1. Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963), also known by his initials, MJ, is an American former professional basketball player.
2. Jordan played 15 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards.
3. His biography on the NBA website states: “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.”
4. After a three-season stint playing for coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina, where he was a member of the Tar Heels’ national championship team in 1982, Jordan joined the NBA’s Chicago Bulls in 1984.
5. He quickly emerged as a league star, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring.
6. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames “Air Jordan” and “His Airness”.
7. He also gained a reputation for being one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a “three-peat”.
8. Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the beginning of the 1993 94 NBA season to pursue a career in baseball, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as an NBA-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995 96 NBA season.
9. Jordan retired for a second time in January 1999, but returned for two more NBA seasons from 2001 to 2003 as a member of the Wizards.
10. Jordan’s individual accolades and accomplishments include five Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game appearances, three All-Star Game MVP Awards, ten scoring titles, three steals titles, six NBA Finals MVP Awards, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.
11. Among his numerous accomplishments, Jordan holds the NBA records for highest career regular season scoring average (30.12 points per game) and highest career playoff scoring average (33.45 points per game).
12. In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press’s list of athletes of the century.
13. Jordan is a two-time inductee into the Basketball Hall of Fame, having been enshrined in 2009 for his individual career, and again in 2010 as part of the group induction of the 1992 United States men’s Olympic basketball team (“The Dream Team”).
14. He fueled the success of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred in the 1996 feature film Space Jam as himself.
15. In 2006, he became part-owner and head of basketball operations for the then-Charlotte Bobcats, buying controlling interest in 2010.
16. Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Deloris (ne Peoples), who worked in banking, and James R. Jordan, Sr., an equipment supervisor.
17. His family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was a toddler.
18. He has two older brothers, Larry Jordan and James R. Jordan, Jr., one older sister, Deloris, and a younger sister, Roslyn.
19. Jordan’s brother James retired in 2006 as the Command Sergeant Major of the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U.S. Army.
20. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he anchored his athletic career by playing baseball, football, and basketball.
21. He tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 5’11” (1.80m), he was deemed too short to play at that level.
22. His taller friend, Harvest Leroy Smith, was the only sophomore to make the team.