Childhood & Early Life
Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born to James and Deloris, on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York. James worked in the electrical and heavy equipment industry, while Deloris was a banker. The family consisting of four other children Larry, James R. Jr., Roslyn, and Deloris, settled down later in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Michael went to Wilmington's 'Emsley A. Laney High School', where he developed a love for sports like basketball, baseball and football. As a child, he was taught by his parents to be hardworking and independent. In school, he wanted to join the sophomore basketball team, but was rejected because he was too short.
Instead of being depressed, he joined the school's junior basketball team. He played exceptionally well, and worked hard to increase his height. Having impressed everyone, he was chosen for the 'McDonald's All-American Team', the best of all high school basketball teams.
As a senior in high school, the young boy played for college teams like 'North Carolina', 'Virginia', 'Duke', and 'Syracuse'. Finally, in 1981 he was offered a scholarship by the 'University of North Carolina', based on his performance in basketball. In college, he graduated in cultural geography.
At the university, he was trained by the famous basketball coach Dean Smith, and Jordan was titled 'Freshman of the Year' by the 'Atlantic Coast Conference'. In 1982, his jump shot was a major factor in the team winning the 'NCAA Championship' against 'Georgetown University'.
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In 1984, he dropped out of university with the aim of joining the 'NBA Draft'. However, the young athlete was selected by team ‘Chicago Bulls’ after players Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie were chosen by 'Houston Rockets' and 'Portland Trail Blazers', respectively.
In the 'Summer Olympics' held in 1984, he was part of a gold medal-winning team that included players like Sam Perkins, Steve Alford, and Patrick Ewing.
Michael came back to college, and graduated from the 'University of North Carolina' two years later.
During 1984-87, as a part of 'Chicago Bulls', a team that didn't have much luck with victory, Jordan proved his mettle with an above-average ppg of 28.2.
He gained immense popularity, which was resented by players of his own and rival teams alike. As a result, team mates did not pass the ball to him on several occasions, and the 'Bulls' lost the playoffs to 'Milwaukee Bucks'.The enthusiastic basketball player took his team through the playoffs of every season he participated in. The young athlete scored 100 blocks and 200 steals in a single season, becoming the first to do so in the history of 'NBA'.
Even though the 'Bulls' lost the playoffs to the 'Boston Celtics', the former fared relatively better than before.
From 1987-90, the new star of 'Chicago Bulls' led his team through the first round of 'NBA Playoffs' in the first season, and till the finals in the next two. They defeated teams like 'Cleveland Cavaliers', 'New York Knicks', 'Milwaukee Bucks', and 'Philadelphia 76ers', but in each season, ‘Detroit Pistons’ led by Isiah Thomas, beat the 'Bulls' out of the game.
In the next season of 1990-91, Jordan helped the 'Bulls' sail through the playoffs and reach the 'Eastern Conference' finals. His team faced 'Detroit Pistons' once again, but this time, it was the 'Chicago Bulls' that emerged victorious. The winners played the 'NBA’ finals against the ‘Los Angeles Lakers’, bagging their first victory in the history of the game.
The next two seasons the 'Chicago Bulls' defeated 'Blazers', and 'Phoenix Suns', winning three consecutive championships.
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In the 'Summer Olympics' of 1992, he was once again a member of what is known as the "dream team", a gold medal-winning group of talented players like Magic Johnson, David Robinson, and Larry Bird.
In 1993, the popular athlete was observed gambling, an allegation that he owned up to, in an interview on the '60 Minutes' show. The same year, on October 6, he publicly declared his decision to retire, stating his father's murder as one of the reasons.
The following year, the basketball player signed up with 'Chicago White Sox' for a baseball contract. This was Michael's way of realizing his father's dream to see his son playing baseball. The same year, he also played for other minor baseball teams including ‘Birmingham Barons' and 'Scottsdale Scorpions'.
Without their star player in the team, the 'Chicago Bulls' failed to perform at the 'NBA' championships. In 1995, the famous player decided to give up baseball, and return to the basketball, playing once again for the 'Bulls'.
His return match was played against the 'Indiana Pacers' team, which the 'Bulls' won. His team went on to win games against 'Atlanta Hawks', and 'New York Knicks'.
However, in the 'Eastern Conference Semifinal', against the 'Orlando Magic' team, the 'Bulls' failed to capture a victory. Despite Michael's average of 31 points in each game, 'Orlando Magic' won the season.
During 1995-98, the famous athlete played three seasons of 'NBA' championship, beating 'Seattle SuperSonics', and 'Utah Jazz' in the following two championships. This win along with 5 victories earlier, was an important milestone in his career as it made him the six time recipient of the ‘Most Valuable Player’ (‘MVP’) title at the ‘NBA’ finals.
On January 13, 1999, Jordan retired once again from the game, but the following year, he came back as the President of Basketball Operations for team 'Washington Wizards'.
In 2001, the athlete decided to begin playing again, and trained rigorously to get in form. He also appointed his old coach from the 'Chicago Bulls', Doug Collins, to train his team 'Washington Wizards'.
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The same year, on September 25, announced that he would play basketball for the 'Washington Wizards', declaring that he would contribute his whole salary for the victims of the 9/11 attack. In the 2001-02 season though, he could not play too many games owing to a serious knee injury.
In 2003, he played his final 'NBA All-Star' match against 'Philadelphia 76ers', and beat Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's record of scoring the most number of points. However, after several intentional fouls against Michael, the 'Washington Wizards' lost. The celebrated player, however, was given a standing ovation that lasted for three minutes.
Post-retirement, the athlete was removed from his post of President with the 'Washington Wizards'. In 2004, he founded his own motorcycle racing team, 'Michael Jordan Motorsports'. Two years later, he became part-owner of the NBA team, 'Charlotte Bobcats', holding a majority stake in its operations.
Personal Life & Legacy
In 1989, Jordan got married to Jaunita Vanoy, but they separated after seventeen years of marriage. As settlement, Jaunita received 168 million dollars from her former husband. The couple have two sons, Jeffrey and Marcus, both of who are basketball players.
On April 27, 2013, the basketball player got married to model Yvette Prieto, who he had been dating for quite some time, at the 'Bethesda-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church'. The following year the couple had twin daughters, Victoria and Ysabel.
This sportsperson is so popular that he has been signed on by several big brands as their ambassador. He has endorsed top brands like 'McDonald's', 'Wheaties', 'Chevrolet', 'Nike', 'Hanes', 'Coca-Cola', and 'Gatorade'.
The celebrated sportsman has donated money for charitable organizations like ‘Hales Franciscan High School’, in Chicago, and ‘Habitat for Humanity’, Georgia.