neal (2000) and Willis Reed (1970). (although it can be argued that Bill Russell would also have accomplished the feat, had the Finals MVP been awarded in 1963). He also achieved the one and only triple-double in an All-Star Game in 1997.
Phil Jackson, who coached Jordan for the majority of his career, said:
“Michael is unique in that he never takes anything for granted. He was predominantly a penetrator when he entered the league for the first time in 1984. His outdoor photography fell short of industry norms. So, throughout the off-season, he worked out at the gym, making hundreds of shots daily. He eventually developed into a lethal three-point shooter.”
Early NBA years
Jordan dominated the league in his rookie season, scoring 40 or more points six times en route to a 28.2 points per game season after scoring 16 points in his first NBA game despite being double teamed despite being a rookie (sixth best all-time by a rookie). In addition, he had a game average of 2.4 steals, 5.9 assists, and 6.5 rebounds. He earned a berth on the All-Star team, sparked interest in the struggling Bulls club, and won Rookie of the Year.
Jordan shattered a bone in his foot in the third game of the 1985–86 NBA season, missing all but 18 games. Coach Stan Albeck and General Manager Jerry Krause limited Jordan’s playing time after his return in accordance with the advice of the team doctors. For the rest of his career, Jordan and Krause’s relationship suffered as a result of Jordan’s disagreement with this choice and his perception that Krause was deliberately trying to lose games in order to secure a better draft pick. The Bulls still managed to qualify for the playoffs despite Jordan’s injury, when they were eliminated by the eventual champion Boston Celtics in three games. The NBA playoff single-game scoring record of 63 points by Jordan in a double-overtime loss in Game 2 of the series still holds. Larry Bird said it was “God dressed as Michael Jordan” after the game. Jordan became known as one of the league’s top players the following year. While winning his first scoring title with a 37.1 points-per-game average (only Wilt Chamberlain and Elgin Baylor have had higher season averages), Jordan scored 50 or more points eight times during the regular season and 40 or more points 36 times. He also became the only player other than Wilt Chamberlain to reach 3,000 points in a season. He came in second place behind Magic Johnson in the MVP voting. The Bulls’ postseason run came to an end in a three-game Celtics sweep, just like it did the year before.
Jordan averaged 35 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.9 assists per game in his fourth season. He also won his first MVP award, the Defensive Player of the Year award (for 259 steals and 131 blocks), was named MVP of the All-Star Game, and won the Slam Dunk Contest twice in a row with a famous dunk from the free-throw line. For the first time, Jordan’s Bulls advanced past the first round after defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games (Jordan scored an average of 45.2 points per contest in the series). They then fell to the eventual Eastern Conference champion Detroit Pistons in five games. Jordan’s rivalry with the Pistons officially began at this point.
While placing second in the MVP vote in 1988–89, Jordan averaged 32.5 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists per game. In a similar manner to Magic, Jordan also racked up 15 triple-doubles during the regular season, including a run of 7 straight games with 10 triple-doubles. In addition, Jordan had three triple-doubles and at least 40 points when playing against the Phoenix Suns on January 21, 1989. He was two assists away from becoming the first player to ever have a triple-double and at least 50 points. Jordan was forced to play point guard by Bulls coach Doug Collins, who is primarily to blame for this. With a last-second jump shot over Craig Ehlo in Game 5 of the first round of the playoffs, he solidified his reputation as one of the NBA’s top clutch players. The Bulls defeated the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference semifinals before falling to the Pistons in the Conference Finals, propelled by the emergence of small forward Scottie Pippen and power big Horace Grant as starters.
The Pistons developed a strategy for playing against Jordan, known as “The Jordan Rules,” thanks to their punishing, physical style of play. The Jordan rules required him to be double- and triple-teamed whenever he touched the ball, prevented him from moving to the baseline, hit him hard when he drove to the basket, forced him to the centre where help defence could arrive, and forced him to rely on his inexperienced teammates. They would also go after Jordan when he was playing defence in an effort to force him to concentrate on that side of the court.
In the 1989–1990 season, under the leadership of coach Phil Jackson, Jordan averaged 33.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, and 6.3 assists while also finishing third in the MVP voting. Against the Cleveland Cavaliers on March 28, Jordan set career highs of 69 points and 18 rebounds. In the Conference Finals, the Bulls were defeated by the Pistons in seven games.
