Michael Jordan


In professional sports, there are athletes who are good, but rarely are there athletes who go on to become one of the greatest of all time. Michael Jordan, a former NBA basketball player, who played fifteen seasons with the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards, is known as one one of those athletes. He has won numerous awards like six NBA championships and five MVP awards. After he retired, he was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame and cemented his legacy as one of the greatest of all time. 

Early Life

Michael Jordan was born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. When he was a young kid, his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. His father worked as a General Electric plant supervisor, and his mother worked at a bank. 

He would play high school basketball, but after being cut from the team in his sophomore year, he played very well, which earned him a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina.

In Jordan’s second season at North Carolina in 1982 as a sophomore, he won the ACC rookie of the year, and led UNC to the NCAA championship. The following year, he decided to commit for the NBA draft at the end of his junior season. He was selected by the Chicago Bulls with the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA draft.

A Star in the Making 

When Jordan was drafted by the Chicago Bulls, they weren’t a good team, drawing very few fans to home games. Jordan quickly turned that around. His incredible leaping ability thrilled fans in arenas around the league. In his first season, he was named to his first NBA All-Star team and at the end of his first NBA season, he was named the NBA Rookie of the Year.

A broken foot forced him to be sidelined for most of the 1985-86 season, but then he returned and scored 49 points against the Boston Celtics in the first game of the playoffs, and 63 in the second game, which is an NBA playoff record still standing to this day. During the 1986-87 season, Jordan started in the All-Star game after receiving a record 1.5 million votes to participate in the game. He became the first player since Wilt Chamberlain to score 3,000 points in a single season. He enjoyed his personal success, as he was already making a name for himself in the NBA. Throughout the 1988 season, he concentrated on improving his skills, and that resulted in him being named NBA Defensive Player of the Year. He was also named the MVP and became the first player in NBA history to lead the NBA in both scoring and steals.

To bolster their chances of winning a championship with Jordan as their franchise player, the Bulls  added players around him like Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. As a result of adding those players around him, the Bulls had created a “Big Three” trio, and that trio led them to win the 1991 NBA title by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers. In 1992, Jordan played on the United States’ “Dream Team”, which participated in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games in Barcelona. The team easily won the gold medal.

Shocking Retirement

In 1993, after a tough playoff series against the New York Knicks, the Bulls met the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. After the series was over, Jordan was again playoff MVP, and the Chicago Bulls won a third straight NBA title. That same summer, Jordan’s father, James, was murdered in a robbery attempt. Jordan was heartbroken by the news, which led to him to announce his early retirement from the NBA. People were shocked by the announcement because they thought that he was retiring way too early, as he was already making a name for himself in the NBA by winning three straight NBA titles, three MVP awards, three playoff MVP titles, and seven consecutive scoring titles. 

After his retirement announcement, he went on to play baseball for a couple of months. While playing baseball, he knew he wouldn’t succeed in the sport, but the time away from basketball made him fall in love with the game again. 


When Jordan came back to the Bulls after coming out of retirement during the 1994-95 season, everybody wondered if he could do it again after a short-term absence. He played hard, but he knew he was rusty. The Bulls were defeated in the playoffs by the Orlando Magic. Before the 1995-96 season, Jordan came back with a chip on his shoulder to prove that he still had what it took to play at a high level. The 1995-96 Bulls would finish the season with a record of 72-10, a then-NBA record which has since been broken by the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors. Jordan, with his rhythm back, earned his eighth straight scoring title. The Bulls would then go on to win their fourth NBA championship, beating the Seattle Supersonics. 

The following season in 1996-97, the Bulls again made the playoffs as expected. Heroic team effort pushed the Bulls to their fifth NBA championship. Lack of concentration hurt the team. In the fifth game of the finals Jordan carried the team to victory despite suffering from a flu. The following season in 1997-98, the Bulls marched into the playoffs. The most iconic moment of the 1997-98 season was when in Game 6 of the NBA Finals with the Chicago Bulls facing the Utah Jazz. The Jazz had the ball to try and push the Finals to a Game 7, but Jordan stole the ball and hit his iconic jumper, later called “The Shot”, to secure the sixth NBA championship for the Bulls. It would also be Jordan’s last game playing for the Chicago Bulls.  

Jordan retired for a second time in 1999, ending his illustrious career on a high note.  Many people argued that he was the greatest basketball player ever, and his retirement was called the “end of an era”.


In 2001, Jordan announced that he was ending his three year retirement to play for the Wizards at the age of thirty-eight. The Wizards improved with the addition of Jordan. After being voted to play in his thirteenth All-Star game, Jordan had the Wizards in the hunt for a playoff spot until he suffered a knee injury, which forced him to miss the remainder of the season, causing the Wizards to then miss the playoffs that same season. 

In 2003, Jordan officially retired from the NBA at forty years old, ending one of the most successful careers of any athlete. After he was inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2009, he officially cemented his legacy as one of the greatest basketball players of all time, and one of the greatest athletes in professional sports history.