Michael Jordan Michael Jordan was born on January 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. He has two brothers, is married, and has three kids. He is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time (Kornbluth). My focus will be on his hardships, accomplishments, and people who influenced him. First, I would like to touch on some general information about Michael.
He wears number 23 on his jersey because he considered it to be half of his brother’s number, 45. He had wanted 45 because it was his brother’s number and he deeply admired his brother, but he was on the same team as his brother so he needed to pick a different number. His most well known superstition is that he wears his University of North Carolina basketball shorts under his game shorts. When Michael was a kid, his favorite sport was not basketball. In fact, it was baseball.
He was a pitcher on a little league team. He played baseball because he was short (Kornbluth). Later in his life, he would try to leave the NBA and play major league baseball. Michael was not always rich. His parents had to work two and three jobs each to support the family.
Before Michael’s dad built him a basketball court in his back yard Michael shot, basketballs into a trash can (Kornbluth). Michael was not always good at basketball, either. People told Michael that he was too short to play basketball. Michael now stands six feet six inches tall. He also went to the school gym before school to shoot baskets, stayed after school to shoot baskets, and could be found in the school gym on weekends shooting baskets.
He also played his brother, Larry, one-on-one in basketball. His brother was only a year older than Michael was, but he was much better and taller than Michael was. Michael would often times lose and end up getting in a fight with his brother. This caused Michael to be extremely determined to succeed at basketball (Kornbluth). In his sophomore year of high school, he tried out for the Varsity team.
He did not make it, so he was placed on the Junior Varsity team. On the J.V. team, he averaged 28 points per game. He thought this would get the attention of the Varsity team coach. It did. However, it was not in the way he hoped it would. The assistant coach for the Varsity team was sick so they needed someone to hand out towels to the players while on a playoff road trip.
That is what Michael got to do (Kornbluth). When he finally got on the Varsity team in his junior year, he still worked hard. He practiced with both the Varsity and the Junior Varsity teams and continued to go to the school gym and work on his shooting (Kornbluth). Michael’s hard work would attract many scouts from colleges (Kornbluth). He would go to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In college, he was a very good player.
In his junior year, the Tar Heels went to the NCAA Championship game where he would hit a clutch game winning buzzer beater to win the NCAA Championship. In 1984, Michael played for the United States Olympic basketball team. Michael was among the best college players in the country and helped the team win the gold medal. Michael was also part of the 1992 United States Olympic basketball team. The team was composed of the best NBA players and was nicknamed “The Dream Team.” This Olympic team also won the gold medal (www.unc.edu/~lbrooks2/jordan.html).
Michael was drafted after his junior year in college and would be the third pick in the first round of the 1984 NBA Draft. He went to the Chicago Bulls, who at that time were a struggling team. With Michael on their team, they started to win. Michael was the NBA’s rookie of the year in 1985. He would also be a NBA all-star in his rookie year and a NBA all-star game starter in 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1996.
In 1988 Michael would win the first of four league MVP honors, the others being 1991, 1992, and 1996. He was named the MVP of the 1988 and 1996 NBA all-star games. In 1991, the Bulls won their first NBA Championship led by Michael Jordan. Michael was the MVP of the 1991 NBA Finals. The next year Michael led the Bulls to a second straight NBA Championship and was the 1992 NBA Finals MVP. The following year, the Bulls won their third straight NBA Championship.
Again, Michael was the MVP of the NBA Finals (www.nba.com). His list of achievements ! for his first “career” in basketball go on and on. On August 14, 1993 Michael’s father, James Jordan was murdered (Lee). After the 1993 NBA season Michael retired from basketball (www.unc.edu/~lbrooks2/jordan.html). Michael would now try baseball with the Birmingham Barons. During the 18 months Michael was away from basketball, he would have his jersey retired in the United Center, have a bronze statue of him in front of the United Center and would draw enormous crowds to minor league baseball games. After 18 months, Michael got tired of baseball, especially because he was being criticized because he was not too good at baseball.
Michael would come back to basketball with 17 games left in the regular season. The Bulls would make the playoffs that year, but, unfortunately, get defeated by the Orlando Magic. When he returned to basketball the list of awards and achievements kept flowing in as if he had never quit the game. In addition to his great feats and huge paycheck ($25 Million this year), Michael also has major advertising deals. These deals include companies and products such as Nike, Gatorade, and Wheaties. In addition to all of his other accomplishments, Michael is also a movie star.
He stared in Space Jam with Bugs Bunny. He also has a restaurant in Chicago named after him. All in all I believe that Michael Jordan is the best basketball player of all-time and will be remembered as so for a long time to come. He is an even greater man for his donations to charities. What makes his life so much more amazing is every hardship he has had to overcome.