The first three-peat
After years of reluctance, Michael Jordan ultimately accepted Jackson and assistant coach Tex Winter’s triangle approach during the 1990–91 season, spurred on by the team’s close loss to the Pistons the previous year. He received his second MVP award that year after finishing the regular season averaging 31.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 5.5 assists. While leading the league in scoring, Jordan failed to record a game with at least 50 points for the first time in his career. For the first time in 16 years, the Bulls finished first, and their 61 wins during the regular season set a franchise record. The Bulls proved to be too strong for their Eastern Conference rivals as Scottie Pippen became an All-Star. The Bulls advanced to the NBA Finals where they defeated Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers in 5 games after defeating the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, and Detroit Pistons along route there. Along the way, the Bulls had a fantastic 15-2 postseason record. Jordan completed a layup against the Lakers while switching hands mid-air, creating an iconic film clip. While holding his first NBA Finals trophy, Jordan sobbed after receiving his first unanimous MVP award.
In the 1991–1992 season, Jordan and the Bulls maintained their domination, setting a new franchise record with a 67–15 record. With a 30.1/6.4/6.1 season, Jordan won the MVP title for the second time in a row. The Bulls met Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers in the Finals after defeating the growing New York Knicks in a hard 7-game series in the second round and defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals in 6 games. Throughout the pre-Finals hoopla, the media equated Jordan-Drexler/”Air” Jordan and Clyde “The Glide” in an attempt to imitate the Magic-Bird style competition. Jordan felt belittled because he thought Drexler wasn’t even close to the calibre of player he was. He was upset that Drexler was portrayed in the media as being a superior three-point shooter, saying that “Clyde is simply a better three-point shooter than I choose to be.” Jordan set a record by scoring 35 points in the first half of the Finals game that year, and he finished with 39 points overall. Six three-pointers were made by Jordan during the first half, and many fans will recall the last one he made over Cliff Robinson’s hands while jogging down the court and shrugging as if to say, “I don’t know what’s going on.” The Bulls went on to win game one before completing the series victory in six games. Jordan won the title of Finals MVP for a second consecutive season as a result of his outstanding performance. In the last game of the series, Jordan averaged 35.8 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 6.5 assists while shooting 53% from the field. In the end, Drexler averaged 24.8 points per game, 7.5 rebounds per game, and 5.3 assists per game but only shot 41% from the field.
Jordan’s run of straight MVP seasons came to an end in 1992–93, despite a 32.6/6.7/5.5 season, as he lost the prize to his friend Charles Barkley. The Bulls’ final win total of 56 this season was a significant contributing factor in the. However, it was only fitting that Jordan and the Bulls would face Barkley and the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals, in a game known as “Altitude vs. Attitude.” Jordan’s competitive zeal was only fueled by his perception of being treated unfairly in the MVP voting. Jordan was once again Chicago’s driving force as the Bulls won their third straight NBA title thanks to a game-winning shot by John Paxson and a last-second block by Horace Grant. Throughout the six-game series, he averaged a Finals-record 41.0 PPG, making him the first player in NBA history to earn three consecutive Finals MVP awards. With the Finals victory, Jordan ended what could have been the most remarkable seven-year athletic career ever, but there were indications that he was growing weary of his enormous notoriety and all the difficulties in his life outside of basketball.
Jordan announced his retirement on October 6, 1993, citing a lack of interest in playing the sport. Many believe that his choice was influenced by his father James Jordan’s murder in July 1993. Those close to Jordan, however, assert that he was already seriously considering retirement by the summer of 1992, and that the additional strain of the Dream Team run only confirmed Michael’s sentiments of burnout toward the sport and his steadily rising superstar status. Jordan’s declaration, in any case, shocked the NBA and was featured on the top pages of publications throughout the globe. Such a dominant player had not left the game at the height of his powers since Jim Brown abruptly left the NFL in 1966.
Concerning the reasons Jordan retired in 1993, there are a lot of unverified conspiracy theories. Jordan had acknowledged having to make good on $57,000 in gambling losses in the year prior to his retirement. In a book, author Richard Esquinas claimed Jordan gave him $1.3 million to gamble with on the golf course. Jordan has also been seen at casinos in Atlantic City, New Jersey, at the same time. According to one idea, Jordan and the NBA struck a “contract” in which Jordan would take a brief retirement in exchange for the NBA paying more attention to his gambling activities. Jordan’s statement at his retirement press conference is cited by proponents of this hypothesis as proof. He stated that he might return to the NBA in five years if the urge strikes again, the Bulls will take him, and David Stern allows it.
