Michael Jordan. Source: Forbes

Michael Jordan is a former professional basketball player and businessman from the United States. He is the principal owner and chairman of the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets as well as NASCAR Cup Series team 23XI Racing.

Early life

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Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on February 17, 1963, at Cumberland Hospital in the Fort Greene neighbourhood of New York City’s Brooklyn borough, to bank employee Deloris (née Peoples) and equipment supervisor James R. Jordan Sr.

Jordan graduated from Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he excelled in basketball, baseball, and football. During his sophomore year, he tried out for the varsity basketball team, but was deemed too short to play at that level.

Jordan became the star of Laney’s junior varsity team and tallied several 40-point games, driven by a desire to prove his worth. He grew four inches (10 cm) and trained hard the following summer.

Jordan averaged more than 25 points per game (ppg) over his final two seasons of high school play after earning a spot on the varsity roster. He went to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981 on a basketball scholarship

Career overview

Source: NBA

Michael Jordan’s achievements includes six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten scoring titles (both all-time records), five MVP Awards, ten All-NBA First Team selections, nine All-Defensive First Team honours (joint record) and fourteen NBA All-Star Game selections.

He also has three All-Star Game MVP Awards, three steals titles, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds the NBA records for career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and career playoff scoring average (30.12 points per game).

Records

National team career

Jordan made his national team debut for the United States at the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela. He led the team in scoring with 17.3 points per game as the United States, coached by Jack Hartman, won the gold medal. He won another gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics a year later.

Source: Reuters

In 1992, he was a member of the “Dream Team,” a star-studded squad that included Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. The team went on to win two gold medals: one in the 1992 Tournament of the Americas and one in the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Early NBA career

Source: NBA

Jordan was chosen by the Chicago Bulls with the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draught, ahead of Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets) and Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers). Jordan averaged 28.2 points per game on 51.5 percent shooting in his rookie season with the Bulls, helping to turn a team that had won 35% of its games the previous three seasons into a playoff contender.

Jordan led the league in 1987–88, averaging 35.0 points per game on 53.5 percent shooting and winning his first league MVP Award. He was also named NBA Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 1.6 blocks and 3.1 steals per game.

The Bulls entered the 1989–90 season as a rising team, led by Jordan and young improving players like Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, and coached by new coach Phil Jackson. Jordan set a career-high with 69 points against the Cavaliers on March 28, 1990.

Jordan won his second MVP award in 1990–91 after averaging 31.5 points per game on 53.9 percent shooting, 6.0 rebounds per game, and 5.5 assists per game during the regular season. For the first time in sixteen years, the Bulls finished first in their division and set a franchise record with 61 regular-season wins.

Jordan and the Bulls maintained their dominance in the 1991–92 season, posting a 67–15 record, breaking the franchise record set in 1990–91. Jordan won his second MVP award in a row, averaging 30.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 6.1 assists per game on 52 percent shooting.

The Bulls won their third NBA title with a game-winning shot by John Paxson and a last-second block by Horace Grant. During the six-game series, he averaged a Finals-record 41.0 points per game, becoming the first player in NBA history to win three consecutive Finals MVP awards.

First retirement

Jordan announced his retirement on October 6, 1993, stating that he had lost his desire to play basketball. Jordan surprised the sports world even more when he signed a Minor League Baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox on February 7, 1994.

Comeback

Source: ESPN

Jordan decided to retire from baseball in March 1995. Jordan announced his return to the NBA on March 18, 1995. Jordan returned to the court the next day with the Bulls to face the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis. Despite his eighteen-month absence from the NBA, Jordan performed admirably, scoring the game-winning shot against Atlanta in his fourth game back.

The Bulls won their fourth championship by defeating the Seattle SuperSonics 4–2 in the NBA Finals after losing only three games in four series (Miami Heat 3–0, New York Knicks 4–1, and Orlando Magic 4–0). Jordan was named Finals MVP for the fourth time, breaking Magic Johnson’s previous record of three Finals MVP awards.

Second retirement

Jordan returned to the NBA on January 19, 2000, not as a player, but as a part owner and president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards. Jordan’s responsibilities with the Wizards were broad, as he oversaw all aspects of the team’s basketball operations and had the final say on all personnel decisions.

Despite claiming in January 1999 that he was “99.9 percent certain” he would never play another NBA game, Jordan expressed interest in making another comeback, this time with his new team, in the summer of 2001.

Second Comeback

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Jordan announced his return to the NBA on September 25, 2001, to play for the Washington Wizards, indicating his intention to donate his salary as a player to a relief effort for the victims of the September 11 attacks.

Jordan led the team in scoring (22.9 ppg), assists (5.2 apg), and steals (1.42 spg) in an injury-plagued 2001–02 season, and was an MVP candidate as he led the Wizards to a winning record and playoff contention.

Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in NBA All-Star Game history in 2003, when he played in his 14th and final All-Star Game, a record that has since been broken by Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Jordan was the only Washington player to appear in all 82 games that season, starting 67 of them and coming off the bench in the first 15, as he was still recovering from a knee injury.

Read more: Scottie Pippen net worth: How the former Chicago Bulls basketball star out-earned Michael Jordan

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