Michael Jeffrey Jordan is an American businessman and former professional basketball player who played for 15 seasons in the NBA. He is the owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the NBA and 23XI Racing in the NASCAR Cup Series.
When someone says “Basketball Legend,” the first thing that comes to mind is the one and only Michael Jordan.
Basketball fans and sneaker-heads know him for his hoop skills and his signature sneakers, “Air Jordan.”
Though a page summary of his gaming may be an injustice to his basketball history, Michael is indeed a powerful and dedicated athlete and an artist, if you will.
Additionally, this star of the 90s dedicated more than a decade to basketball, becoming the most decorated player in NBA history.
Throughout his career, Michael has earned loads of honorable rewards. And rightfully so. Those who have experienced his speed and willpower describe him as god’s creation.
Jordan is truly a force to be reckoned with, both on and off the court. He amazed opponents and inspired his teammates to be a better version of themselves.
Besides the court, he also has impacted millions of hearts worldwide through his philanthropic works.
On the occasion of his 60th birthday on February 17, 2023, Michael Jordan will make a $10 million donation to Make-A-Wish, the largest donation ever received from an individual in the organization’s history.
Let’s have a look at some quick facts about Jordan:
|Michael Jeffrey Jordan
|Michael, Air Jordan
|17 February 1963
|Brooklyn, New York, United States
|Bachelor’s Degree in Geography (The University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill)
|4 (James Jr., Roslyn, Deloris, and Larry)
|61 Years Old
|6’6″/1.98 m/198 cm
|98 kg/216 lb.
|Juanita Vanoy (1989-2006), Yvette Prieto (2013-present)
|Name of Children
|Jeffrey, Marcus and Jasmine (Juanita Vanoy), Victoria and Ysabel (Yvette Prieto)
|Beginning of Professional Career
|NBA Teams (former)
|The Chicago Bulls, Washington Wizards
|Billy Donovan, Phil Jackson
|Career Earnings (NBA)
|Upper Deck Victory, Nike, MJ’s Steak House
|Signed Jersey, Signed Rookie Card, Basketball
The legendary basketball player was born Michael Jeffrey Jordan on 17 February 1963 in Brooklyn, New York.
His father, James R. Jordan Sr., was an equipment supervisor, and his mother, Delores, was a bank teller. Jordan grew up along with his four siblings: James Jr., Roslyn, Deloris, and Larry.
The former NBA player was competitive and determined right from an early age.
Jordan’s first love was baseball. But who would have known that he was fated to grace the basketball court?
His father even made a baseball and basketball court available in their residence’s backyards in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Later, in 1981, Jordan joined the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. There he completed his bachelor’s degree in geography before making his professional basketball debut.
Professional Basketball Career
Jordan started his professional career with the Chicago Bulls in 1984 after he was drafted as the 3rd overall pick. There were legendary players like John Stockton and Charles Barkley in the same draft.
In his rookie season, Jordan scored an average of 28.2 points. He received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award and was selected for the All-Star Game.
Despite the injury, in 1986-87, Jordan recorded more than 3,000 points in a single season.
With continuous effort and impressive performances, but failing to win the title, Jordan eventually led his team to the Eastern Conference Finals of the 1990-91 season.
The Bulls defeated Detroit Pistons in the finals and won their first-ever NBA Championship after losing for three consecutive seasons.
Similarly, the Bulls won their second and third NBA championship in a row. With this, Chicago Bulls became the first team to achieve a three peat.
In 1993, for a short stint, Jordan played in the minor baseball league and later returned to the basketball court.
After his comeback, he scored an average of 30.4 points per game in the 1995-96 season.
While in the 1996-97 season, Chicago nearly recorded 69 wins and advanced to the finals against the Utah Jazz. The Bulls went on to win the series in 6 games, and Jordan collected his Finals MVP award, his fifth in five finals appearances.
In the 1998-19 season, in the finals against the Jazz, Jordan cliched his sixth NBA championship after John Stockton of the Jazz missed a game-winning three-pointer.
In 1999, after his second retirement, Jordan joined the Washington Wizards as a part-owner and basketball team president.
According to reports, the Wizards’ salary was not enough. So later, in 2001, Jordan announced his NBA return as a player for the Washington Wizards.
He played his 14th and final NBA All-Star Game in 2003, passing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in All-Star Game history.
Jordan also participated in the 1984 Olympic games in Los Angeles and the 1992 Olympic games in Barcelona, Spain, as a member of the US Olympic basketball team.
Jordan, along with his national team, was able to bring the gold both times.
Jordan has been married twice by now. He married Juanita Vanoy in 1989 and had three children together (Jeffrey, Marcus, and Jasmine). The couple stayed together for about 17 years and divorced in 2006.
Both Jordan and Juanita seem equally supportive and involved in their children’s future despite the divorce.
Later on 27 April 2013, Jordan married Cuban-American model Yvette Prieto. They together have two daughters, Victoria and Ysabel.
Jordan’s sons Jeffrey and Marcus showed interest in basketball during their college days. However, both of them could not make it to the NBA.
Jordan spent 19 years playing basketball professionally. But he retired three times in 1993, 1998, and finally in 2003.
Jordan pursued baseball just after the news about the murder of his father. He explained his father always wanted him to play baseball too.
He represented Birmingham Barons and Scottsdale Scorpions as an outfielder from 1994-1995.
Jordan ended his career in basketball with 32,292 total points averaging 30.12 points per game. His overall score is the fifth, and his 2,514 steals still is the third-best in league history.
Eventually, Jordan earned his nickname “Air Jordan,” becoming a Hollywood celebrity.
Jordan became The Most Intriguing Person of the Century and one of the 50 Most Beautiful People chosen by People.
In 1999, ESPN voted him the greatest athlete of the 20th century.