The NBA, however, cleared Jordan of all wrongdoing three days after his retirement, saying that there was “absolutely no proof Jordan broke league rules” as a result of their probe.
Career in baseball
He reported to spring training, signed a minor league deal with the American League’s (AL) Chicago White Sox, and was given a place in the organisation’s minor league system. Jerry Reinsdorf, the owner of the Bulls, also owned the White Sox, and he upheld the terms of Michael Jordan’s basketball contract while he was playing baseball. For the Birmingham Barons, a farm team of the Chicago White Sox, he had a mediocre professional baseball career. He batted.202 with 3 HR, 51 RBI, 30 SB (tied for eighth in the Southern League), 11 errors, and 6 outfield assists. He had 25 RBI with runners in scoring position and two outs, which was the most in the team, and 11 bases-loaded RBI. He also participated in the 1994 Arizona Fall League for the Scottsdale Scorpions. He was nevertheless one of the team’s lesser greats due to his poor batting average.
“I’m back”: Jordan’s return to the NBA
The Jordan-less Bulls had an unexpected 55-27 record in the 1993–94 campaign, which was third-best in the Eastern Conference and just two wins less than their previous championship season. However, they were defeated by the Eastern Conference Champion New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs in 7 games. However, the Bulls of 1994–1995 were a pale imitation of the victorious team of just two years previous. Chicago needed a boost as it was struggling to secure a playoff spot at the halfway point of the season. The catalyst was when Bulls guard B.J. Armstrong was invited by Michael Jordan to go out for breakfast in early 1995. The meal sparked an unplanned shoot-around, which ultimately led to Jordan’s decision to rejoin the Bulls in the NBA.
On March 18, 1995, Jordan issued a two-word press statement to announce his comeback to the NBA: “I’m back.” Jordan wore jersey number 45 the following day instead of his usual number 23, which had been retired in his honour after his initial retirement. He participated in the Bulls’ game against the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, which the Bulls lost despite his 19-point performance.
Jordan had not participated in an NBA game for a year and a half, but upon his comeback, he played well, including one of his signature game-winning jumpers (against Atlanta in his fourth game back) and a 55-point outburst against the Knicks on March 29, 1995. In April of that year, he steered the Bulls to a 9-1 record, which helped the team advance to the playoffs. Jordan averaged 31.5 points per game in the series, which the Bulls won in six games, although Orlando won the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Bulls that season. He didn’t look like the old Michael Jordan, Orlando’s Nick Anderson said after the opening game of the series, motivating Jordan to start wearing his old number (23) once more. While it’s possible that this was an effort to regain his aura and supremacy, the Bulls’ failure to notify the NBA in advance of the change in number resulted in fines from the NBA.
The second three-peat
Jordan trained hard for the 1995–96 season, still fired up from the playoff loss. The Bulls, who were bolstered by the arrival of legendary rebounder Dennis Rodman, dominated the league. Their season began with 12 straight victories, and they finished 72-10, which at the time was the best regular-season record in NBA history. Both the regular season and All-Star Game MVP trophies went to Jordan in the league. The Bulls only dropped three games in four postseason series, and they defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA Finals in six games to claim the title. Jordan surpassed Magic Johnson to win the title of Finals MVP for the fourth time.
Jordan directed the Bulls to a 69-13 record in the 1996–97 season. He lost out to Karl Malone this year for the NBA MVP Award, though. The group reached the championship round once more, where they took on Malone and the Utah Jazz. Two of Jordan’s most renowned clutch performances came in the series versus the Jazz. He made a jump shot at the buzzer to give the Bulls Game 1 victory. With the series at 2-2 in Game 5, now dubbed the “Flu Game,” Jordan scored 38 points despite having a stomach illness and being hot and dehydrated. His game-winning three-pointer came with less than a minute left. It was rumoured that the pizza Jordan had purchased the night before in Utah had been poisoned. The Bulls prevailed 90-88, winning the game and the series in six. Jordan won the Finals MVP honour for the seventh time in as many Finals appearances.
Jordan and the Bulls finished the 1997–98 season with a 62–20 record. Jordan led the league in scoring with 28.7 points per game, earning him his sixth MVP award for the regular season in addition to the All-NBA First Team, First Defensive Team, and MVP awards for the All-Star Game. The Bulls won the Eastern Conference title for a third consecutive year, and they went on to play the Jazz in the Finals.
