The Career of Basketball's Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan is the Chicago Bulls superstar who beat Charles Barkley and Akeem Olajuwon for Rookie of the Year Honors in 1985. Perhaps, he is the greatest player to ever play the game....he even has six championship rings to back up his claim, including 3 straight from 1991-1993, and 3 more in 1996-1998. Michael was named the NBA Finals MVP in all of those titles. He's won them all with Scottie Pippen. In 1991, Jordan's Bulls finally overcame the greatest impediment to their team's success, Isiah Thomas' Detroit Pistons, who had regularly eliminated the Bulls from the playoffs. In 1993 he averaged 41.0 ppg in the finals, for a record. This 6-6 superstar guard is a perennial NBA first teamer (10 times from 1987-1993 and 1996 and again as a unanimous selection in 1997 and 1998). He was once again an All-NBA First Team member in 1996 after making his return from baseball. You can always pencil Mike in as the starting guard for the all-star game (13 appearances in 1985 and from 1987-1993, 1997-1998 and again in 2002). He started for the ninth time in 1997, as the first player EVER to receive more that 2 million votes. In the 1997 Game he became the first player ever to record a triple double in the all-star game with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 asssists. Jordan was not named MVP that year (Glen Rice received that honor), but he did win the Game's MVP award in 1988 after scoring 40 points and again in 1996. Jordan was once again elected to start (10th time in 12 appearances) in 1998 after leading the eastern conference in voting. After coming out of retirement, Jordan was elected to start again for the eastern all-stars in 2002.
Jordan holds the record for most career scoring titles with eight, including 7 straight, also a record. He scores so many points that it is almost unfair to compare him with other players. On November 6, 1996 Michael scored 50 points for the 36th time in his career! Jordan eclipsed the 25,000 career points total, and he continues to dominate in that statistical category. He was the tenth player to score that many points, accomplishing the feat against San Antonio on November 30, 1996, with his 35th point of the game. On January 4, 2001 Michael Jordan scored his 30,000 career point, becoming the fourth player in NBA history to reach the 30,000 point milestone. Jordan, now with 30,014 points, joined Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (38,387), Karl Malone (33,669), and Wilt Chamberlain (31,419) in the 30,000+ club. Oh yeah, he's also the Bull's All-Time leading scorer, no surprise there. His career scoring average of around 32 ppg is the best of all-time...even better than Wilt and Jordan never scored 100 points in a game. On 12/30/97 Jordan broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of scoring in double digits in 788 consecutive games. He will undoubtedly bury this record, as there is no end in sight to his double-digit habits. He ended the season with 840 consecutive games.
Jordan wins the MVP Award for the 4th time in 1996 and wins it again a 5th time in 1998. What else can Mike do? Play defense. He became the fourth player to record 2,000 career steals on April 4, 1996. He has led the league in steals 3 times. He was also named the NBA Defensive Player of the Year in 1988 and has 9 All-Defensive First Team Selections to his name, including 1998. He beat Bobby Jones record of 8 selections to the team.
Jordan, a UNC alum, was named the Consensus College player of the year in 1984 and College Player of the Year by TSN in 1983 and 1984. He is a true Tar Heel, always wearing his Carolina Blue shorts during a game...for good luck. He also won the NCAA Championship alongside Worthy and Perkins as a freshman at UNC. Michael was named ACC Rookie of the Year in 1982. He was the 3rd pick in the draft after declaring early eligibility, with Coach Dean Smith's blessing, after his junior season. The Portland Trailblazers will always be associated with one of the biggest blunders in basketball history by passing on Jordan and taking Sam "I can't play my legs are made out of tissue paper" Bowie. Jordan started for the eastern all-stars as a Rookie and was named to the All-NBA Second Team as well as the All-Rookie First Team and Rookie of the Year.
Michael is married, and he and his wife Juanita have 3 kids, named Jasmine, Jeffrey and Marcus. He has been on two Olympic Gold Medal teams. Once as a college player in 1984 and the second time on Dream Team I in 1992. Air Jordan, is one of the two most explosive dunkers of all-time, the other being Dr. J. He has won the Slam Dunk Contest Twice (1987 and 1988, competing previously in 1985), then basically retired from the competition. Michael dons a brand new pair of Air Jordans for each game, usually donating the pair after the game.
Jordan's father, James, was killed in a robbery in 1993. This devastating event in Michael's life was partially responsible for him leaving the NBA. He claimed that basketball held no more challenges for him. He turned to Baseball for a challenge where he played in the White Sox organization. He was quick, and could play defense, but he just couldn't do enough with the bat. His return to basketball came on March 19, 1995 against Indiana. The Bulls had retired Jordan's number 23 on November 11, 1994. When Michael returned he wore number 45, but soon returned to his familiar number 23. After a shaky return at the end of the 1995 season (only scoring 26.9 ppg), he was back in full form for 1995-96, winning another scoring title. He was named the MVP for the fourth time in 1996 and won his fourth NBA Championship and won his fourth NBA Finals MVP Trophy. Jordan was only the second person, the other was Willis Reed in 1970, to win the MVP for the regular season, Finals and AS Game. Jordan did it in 1996 after making his return and leading the Bulls to an NBA record 72 wins. Jordan led his Bull's to a Sixth NBA Championship in 1998, and he added a fifth MVP Trophy in 1998, after losing out to Karl Malone in 1997. He also beat Karl's Jazz for the Title that year. Jordan joins Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Russell as the only five time winners of the MVP, Jabbar has actually won it six times. Jordan was named MVP in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996 and now in 1998. In 1996 he was also selected to be on the All-Interview team, along with Malone, Barkley, Magic and Jayson Williams. He was a repeat on the All-Interview in 1998 when everyone asked him about his retirement. During the summer of 1996, Michael starred in his first feature movie, Space Jam alongside Bugs Bunny, Marvin Martian and Porky Pig. The movie idea was born in a series of McDonalds commercials. The movie was definately Michael's vehicle, as it focussed on his life, giving us some tidbits of what it was like to grow up as MJ. Jordan signed a huge one year contract for 1996-97 in which he will make over 30 million dollars. Finally, since Jordan has always been one of the most underpaid players in the league, making most of his salary from endorsements. The Bulls renewed his contract in 1997-98 for a reprted 33 million for one year. Michael announced his retirement from basketball and the Chicago Bulls for a second time on January 13, 1999. Debate will continue for years whether or not he was the greatest of all time. He's back! On September 25, 2001 Jordan ended his retirement and returned to basketball, giving up his ownership of the Washington Wizards, he picked up his sneakers and signed a two year contract to play for them!
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