Arguably the greatest basketball
player in history (although you won't find too many arguments against it).
Was a member of the NBA's Chicago Bulls from 1984-1993 and 1995-1998, and of the Washington Wizards from 2001-2003. His list of achievements could fill pages. They include:
* Led the Bulls to 6 NBA titles (1991-3, 1996-8) and was MVP of the Finals all 6 times.
* League MVP 5 times.
* NBA Rookie of the Year in 1985
* Led NBA in scoring 10 times, and averaged 30.1 points per game over his career (both records)
Jordan (DOB: February 17, 1963; Brooklyn, New York) was also successful in college, hitting the game-winning shot for North Carolina in the NCAA championship game in 1982, as a freshman. He was actually only the third overall pick in the 1984 draft, behind Hakeem (then known as Akeem) Olajuwon and Sam Bowie.
His legacy goes beyond on-court accomplishments. Jordan was the most marketed athlete in history. He was everywhere, selling Nike sneakers, underwear, Gatorade and numerous other things. He was the main reason behind the NBA's growth in the late '80s and early '90s. His red #23 jersey was found on playgrounds from coast-to-coast.
Just about the only thing Jordan didn't succeed in was baseball. In 1993, Jordan retired from basketball and took up baseball. The next year, he played for the Birmingham Barons, a minor league affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He failed miserably, hitting .202. By March 1995, he was back in a Bulls uniform.
Jordan was so important to the Bulls, and to Chicago, that there is a statue of him in midflight in front of the United Center (where the Bulls play).
In the late '90s through 2001, Jordan had been president of basketball operations for the Washington Wizards, trying to take his on-court success into ownership.
On September 25, 2001, Michael Jordan announced that he was unretiring for a second time, in order to play for the Wizards. He was 38 years old and is risking some of his great basketball legacy, playing for a mediocre-at-best team that wasn't a threat to even make the playoffs.
And they didn't make the playoffs either year of Jordan's comeback, but Jordan certainly made them a much better team. MJ averaged 22.9 and 20.0 points per game, along with contributing significant rebounds and assists.
Some added drama to the end of Jordan's career was whether he'd retain the all-time scoring record (in points per game). At the time of his retirement in 1998, Jordan averaged 31.5 ppg in his career, significantly higher than Wilt Chamberlain's 30.1 Yet, with his scoring down with the Wizards (afterall, he turned 40 years old in his final season), there was a chance that Jordan's average could drop below Wilt's. However, Jordan did enough to retain the mark (with his own 30.1 being a bit more than Wilt's).
Jordan plans to return to the Wizards' front office, with his legacy as perhaps the greatest basketball player ever secure.