Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For other people named Michael Jordan, see Michael Jordan (disambiguation).
An unstoppable force at both ends of the floor, Jordan ended a career of 15 full seasons with a regular-season scoring average of 30.12 points per game, the highest in NBA history (fractionally ahead of Wilt Chamberlain's 30.06). He won six championships, notched 10 scoring titles, and was league MVP five times. He was named to the All-Defensive First Team more than any other player, and led the league in steals three times. Judging by John Hollinger's Player Efficiency Rating, Jordan is the second greatest player in history of the NBA. In 1991, he was named Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year."
Jordan spent his childhood in Wilmington, North Carolina. He attended Emsley A. Laney High School, where he was a standout in football, baseball, and basketball. After entering the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he became a geography major.
Jordan has two older brothers (Larry and James), one older sister (Delores) and one younger sister (Roslyn). James R. Jordan is a Sergeant Major in the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U.S. Army. James R. gained certain celebrity himself when he announced, at the age of forty-seven, that he intended to stay in Iraq until the Iraqi invasion ends.
Michael Jordan currently lives in Highland Park, Illinois.
University of North Carolina
As a UNC freshman, Jordan was an exciting but not dominant player. He ended the 1982 year in grand style, hitting the winning shot in the 1982 NCAA championship game against Georgetown, led by future NBA rival Patrick Ewing. By his sophomore year, he was clearly the team's biggest star; as a junior, he was named the national player of the year. He was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 1984 NBA Draft as the third pick overall.
Jordan played 13 seasons for the Bulls, generally as a shooting guard. But his height (6'6", or 1.98 m), skills, and physical conditioning made him a versatile threat who could also play point guard and small forward. He won six NBA Championships (1991-1993 and 1996-1998) and was league MVP five times (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1998). He was also named Rookie of the Year (1985) and Defensive Player of the Year (1988), and won the Finals MVP award every year the Bulls reached the Finals -- a feat not likely to ever be duplicated. He also earned the elusive MVP triple crown (league, finals, all-star game) twice when he won All-Star MVP in both 1996 and 1998 (he also won in 1988). Only Willis Reed (1970) and Shaquille O'Neal (2000) have won all three MVP awards in the same season. In 1997, he also recorded the All-Star Game's only triple-double.
Jordan's coach as a Bull was Phil Jackson, who said:
- The thing about Michael is he takes nothing for granted. When he first came into the league in 1984, he was primarily a penetrator. His outside shooting wasn't up to professional standards. So he put in his gym time in the off-season, shooting hundreds of shots each day. Eventually, he became a deadly three-point shooter.
Jordan's #23 jersey was retired by the Bulls upon his retirement, and when he made his return in 1995, he did so wearing #45, the number he wore for the Birmingham Barons minor league baseball team. But he broke out his old #23 jersey during a second-round playoff series against the Orlando Magic, and continued to wear #23 for the remainder of his NBA career.
Jordan's father, James, was murdered in August 1993. While returning from the funeral of a friend, he decided to pull over onto the side of an interstate highway in North Carolina for a nap. While he was sleeping, two local criminals killed him and stole his Lexus (a gift from Michael), but the perpetrators were quickly found because they had made several calls from his cell phone. Michael and family did not immediately file a missing persons report, because the elder Jordan frequently took long trips by himself. By the time a report was filed, James' body, found bloated and floating in a river, had been cremated per local health laws as a John Doe. Media outlets initially tried connecting James' murder to Michael's alleged gambling habit, which had been widely publicized when Michael confessed to losing tens of thousands of dollars betting on his golf games.
Michael retired from basketball two days before the 1993-94 NBA season to pursue an unspectacular professional baseball career for the Birmingham Barons, a Chicago White Sox farm team. Many interpreted this pursuit of another childhood dream as a way to grieve. He batted .202 with 3 HR, 51 RBI, 30 SB (tied-5th in Southern League), 11 errors and 6 outfield assists. He led the club with 11 bases-loaded RBI and 25 RBI with runners in scoring position and two outs. He was never called up to the majors.
