Michael Jordan is a former American basketball player who led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA championships and won the Most Valuable Player Award five times.
Who Is Michael Jordan?
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York) is a professional American basketball player, Olympic athlete, businessperson and actor. Considered one of the best basketball players ever, Michael Jordan dominated the sport from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s.
He led the Chicago Bulls to six National Basketball Association championships and earned the NBA's Most Valuable Player Award five times. With five regular-season MVPs and three All-Star MVPs, Jordan became the most decorated player in the NBA.
Between his six NBA championships, restaurants, stake in the Charlotte Hornets, corporate sponsorship with Nike, and endorsement deals with Gatorade, Hanes and Upper Deck, Michael Jordan’s estimated net worth is more than $1 billion.
How Tall Is Michael Jordan?
Basketball player Michael Jordan is 6 feet, 6 inches tall.
Michael Jordan’s Wives and Kids
In 1989, Michael Jordan married Juanita Vanoy. They had three children together: Jeffrey, Marcus and Jasmine. After 17 years of marriage, the couple divorced in December 2006.
In 2007, Michael Jordan’s eldest son, Jeffrey Jordan, made the basketball team at the University of Illinois. Both Michael Jordan and his ex-wife Juanita have supported their son and tried to help him deal with playing in the shadow of an NBA legend.
“He wants to be a basketball player, but he wants to do it on his own terms …The thing that we have tried to tell Jeff is that you set your own expectations. By no means in this world can you ever live up to someone else's expectations of who you are,” Michael Jordan said during an appearance on the Today show.
On April 27, 2013, Jordan married 35-year-old Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto in Palm Beach, Florida. Tiger Woods, Spike Lee and Patrick Ewing, among other celebrities, reportedly attended the wedding ceremony. The couple welcomed twin daughters, Victoria and Ysabel, in February 2014.
Growing up in Wilmington, North Carolina, Jordan developed a competitive edge at an early age. He wanted to win every game he played. As his father James later noted, “What he does have is a competition problem. He was born with that … the person he tries to outdo most of the time is himself.”
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC)
Jordan enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1981 and soon became an important member of the school's basketball team. UNC won the NCAA Division I championships in 1982, with Jordan scoring the final basket needed to defeat Georgetown University. He was also singled out as the NCAA College Player of the Year in 1983 and in 1984.
During the summer of 1984, Jordan made his first appearance at the Olympic Games as a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team. The team won the gold at the games that year, which were held in Los Angeles. Jordan later helped the American team bring home the gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games, held in Barcelona, Spain.
Professional NBA Career
Jordan left college after his junior year to join the NBA. Drafted by the Chicago Bulls, he soon proved himself on the court. He helped the team make it to the playoffs and scored an average of 28.2 points per game that season. For his efforts, Jordan received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was selected for the All-Star Game.
In 1985, Jordan finished his bachelor's degree in geography and continued to play basketball professionally. While his second season was marred by injury, he was breaking new ground on the court during the 1986-1987 season. He became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to score more than 3,000 points in a single season.
By the late 1980s, the Chicago Bulls were quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with, and Jordan was an instrumental part of the team's success. The Bulls made it to the Eastern Conference Finals in 1990 and won their first NBA championship the following year by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers. A rising NBA superstar, Jordan became known for his power and agility on the court as well as for his leadership abilities.
In 1992, the Chicago Bulls beat the Portland Trail Blazers to win their second NBA championship. The team took their third championship the following year, dominating in the basketball world.
Following a short stint in minor league baseball, in March 1995 Jordan returned to the basketball court, rejoining the Chicago Bulls and eventually helping them win the championship against the Seattle SuperSonics in the 1995-96 season.
The following season Jordan came back even stronger, averaging 30.4 points per game. Starting all 82 games that season, he helped the team finish the regular season with 72 wins and clinch a win in the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. The two teams faced each other again for the championships in 1998, and Jordan helped the Bulls beat them for the second year in a row.
