Michael Jordan is a Hall of Fame shooting guard who played in the NBA from 1984 to 2003, mostly for the Chicago Bulls, and is currently the primary owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Winner of five regular-season MVP awards, he is widely considered the best basketball player ever to play in the NBA. Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles.
Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on February 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Before he reached his first birthday, his parents, James and Deloris, moved the family to Wilmington, North Carolina, where james built a basketball court in the backyard of the family's new house. Young Michael was one of five children -- he had two brothers, Larry and James, and two sisters, Delores and Roslyn.
The greatest basketball player the world has ever known was never cut from a team. He just happened to begin his career as the greatest junior-varsity player the world has ever known.
In the 1984 NBA draft, he was selected with the third overall pick by the Chicago Bulls. As a rookie for the Bulls, he made an immediate impact, averaging an amazing 28.2 points a game, including six games where he scored 40+ points. He was selected to the NBA All-Star Game and named Rookie of the Year
In 11 full seasons with the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan led the NBA in scoring 10 times, an NBA all-time record, and won six NBA Finals MVP awards.
Jordan's accomplishments stemmed further than just awards. In his career, Jordan won Rookie of the Year and became a five-time NBA MVP, six-time NBA champion, and six-time NBA Finals MVP. He was named to the All-NBA First Team ten times, the NBA All-Defensive First Team nine times, Defensive Player of the Year, and NBA All-Star 14 times. In addition, Jordan was a three-time NBA All-Star MVP that was also named to the 50th Anniversary All-Time Team, and won 10 scoring titles.
Reinvented some of the traditions and rules in basketball. Started the trend of the long-length shorts. He claims he wore them that length so he could cover up his North Carolina shorts, which he always wore during his pro career. However, his style caught on, and soon mostly everyone wore their shorts at a longer length. A new rule also was invented were a player could take one extra step if he was in the process of shooting, passing, or driving to the hoop. This was because of how Jordan would do this quite often in his career without getting a traveling call.
Prior to the 1992 Barcelona Games, the International Olympic Committee had changed the rules of the basketball competition and professional athletes were allowed to compete. Michael Jordan joined superstars such as Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, David Robinson, and Magic Johnson on what was dubbed "the Dream Team". With the combined efforts of the best the NBA had to offer, the Dream Team cruised to the gold medal, winning games by an average margin of 43.8 points. To avoid controversy with sponsor Nike, Jordan placed an American flag over the Reebok logo on his jersey during the gold medal celebration.
Unexpectedly, Jordan left the NBA after the 1993 season to pursue a career in baseball. Jordan rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three more NBA Championship titles. Jordan retired for a second time in 1999, but again returned in 2001 with the Washington Wizards.
Halberstam writes that in college Jordan frigidly refused to speak to an assistant coach who had beaten him repeatedly in pool and even cheated at golf. “If you challenge him,” Toronto Raptors coach and former player Darrell Walker told The Toronto Star last year, “he can be a very vindictive person.”
This apparent pathology may explain the taste for high-stakes gambling that is the one real blotch on Jordan’s sterling reputation. Jordan admitted in 1992 to paying $165,000 in poker and golf debts to a pair of unsavory characters, one of whom was later murdered. And a former golfing partner wrote a book claiming that Michael had lost $1.25 million on the links in 10 days. (A penitent Jordan admitted betting with the man but said the figures had been exaggerated.) Rumors still linger that Jordan’s debts were a factor in his startling first “retirement” in 1993—some suggest that the league insisted he lay low for a while.
In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press’s list of athletes of the century.
Jordan received four times as many votes as golfer Tiger Woods, the runner-up, in a poll asking executives to name the sports celebrity from the 1900s that they'd want most to pitch their products. Chicago-based Burns Sports Inc., which hires sports figures as endorsers, conducted the survey.
Jordan has also appeared on the front cover of Sports Illustrated a record 49 times.
Nike-owned Brand Jordan has close to a 70 percent share of the basketball shoe market, with annual shoe and clothing sales of more than $1 billion, he says.
Last fall, Forbes estimated that Jordan’s annual income from endorsements was $60 million, more than he ever earned as a player.
Jordan is now the managing member of basketball operations for the Charlotte Bobcats, owns Michael Jordan Motorsports (a motorcycle racing team which competes in the AMA Pro Racing series) and is the inspiration for the Jordan Brand of Nike products.