Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a retired professional basketball player and current owner of the Charlotte Hornets who is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Jordan played college ball for the Tar Heels at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before entering the NBA Draft. In the draft in 1984, he was selected third overall to the Chicago Bulls where he played the majority of his career.
Jordan is credited with making basketball a global sport and was the face of the game for years, even after his second retirement. With the spotlight on him at all times for most of his career, there is also much controversy about some aspects of his career. Regardless, MJ's impact on basketball cannot be understated as he helped propel the sport into the mainstream and made basketball a highly popular sport in the United States.
Michael Jordan played three years for the North Carolina Tar Heels in his college career. In his second year, 1982, he helped lead the Tar Heels to a National Championship over the Georgetown Hoyas with a game-winning shot.
After getting drafted by the Bulls, he immediately established his impact by winning Rookie of the Year for the 1984-85 season. He then dominated until after his third title in 1993 when he retired and pursued baseball for a year and a half. When he came back in 1994-95, he was just as amazing and led the Bulls to three more titles before retiring again and taking an executive position with the Washington Wizards.
In one of the most forgotten stints by a great player ever, Jordan actually came out of retirement again in 2001 to play for the Wizards before finally retiring for good in 2003.
Jordan had one of the most storied playing careers of any NBA player of all time. He made the All Star Game fourteen times in his 15-year career, only missing it the year that he came back from his baseball hiatus. He made the All-NBA First Team 10 times and the All-Defensive First Team 9 times. Jordan also won Most Valuable Player five times throughout his career.
His regular season success transferred greatly into the playoffs as his Chicago Bulls team won three championships in a row twice for six total Larry O'Brien Trophies, and he was the Finals MVP every time.
Jordan also found success in international play. He won gold medals in the Olympics two times in 1984 and 1992. He was a part of what is considered one of the greatest basketball teams ever assembled with the United States Dream Team that won the gold at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona, Spain.
Michael Jordan was born to parents James and Deloris Jordan on February 17, 1963. Jordan has four siblings: two brothers, James Jr. and Larry, and two sisters, Deloris and Rosalyn. He has also been married twice. With his first wife, Juanita Vanoy, he has two sons, Jeffrey and Marcus, and one daughter named Jasmine. MJ also has a pair of twins, Victoria and Ysabel, with his current wife, Yvette Prieto.
One of the biggest parts of Jordan's life off the court is his widely known shoe brand. Despite originally wanting to sign with Adidas, the premier shoe brand at the time, the brand could not foresee the cultural iconoclast Jordan would grow to be and would not match the contract Nike gave him. As a result, Jordan became a Nike athlete and was given his own "Air Jordan" brand. The Air Jordan brand changed the sneaker game and is still considered the marquee basketball shoe and is the reason that players today get signature sneakers from brands.
Jordan joined the Wizards as a player in 2001 because his competitive drive could not keep him off the court. Jordan only left the Bulls after his sixth championship in 1998 because of a feud with general manager Jerry Krause about his legendary coach, Phil Jackson. After realizing he did not want to quit yet, he put up a couple of productive years in Washington.
Jerry Krause was one of the best general managers in NBA history, taking a lowly Bulls squad and morphing it into one of the greatest dynasties in American sports history. Jordan, despite the duo's success, did not like Krause. People attribute this to a power struggle between the two. Jordan constantly insulted and degraded Krause and cited him as the reason he left Chicago and retired the year after winning his final MVP and NBA championship.
One of the biggest questions in the storied history of Michael Jordan's career is the reasoning behind Jordan's horrible illness before Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz where he dropped 38 of the Bulls 90 points in a two-point win. Jordan himself stated that it was from eating a bad pizza that someone intentionally spiked the night before and he was the only one to eat it. Other theories revolve around a hangover or a bout with the flu that he caught the day before.
One of the greatest conspiracy theories in all of sports, there are many questions around why exactly Jordan stepped away from the sport after his third ring in 1993. He said it is because his father died, and he did not feel the same love for basketball anymore. Conspiracy theorists will tell you a different story. These people believe that he was banned because of a gambling violation, but commissioner David Stern did not want to publicly humiliate the athlete who had become the face of the sport.