Jordan collected his first NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 1988 and went on to win four other times in 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998.
Additionally, Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice (2009 and 2010).
In 2016, Jordan received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the 44th President of the US, Barack Obama.
The Last Dance
In summary, Jordan’s career is and will always remain legendary. What better way to highlight his best moments than with a documentary?
“The Last Dance” shows what Michael Jordan’s true legacy is. ESPN first aired this show and later made it available on Netflix.
The documentary takes us back to his Chicago Bulls days. We experience his rivalry, cheers from his faithful fans, and his motives to win the game at any cost, all from Michael’s point of view.
Additionally, the documentary shows Michael’s world without women in the foreground, including his first wife.
Michael expressed his joy over the fans’ reaction to it. Speaking to Today, Michael said, “I always thought that people would not understand my passion for the game, my passion for winning.”
He was paid $3-4 million for the documentary, but he donated it to charities instead. Besides, he is estimated to have received $10 million from the Netflix series “The Last Dance.”
After retiring as an athlete, Jordan continued to be involved in numerous lucrative business and commercial ventures. Brands were flocking to sign him up for endorsements. After all, you’d recognize that brilliant smile and confidence pose anywhere.
Nike and Jordan signed their deal in 1984, serving as the Nike Inc. board of directors for the first time. In 1985, Nike launched the signature Air Jordan basketball sneakers.
Eventually, the brand and name got famous due to Michael’s influence and fan loyalty.
Air Jordans have remained a best-seller for more than 39 years. They were estimated to record a revenue of $2.9 billion for the Air Jordan line in 2018 and $5 billion in 2022.
Besides Nike, Jordan made other endorsement deals with famous brands such as Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Upper Deck, and Hanes.
Further, in 1996, Jordan debuted as the star in the film Space Jam. He appeared with cartoon legends Bugs Bunny and Duffy Duck in the animated movie.
Michael also launched Michael Jordan’s The Steak House NYC in 1998. The main motive was to reflect Jordan’s tastes and style.
Later, Jordan also opened restaurants in Chicago at the Mohegan Sun casino and the Ilani Casino Resort.
As of 2024, it is up and running in a total of 4 locations; two in Illinois and one each in Connecticut and Washington.
Jordan also bought a share of the Charlotte Hornets in 2006. Initially, he was associated there as the team’s managing member of basketball operations.
Later, in 2010, he became the team’s majority owner serving as the chairman.
From 2001 to 2014, Jordan hosted a charity golf event named Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational.
Foundations like Make-A-Wish, Cats Care, Keep Memory Alive, the James R. Jordan Foundation, and Opportunity Village received proceedings.
Relation With Kobe Bryant
Both Michael and Kobe were the most iconic players during their respective hay days. So, naturally, this brought a lot of comparisons between them.
After all, Kobe had big shoes to fill. The media constantly pitted them against each other and tried to sell rivalry.
But they never let it get to them. Both these players approached each other with love and respect. Michael called Kobe his “little brother,” and Kobe called Jordan his “big brother.”
The zestful beginning of these two players’ friendship is seen in episode 5 of “The Last Dance.”
Kobe was a playful teenager with stars in his eyes every time he approached Michael.
According to Tim Grover, when Michael joined the NBA in 1996, Kobe waited for Michael to guide him in his moves.
After the Lakers and Bulls match, Kobe waited for Michael outside the tunnel because Michael took too long to come out of the locker room.
Security guards would even get tired of Kobe always waiting on Michael. As soon as Michael stepped off the court, Kobe bombarded him with questions.
Kobe was hungry to learn from Jordan and never gave up. Like a desperate student, Kobe worked on every lesson Michael taught him.
And Michael had a lot of affection for Kobe and even considered him his “annoying little brother.”
On The Demise of Kobe Bryant
Michael was more than a mentor to Kobe. He was a brother.
Kobe’s death left many players and fans worldwide devastated, arguably no one more than Michael Jordan.
On 26 January 2020, Kobe was on a chopper with his daughter Gigi and seven others when it crashed.
Michael gave an 11-minute speech full of tears at Kobe’s memorial service. On that note, he recalls his beautiful memories with Kobe.
He mentioned their late-night talks, not only just about games but family, business, and life. They talked about Gigi and discussed how to make her better.
Michael is one of the wealthiest athletes alive. He made around $94 million while playing NBA, but he was quickly making bank with his savvy business ways.
A brand endorsement like Nike was quickly adding up to his paycheck. As of 2024, Jordan has an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion per wealthygorilla.
Aside from brand endorsements, Jordan has also invested in businesses. He owns sprawling estates, a golf course, an NBA team, restaurants, and a private interest in DraftKings.
Gracing the basketball court in the NBA for 15 years and impacting the lives of every basketball enthusiast and aspiring player, Michael Jordan is loved by millions.
The above graph shows brief information about the popularity of Michael Jordan based on Google searches in the United States over a year.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS)
Can Michael Jordan be called a billionaire?
In 2021, Forbes announced Michael a billionaire. Since then, his net worth has been continuously on the rise. MJ is a billionaire with $2.2 billion as his net worth.
What is “The Last Dance”?
The Last Dance is a documentary film of Michael Jordan focusing on the 1997-98 season. Over 500 hours of footage from his live game were used to create the documentary.
What was Michael Jordan's mentality?
If you push him towards something that you think is his weakness, then he will turn that perceived weakness into a strength. That was his mentality. Moreover, Michael was an influential and hardworking athlete. He was dedicated to his career and was a beacon of hope for many young basketball fans.
Did Michael Jordan like Kobe Bryant?
Michael was a mentor to Kobe Bryant and never shied away from sharing his tips and tricks with him. During Kobe's memorial service, Michael was choking back tears as he gave his speech.