On June 14, 1998, the Bulls went 3-2 in the first five games before travelling back to Utah for game 6. With a string of plays that may have formed the greatest clutch performance in NBA Finals history in Game 6, he outdid his valiant performances from the previous year’s Finals. Jackson called a timeout with 40 seconds left in the game and the Bulls behind 86-83. Utah’s advantage was reduced to 86-85 by Jordan’s layup over four Jazz defenders after receiving the inbounds pass and driving to the hoop. Karl Malone, who was positioned in the low post and being defended by Rodman, received the ball from the Jazz as they moved it upcourt. Jordan cut behind Malone and smacked the ball out of his hands for a theft as the two players jostled for possession of the pass. Jordan looked at his opponent, Jazz guard Bryon Russell, as he advanced slowly up the floor and stopped at the top of the key. Jordan began to dribble right with less than 10 seconds left, crossed over to his left, and as Russell slipped, he released a shot that would be replayed countless times over the following years. “Chicago with the lead!” exclaimed announcer Bob Costas as the shot entered the net. Jordan and the Bulls secured a second three-peat by winning the NBA title with their sixth title after John Stockton’s desperate three-point attempt went wide. Jordan was chosen as the MVP of the Finals once more after leading all scorers with an average of over 30 points per game, including 45 in the decisive Game 6 of the series. LeBron James is second with 4, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, and Tim Duncan are tied for third with three each, while Michael Jordan holds the record with six Finals MVPs.
Jordan’s performance in Game 6 appeared to be the ideal way to cap off his career. Jordan announced his second retirement on January 13, 1999, as Phil Jackson’s contract was about to expire, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman were about to leave the team (Pippen had expressed a desire to be traded during the season), and the NBA players were in the midst of an owner-instigated lockout. He honoured a Chicago Police officer who had been killed while on duty just a few days earlier at his second retirement press conference.
Jordan made his NBA comeback on January 19, 2000, this time as the President of Basketball Operations and a part-owner of the Washington Wizards rather than as a player. He was in charge of all aspects of the team, including hiring and firing, so his duties with the club were extensive. Less than a month later, at the annual presentation, Jordan took home four ESPY Awards: Athlete of the Century, Male Athlete of the 1990s, Pro Basketball Player of the 1990s, and Play of the Decade for his infamous mid-air switch during the 1991 Finals versus the Lakers.
Executive Jordan received a variety of reviews. He was successful in getting rid of several highly-paid, unpopular players from the team, including forward Juwan Howard and point guard Rod Strickland, but his selection of high school prospect Kwame Brown with the first pick in the 2001 NBA Draft will likely go down in history as his most infamous managerial decision. Brown turned out to be a bust, and the decision has drawn heavy criticism.
Jordan stated in January 1999 that he was “99.9% confident” he would never play again in an NBA game, but in the summer of 2001, he started hinting that he would be open to making another comeback, this time with his new team. Jordan spent a large portion of the spring and summer of 2001 in training, holding several invitation-only camps for NBA players in Chicago, motivated by the comeback of NHL star (and Jordan’s friend) Mario Lemieux the previous winter. In addition, Jordan appointed Doug Collins, the former head coach of the Chicago Bulls, as Washington’s coach for the 2018 campaign, a move that many believed hinted at another Jordan comeback. The season was rapidly coming, and 0.1% odds had never seemed better. Jordan didn’t promise anything, though.
