The name of Michael Jordan conjures images of the broad smile, the friendly voice and the sports hero for kids around the world. Jordan’s image and integrity has been maintained throughout his playing and post basketball performances. He has set himself apart as one of the greatest sports icons in history.
Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1963. His family relocated to Wilmington, North Carolina to raise their kids. Early on, Michael fell in love with sports, but his choice was baseball rather than basketball. Although good at baseball, his older brother was his personal hero and played basketball; so Michael wanted to follow in his footsteps.
His first basketball tryout in high school was a disaster. His performance was inexperienced and they considered him too small to play. In a two year period, he practiced and actually grew four inches. This time, he was ready and was so good that he was given the honor to join the McDonald’s All American Team. Michael proved that this was just the beginning. His basketball scholarship to North Carolina University brought the Tarheels to NCAA Championship in 1982 and by 1984 he had won the Naismith College Player of the Year honor.
Jordan left college early in 1984 to enter the basketball draft. It should be noted that he returned to get his degree in 1986. The draft moved him to the Chicago Bulls where he demonstrated his amazing talent. He was chosen for the NBA All-Star Game and picked for the Rookie of the Year award. Michael continued to add to an incredible array of wins. His career included five MVP awards, regular season; a total of six awards in MVP Finals; three awards as MVP All-Star game; six NBA Championships, as well as the Defensive Player of the Year honor.
It seemed like nothing could stop Michael Jordan. But, in 1993 a horror hit his family. His father was brutally murdered and robbed by two local North Carolinians. The devastation was too much for Michael and, at 33 years of age, Jordan was going to retire.
It took two years for Jordan to find himself again. A short, but less than glorious moment in the world of baseball and he had made a decision to return to basketball. All he sent out as a media blitz were two words: “I’m back”. Michael rejoined The Bulls and brought them to three championships in the NBA and added another title for himself: “NBA’s Greatest Player of All Time”. He became part of America’s “Dream Team” and brought the team to Olympic victory adding to the 1984 victory now in 1982 with two gold medals.
In 1999 Jordan retired for the second time and chose to join ownership of the Washington Wizards. Since that time, Jordan has lent his name to numerous high quality sports products, including one using his nickname “Air Jordan”. Michael is one of the true sports heroes that kids and adults have elevated to icon status. Jordan has maintained high quality standards and will remain one of America’s top sports athletes.