Retiring after the 1997-98 season, Jordan joined the Washington Wizards as a part owner and as president of basketball operations. In the fall of 2001, Jordan relinquished these roles to return to the court once more. He played for the Wizards for two seasons before hanging up his jersey for good in 2003.
In a move that shocked many, after the end of the 1992-93 basketball season, Michael Jordan announced his retirement from basketball to pursue baseball. For one year, Jordan played for a minor league team, the Birmingham Barons, as an outfielder. This decision came shortly following the loss of his father, James, to an act of violence: Two teenagers shot James Jordan during an apparent robbery and were later convicted of the crime.
Businessman and Actor
Outside of his career in basketball, Michael Jordan has been involved in a number of profitable business and commercial ventures.
Over the years, Michael Jordan has signed a number of endorsement deals with brands including Nike, Hanes, Upper Deck, Gatorade, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, Chevrolet and Wheaties.
Jordan made a big splash in film as the star of the 1996 movie Space Jam. The film mixed live action and animation and paired Jordan with cartoon legends Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck on screen.
Part-Owner of the Charlotte Bobcats
In 2006, Jordan bought a share of the Charlotte Bobcats and joined the team's executive ranks as its managing member of basketball operations. In 2010, he became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and serves as the team's chairman. Improving the team's less-than-stellar record seems to be Jordan's priority.
He told ESPN in November 2012 that “I don't anticipate getting out of this business. My competitive nature is I want to succeed. It's always been said that when I can't find a way to do anything, I will find a way to do it.”
The Michael Jordan Steakhouse
In 1998, Michael Jordan launched into the restaurant business as the owner of Michael Jordan’s The Steak House N.Y.C. Designed to reflect Jordan’s tastes and style, this typical steakhouse seats 150 and 60 at the bar, occupying 7,000 square feet in Grand Central Terminal. Other locations include Uncasville, CT, Chicago, Ridgefield, WA.
From 2001 through 2014, Michael Jordan hosted an annual charitable golf event known as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational, with proceeds benefiting foundations including Make-A-Wish, Cats Care, the James R. Jordan Foundation, Keep Memory Alive and Opportunity Village.
Jordan received his first Most Valuable Player Award from the NBA in 1988‐an honor he would earn four more times in 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1998.
In April 2009, Jordan received one of basketball's greatest honors: He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Attending the induction ceremony was a bittersweet affair for Jordan because being at the event meant “your basketball career is completely over,” he explained.
In 2016, Jordan was presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom honor by Barack Obama.
February 17, 1963
- Michael Jordan’s idol as a child was Magic Johnson and his own nickname was “Magic Jordan” as a result. He even had a license plate with this nickname on it on his first car ‐ a 1976 Grand Prix.
- His father and his father’s grandfather both stuck their tongues out when concentrating and working and Michael learned to do the same thing. In fact, his dad was his first basketball trainer.
- The true part of the slighting legend is that Jordan used this perceived “slight”as motivation to work hard to improve and he also grew four inches before starting his junior year. His father was known to say that Michael was born competitive and the person he tried to best the most was himself.
- Jordan was selected as a member of the U.S. Olympic basketball team for the first time in the summer of 1984. The team won the gold at the Los Angeles games that year.
- Sports Illustrated Magazine presented Michael Jordan as the greatest athlete of the past 50 years in their 1996 edition.
- In April 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. He was inducted again in 2010 as a member of the 1992 United States Men’s Olympic Basketball Team (“Dream Team”) that won the gold medal. In 2015, Jordan became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame. His first induction was bittersweet for Jordan, as it meant that his basketball career was completely over. He played pro basketball for a total for fifteen years.
- Jordan has his own line of sport shoes called Air Jordan. They were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. He makes around $60 million annually from Nike and Jordan brand royalties. Today Nike’s Jordan Brand generates $1 billion in sales.
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