The Michael Jordan reference article from the English Wikipedia on 24-Jul-2004
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Michael Jordan

Videos from a children's charity on sponsorship
Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963) is a former American basketball player, by many accounts the best basketball player in the history of the game (or any organized sport) and the NBA.

Born in Brooklyn, New York as son of Delores and James Jordan, he lived in Wilmington, North Carolina through his childhood and was educated at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from where he was selected by the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 1984 NBA Draft as the third pick. At 6'6" (1.98 m), he was automatically a versatile threat on the floor, able to play both as a point guard and small forward in addition to his usual position of shooting guard.

Michael Jordan currently lives in Highland Park, Illinois.

University of North Carolina

As a freshman at UNC he was an exciting player but not yet dominant on a team. He ended the year in grand style, however, hitting the winning shot in the 1982 NCAA championship game. By his sophomore year he was clearly the team's biggest star became national player of the year as a junior.

The Olympics

Jordan also formed part of the American team that won the Olympic gold medal. He first participated as a college player in the 1984 Summer Olympics, and later in the 1992 Summer Olympics as a member of the original "Dream Team," with other great players such as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan played as a shooting guard for Chicago for thirteen seasons. He won six NBA Championships (1991-93 and 1996-98) and was MVP five times (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996 and 1998). He also won Rookie of the Year (1985), Defensive Player of the Year (1988), and a record six NBA Finals MVP awards, including three consecutive twice(1991-93, 96-98). He also earned the elusive MVP triple-crown twice when he won All-Star MVP in both 1996 and 1998 (he also won in 1988). Only Willis Reed (1970) and Shaquille O'Neal (2000) have won all three MVP awards in the same season. He also recorded the only triple-double in All Star Game history in 1997. Jordan was an unstoppable force at both ends of the floor, finishing his career with the highest points-per-game average in NBA history with a record ten scoring titles, and being named All-Defensive First Team more than any other player, including three steals titles. In 1991, he was named Sports Illustrated magazine's "Sportsman of the Year."

He retired from basketball before the 1993-94 season to pursue a professional baseball career for the Chicago White Sox but never made it out of the minor leagues.

He ended his retirement by rejoining the Bulls near the end of the 1994-95 season. After three more NBA titles, Jordan decided to retire again after winning his last championship in 1998.

Jordan remains the ultimate postseason performer, holding playoff records for most points in a single game (63), most points per game (33.4), most points per game in a Finals series (41.0, set against the Phoenix Suns in 1993), and total points scored (541).

Washington Wizards

In 2001, he came out of retirement a second time to play for the Wizards. Although his skills were somewhat diminished by age, and he was injured for part of the 2001-02 season, he still averaged 22.9 points per game. He returned for the 2002-03 season, averaging 20.0 points, and playing in his 13th and final NBA All-Star Game.

At the end of the 2002-03 season, he retired for the third and (most likely) final time. He ended his career with a regular-season scoring average of 30.12 points per game, the highest in NBA history. This was fractionally ahead of Wilt Chamberlain's 30.06 average.

Bugs Bunny and Jordan in <em>Space Jam</em>Enlarge

Bugs Bunny and Jordan in Space Jam

Merchandising

Professional athletes have long been associated with
merchandising and commercial promotions, and Jordan has proven himself to be exceptionally talented when it comes to merchandising. He is noted for his extensive commercial work for companies such as Nike, with their Air Jordan gear. He has also appeared in a popular McDonald's restaurant promotional campaign entitled "Nothin' but net," which included a series of television commercials featuring a friendly competition between Jordan and Larry Bird.

Michael Jordan trading cards are valuable to collectors.

In 1996, Warner Bros gave Jordan a leading role in a special-effects laden feature film titled Space Jam, which also featured classic Warner Bros. cartoon characters Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and others. Critical reaction to the film was lukewarm, as many felt it was essentially a feature-length commercial that cast Jordan as an angelic "godlike" basketball legend. Nonetheless, the movie earned over $100 million in box office revenue alone, further cementing Jordan's reputation as a bankable figure.

A 2002 family film titled Like Mike was a fictional story of a young boy who accidentally comes into possession of a pair of Michael Jordan's basketball sneakers. The sneakers magically endow the child with superhuman basketball skills, and he becomes a professional athlete before the age of 12.

James Jordan

Jordan's father, James, was murdered in 1994. While returning from the funeral of a friend, he decided to pull over onto the side of an interstate highway in North Carolina to take a nap. While he was sleeping, two local criminals pulled by, killed him, and stole his Lexus, which was given to him by Michael. The perpetrators were tracked down quickly because they had made several calls from his cell phone.

External links

1992 Olympic Champions Men's Basketball - "Dream Team"
Charles Barkley | Larry Bird | Clyde Drexler | Patrick Ewing | Magic Johnson | Michael Jordan | Christian Laettner | Karl Malone | Chris Mullin | Scottie Pippen | David Robinson | John Stockton
Coach Chuck Daly