He ended his basketball retirement on March 19, 1995 by rejoining the Bulls. He led them to the Eastern Conference Semifinals that year, ultimately bowing out to the Orlando Magic. Beginning the next year, he won three consecutive NBA titles between 1996 and 1998, Jordan decided to retire again on January 13, 1999.
In 2001, he came out of retirement a second time to play for the Washington Wizards, though his skills were noticeably diminished by age. Yet despite an injury-plagued 2001-02 season, he still averaged nearly 23 points per game. Playing through pain, especially in his knee, he was still an important player for the Wizards. He returned for the 2002-03 season and averaged 20 points. He played in his 13th and final NBA All-Star Game in 2002-03. The 2002-03 season was heralded from the beginning as Jordan's final goodbye to his fans and, true to his word, he retired for the third time at the season's conclusion.
At the beginning of the 2001-2002 basketball season, Michael Jordan donated his entire $1 million salary to help the victims of the September 11 attacks.
Out of respect for Jordan's legacy, the Miami Heat retired his #23 jersey on April 11, 2003, despite the fact that he never played for the Heat. It was the first jersey the Heat retired in their then-15-year history, and it was half Wizards blue, half Bulls red.
Jordan played on two Olympic gold medal-winning American basketball teams: as a college player in the 1984 Summer Olympics, and in the 1992 Summer Olympics as a member of the original "Dream Team," with other legends such as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. It is also often rumored that Jordan kept guard Isiah Thomas off the roster. During Jordan's first All-Star game, Thomas is said to have orchestrated a "freeze-out" of Jordan—in other words, he convinced other veteran All-Stars to not pass the ball to this cocky rookie. Some allege Thomas' plan even extended to players on the opposing Western Conference team, although it's admittedly hard to see how; Johnson is generally believed to have been a party to the freeze-out. However, by the time of the 1992 Olympics, Johnson had worked to heal the breach between him and Jordan, unlike Thomas. A better example of the personal battle between Jordan and Thomas was during a game when Thomas staged a walk-off with several Detroit Pistons. Thomas clearly did not want to give Jordan the satisfaction of beating him since Detroit had eliminated the Bulls in the playoffs numerous times before. This was not only a basketball game but a playoff game. The selections to the Olympic "Dream Team" were conducted several months later, so the timing on this incident shows a better correlation to Thomas being left off of the Dream Team.
Michael Jordan is arguably one of the most marketed sports figures in history as well. He has been a major spokesman for such brands as Nike, Gatorade and MCI. He first appeared on Wheaties boxes in 1988, and acted as their spokesman as well.
He has also been connected with the Looney Tunes. A Nike commercial in the 1991 Super Bowl where he and Bugs Bunny played basketball against some Martians inspired the 1996 live action/animated movie Space Jam, which also starred Michael and the Looney Tunes in a fictional story set during his first retirement. They have subsequently appeared together in several commercials for MCI.
After his second retirement, Jordan formed the MVP.com sports apparel enterprise with fellow sports greats Wayne Gretzky and John Elway in 1999. Unfortunately, it fell victim to the dot-com bust, and the rights to the domain were sold to CBS SportsLine in 2001.
- NBA Most Valuable Player Award: 1987-88, 1990-91, 1991-92, 1995-96, 1997-98
- NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award: 1990-91, 1991-92, 1992-93, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98
- NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award: 1987-88
- NBA Rookie of the Year Award: 1984-85
- Naismith College Player of the Year: 1984
- John R. Wooden Award: 1984
- Adolph Rupp Trophy: 1984
- ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year: 1983-84
- NBA All-Star Dunk Contest Champion: 1987
- Official Website
- Photos from BBC
- 60+ Michael Jordan Photos including both Bulls and Wizards photos.
- More Pictures
- Jordan's misleading accomplishments
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details