Washington Wizards comeback
He strongly suggested a comeback in a news conference on September 10, 2001, but he would not confirm the rumours that had been circulating for the previous month. The terrorist strikes on September 11 against the United States, however, may have put an end to Jordan’s uncertainty about whether or not he would return to combat on September 10. Later that month, he declared his intention to play professionally once more for the Wizards and stated that he would donate his player’s money to a relief effort for the assault victims. On September 25, Jordan made the decision to come out of retirement and leave the Wizards’ front office. Jordan’s talents had not been visibly hampered by advancing years when he finally picked up basketball again. He began the 2001–2002 season out of shape and with numerous injuries, but he played through the agony to lead the club in scoring (22.9 ppg), assists (5.2 apg), and steals (1.42 spg), nearly guiding the youthful Wizards to the playoffs. Jordan’s presence also caused all 41 of the arena sellouts at the MCI Center, the home court of the Wizards, as well as sellouts of practically every other arena on the road that he would visit over the two years of his second comeback (in his first year back, the Wizards sold out all but three of their road games). Additionally, from December 6 through December 26, he helped the Wizards to a nine-game winning streak that set a franchise record. For a brief time, he was considered a potential MVP candidate. On December 29, when Jordan scored 51 points against the Charlotte Hornets in a win at home, there was even a hint of “His Airness,” making him the oldest player to record a 50-point performance. In the following game against the New Jersey Nets, he scored 45 points. Unfortunately, Jordan’s season was cut short by injuries after only 60 games, the fewest regular-season games he had played since a broken foot interrupted his season in 1985-86
In order to help his knees, Jordan returned for the 2002–03 season with new orthotic insoles. He was (relatively) healthy once more and scored 20 points on average per game. Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time top scorer in All-Star history while participating in his 13th and final NBA All-Star Game in 2003, one of the few scoring records he did not hold coming into his second return. Jordan was expected to say his final goodbyes to his supporters during the 2002–03 season, and he did not disappoint. Jordan was the lone member of the Washington team to suit up for all 82 games that season, starting 67 of them. In his final season, he averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 45% from the field and 82% from the charity stripe. He scored 20 or more points 42 times, 30 or more points 9 times, and 40 or more points 3 times even at the age of 40. Jordan scored 43 points to lead the Wizards to an 89-86 victory over the New Jersey Nets on February 21, 2003, marking the first time a player over 40 had scored 40 points in an NBA game. The game was played at the MCI Center. The Wizards continued to be the most watched team in the NBA with Jordan, averaging 20,173 fans at MCI and 19,311 on the road, even though the attendance numbers slightly declined in Year Two. In addition, the Wizards broke attendance records by selling out all 82 of their home games during the Jordan era. But the Wizards failed to make the playoffs in either of Jordan’s final two seasons.
Since this would be Jordan’s last season, tributes to him were paid in almost every NBA arena. Jordan received an extended standing ovation during his farewell game at the United Centre in Chicago, which Jordan himself had to end (by making an impromptu speech) because the audience didn’t show any indications of slowing down. Jordan never played for the Miami Heat, but on April 11, 2003, the team retired his #23 jersey out of respect for him. Half Wizards blue, half Bulls red, it was the first jersey the Heat had ever retired in their then-15-year history (the jersey has since been replaced with an all-red Bulls jersey). Jordan received yet another honour during his final home game in Washington, where he was presented with the American flag that flew over the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, by U.S. Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld. Jordan replaced Vince Carter as the starting shooting guard at the 2003 All-Star Game, and the halftime show featured a Mariah Carey musical homage to Jordan’s career.
On April 16, 2003, Jordan played his final NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jordan only got to play a few minutes because of the game’s score, but he still managed to score 15 points despite the Wizards’ eventual defeat. Mike shouts from the Philadelphia audience encouraged Jordan to return to the game in the closing seconds after he had missed much of the fourth quarter. Jordan made his final two free throws with 1:44 left on the clock before leaving the court to a standing ovation that lasted for more than three minutes. Eric Snow of the 76ers purposely fouled Jordan at 1:45, and Jordan went to the line and made both of his free throws. The 76ers in-bounded the ball to rookie John Salmons after the second foul shot, and one second later, Bobby Simmons intentionally fouled Salmons, stopping time and allowing Jordan to go back to the bench. Jordan was given a three-minute standing ovation by his teammates, rivals, referees, and the 21,257 spectators in attendance.
After retiring as a player
Jordan believed that he would be able to resume his duties as the Wizards’ Director of Basketball Operations after his third retirement. However, his tenure in the Wizards’ front office had been marred by poor executive decisions, which included the drafting of the underperforming Kwame Brown, and may have influenced the trade of Richard “Rip” Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse (although Jordan was not technically Director of Basketball Operations in 2002). (although Jordan was not technically Director of Basketball Operations in 2002). Jordan was fired as the president of basketball operations in Washington on May 7, 2003, by Wizards owner Abe Pollin. Jordan was astonished by the decision to fire him and expressed his outrage at the callous unwillingness to provide any explanation for it at the time, feeling betrayed.
After that, Jordan kept himself occupied by maintaining his fitness, competing in golf tournaments for charitable causes, visiting his family in Chicago, promoting his clothing line, and riding motorcycles (a passion which he could not indulge in as a player, due to NBA contract restrictions).
Since 2004, Jordan has been the owner of an elite closed-course motorcycle road racing team competing in the American Motorcyclist Association’s Superbike class (AMA).
