Michael Jordan: The early years.Michael Jordan was one of five children born to James and Delores Jordan.He was born February 17, 1963 in Brooklyn. The Jordans’ felt that the streetsof Brooklyn were unsafe to raise a young family of five children. Instead oftrying to endure the streets of Brooklyn, the Jordan family moved to Wilmington,North Carolina.
James got a job in Wilmington as a mechanic and Delores got ajob as a teller at United Carolina Bank. The Jordan’s always stressed the valueof manners to their children. The above examples typified Michael Jordan’searly years.Michael’s first love.Michael always had an eye for baseball. He played as an outfielder andas a pitcher.
When he was twelve, he was the top player in his league. Michaelhad his picture placed in the Morning Star, which is Wilmington’s newspaper. Bythe age of fifteen, he wasn’t the star in baseball he once was.
He was stillvery good, but he had lost some of his focus. Later, in his high school career,he dropped baseball to pursue another interest.Basketball and Michael.When Michael was younger he adopted the game of basketball.
Mike usedto work with his father in the garage. While working with his father, Michaelpicked up the habit of sticking his tongue out in an intense situation. WhenMichael reached the ninth grade, he tried out for basketball. Coach Lynch,Michael’s coach, cut Michael which in turn may have made the best player alivetoday. Michael then took practicing basketball to another level.
He played hisbrother Larry whenever he could. Michael never expected what would come in thenear future.The College Years.Michael Jordan went to the University of North Carolina as a basketballrecruit. Even though Jordan at 6’5″ was a man with potential, he still studiedvery hard in an attempt to get a good education, while competing in sports.Mike wasn’t expected to be a star of the Tar Heels, since they had players suchas James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and Al Wood. By the end of the 1981-82 season,Jordan, as a freshman, was an everyday starter.
Carolina reached the Final Fourwith the help of Jordan, who had sixteen points and led the team with ninerebounds. In the final twenty seconds, Michael made a title winning shot fromthe left baseline. In Michael’s sophomore and junior seasons, he was votedCollege Basketball’s Player of the Year.
Through Michael’s three years atCarolina, he average 17.7 points per game, while maintaining a “B” average.The Rookie Season.After a great college career, Michael was drafted by the Chicago Bullsas the third pick of the 1984-85 season.
Michael quickly signed a $6.15 millioncontract. Michael made a huge impact in the National Basketball Association.
He made such an impact that he was selected to be an alternate on the EasternDivision All-Star squad. During his rookie season with the Bulls, companiesstarted picturing Jordan on posters and on television. Jordan led the Bulls toa 38 win and 44 loss season. Jordan averaged 28.2 points per game, whilesetting a team record with 2,313 points.
He won the Schick Pivotal Player ofthe Year Award, Seagram’s NBA Pivotal Player of the Year Award, and the honor ofRookie of the year.Michael and Endorsements.With Michael’s growing success in the NBA, more and more companieswanted to use the “Air Jordan” name. One of the first companies to use his namewas Nike. Nike paid Michael $2.5 million, so they could begin a line of shoesknown as “Air Jordan’s.
” Nike sold 2.3 million pairs for $65. Other companieswould attempt to endorse Jordan. These companies include Coca-Cola, Wilsonbasketballs, McDonald’s, Excelcior Internantion (Time Jordan watches), Wheatiesand Gatorade to name a few.
Most Valuable Player.During the 1987-88 season, Jordan raised his game to another level. TheBulls status was also raised to another level with the additions of ScottiePippen and Horace Grant. Michael was having another great season and this wasevidenced when he started on the Eastern Division All-Star squad. During theAll-Star games Jordan won the slam-dunk contest. He then finished the season,leading the Bulls in scoring for 81 games out of the 82 game season. Michaelaveraged 35 points per game.
For his efforts, Jordan was selected as the MostValuable Player and as Defensive Player of the Year.The First Championship.During the 1990-91 season, Chicago went on a rampage. The Bulls had 61wins and 21 losses, which was the best record in franchise history. Michaelaveraged 31.5 points which won him his fifth scoring title.
The Bulls reachedthe NBA finals for the first time in Jordan’s career. The Bulls faced the LosAngeles Lakers which was called a dream matchup between Michael and MagicJohnson. Chicago won the series rather easily. Jordan was voted Most ValuablePlayer of the finals.Jordan Quits Basketball.Michael Jordan announced after winning his third consecutive NBAchampionship, that he was stepping down from the game he loved. He said that hewas tired of the pressures.
Some people believe that Jordan’s gambling debtscaused Jordan to quit. Others believe that the slaying of his father whichhappened on August 15, 1993 caused Jordan to quit. There is one final theory.The theory is that Michael wanted to pursue one of his childhood dreams,professional baseball.Michael and Baseball.
Michael Jordan announced that he would pursue his dream of playingbaseball. Jordan joined the Chicago White Sox organization. The White Sox gaveJordan a tryout and then decided that he would be best playing with theBirmingham Barons. When Mike hit his first home run on July 30, he pointed tothe sky honoring his father. However Jordan struggled in baseball, with ahorrible average. Jordan would soon be back to the game he loved.He’s Back.
After spending 17 months away from the game he loved, Michael Jordancame back on March 18, 1995. Although he was back, number 23 was not back.Jordan came back as number 45. In his first few weeks back, Jordan’s shot wasoff, although his superb leadership was back. In one game Michael showedflashes of his old self. Michael scored 55 points in a game at Madison SquareGarden in New York.
A few weeks later, Michael, a very superstitious man,switched his number from 45 to 23. Although the Bulls were defeated by theOrlando Magic in the playoffs, the Bulls went on their best winning streak ofthe season.Accomplishments.Michael Jordan has been called the best basketball player ever by MagicJohnson. Jordan has led the NBA in scoring an amazing seven times. Jordan isonly the second player to score 3000 points in one season, with the other beingWilt Chamberlain. Mike was voted Defensive Player of the Year in 1988.
Jordanhas been Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals three times. He was SportsIllustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1991. Jordan has also received three MVPawards between 1988 and 1992.Miscellaneous