The decision to sell the team to Jordan was made public on February 27, 2010, making Jordan the first ex-NBA player to own a majority ownership stake in a business.
The fourth of five kids, Jordan. He has a younger sister, Roslyn, a younger sister, Delores, two older brothers, Larry and James, and one sister, Delores. He wed Juanita Jordan in September 1989; the couple has three children together: Jasmine, Jeffrey, and Marcus Jordan. On January 4, 2002, Michael and Juanita announced their separation under the grounds of irreconcilable differences, but soon got back together. On December 29, 2006, they re-filed for divorce, stating that it was “mutually and amicably” agreed upon.
A Cook County, Illinois judge ruled on July 21, 2006 that Jordan did not owe Karla Knafel $5 million. Knafel said Jordan gave her that guarantee in exchange for keeping quiet and agreeing not to bring a paternity claim after Knafel discovered she was expecting in 1991. A DNA test revealed that Jordan was not the child’s father. Michael Hannafan, Knafel’s lawyer, declared that his client would also challenge the most recent judgement.
James Jordan was assassinated on July 23, 1993, at a rest stop along a highway in Lumberton, North Carolina. Daniel Green and Larry Martin Demery were apprehended after being identified through calls made on James Jordan’s mobile phone. Both attackers were found guilty and given life sentences.
James R. Jordan, a command sergeant major in the US Army, oversaw the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps. He was Jordan’s brother.
Jordan has the letter omega () tattooed on his chest, indicating that he is a member of the fraternity Omega Psi Phi.
Jordan resides in Highland Park, Illinois, at the moment.
One of the most commercialised athletes in history is Jordan. For companies including Nike, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gatorade, Hanes, McDonald’s, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, and MCI, he has served as a prominent spokesperson. In 1988, he made his debut on Wheaties boxes and served as the company’s spokesperson.
Jordan has been featured in two Hanes clothing commercials. The first was for their Hanes “Go Tagless” campaign in the 2000s, and the second was for their “Look who we’ve got our Hanes on now” campaign in 2005, both of which featured him in advertisements.
He had the Air Jordan, a signature shoe designed by Nike. A wave of “shoe-jackings” where young boys were robbed of their sneakers at gunpoint resulted from the buzz and desire for the shoes. Tinker Hatfield’s creativity propelled the basketball shoe industry to new heights. Later, Nike separated the Jordan line into its own business, which it properly dubbed the “Jordan Brand.” Basketball players Ray Allen, Michael Finley, Mike Bibby, Derek Anderson, Eddie Jones, Jason Kidd, Quentin Richardson, Richard Hamilton, and Carmelo Anthony are among the athletes who support the business. The “Jordan Brand” has expanded into other sports, with endorsers including boxer Roy Jones Jr., AMA Superstock and Supersport racer Montez Stewart, jazz musician Mike Phillips, football players Marvin Harrison, Terrell Owens, Ahman Green, Warren Sapp, and Jason Taylor. Additionally, the company has supported college athletic programmes at schools like North Carolina A&T, Cincinnati, Cal, St. John’s, and Georgetown
Jordan made an appearance on the NBC Saturday morning cartoon ProStars beginning in 1991. Jordan, Wayne Gretzky, and Bo Jackson were depicted on the show battling crime and protecting youngsters.
Jordan has ties to the Looney Tunes cartoon characters as well. The 1996 live action/animated film Space Jam, starring Michael and Bugs in a fictitious tale set during his first retirement, was inspired by a 1993 Super Bowl XXVII Nike commercial in which he and Bugs Bunny played basketball against some Martians. They later shared the screen in a number more MCI advertisements.
Together with other sports legends Wayne Gretzky and John Elway, Jordan founded the MVP.com sports gear company in 1999, following his second retirement. It was a casualty of the dot-com bust, and in 2001, CBS SportsLine purchased the domain rights.
Jordan has served as the actual mascot for Nestlé Crunch for many years, appearing on their merchandise and in their advertising.
On July 10, 2006, Jordan was sued by Allen Heckard for defamation and permanent injury and emotional pain and suffering to the tune of $416 million because Heckard “gets comments about his similarity to basketball superstar Michael Jordan and he’s fed up with it”. Heckard also sued Nike creator Phil Knight for the same sum.
NBA’s 50 Best
Jordan was chosen as one of the NBA’s 50 all-time greatest players in 1996. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Larry Bird, Bill Russell, and Wilt Chamberlain were among the other athletes chosen for this accolade.