If you ever need inspiration, just remember that Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team for being too short. By the mid-1990s, people were acknowledging him as the greatest basketball player ever.
The list of accolades he won in his career is long. 6 NBA Championships, 6 NBA Finals MVP, 5 NBA Regular season MVPs, 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 10x NBA Season scoring champion, 14 time All-star and one of the most dynamic players in the game. He is a two time inductee in the Basketball hall of fame, in 2009 for his individual career and in 2010 for being a member of the 1992 “DREAM TEAM”.
His talent for the game was obvious. Even after retiring and returning twice and despite lengthy spells out, he never lost his touch. After his first retirement in 1993 and subsequent return in 1995, the second three-peat of the Bulls saw them shatter NBA Records, going 203-43 from 1995-98. Retiring in 1998 and then returning to the sport as part of the Wizards in 2001, he was still a valuable player for the team, at the age of 38, and was the first player over 40 to score more than 40 points in a game.
Following his retirement, he’d take a stake in Charlotte and is now the majority owner of the Hornets with 89.5% of the stake, becoming the first former NBA Player to be a majority owner of any NBA Franchise. His Jordan Brand earns a lot of revenues not only for himself but also for Nike. His business works have taken off well, which is why as recent as 2015, he finally was rated as a billionaire with an estimated net worth of $1.1 Billion.
There are very few people in any sport that can claim to have a playing career like Jordan, with the level of dominance that he showed on the court, and to then have an extremely successful post-sport career.
To many fans, who remember Jordan’s scoring exploits, his aggressive drives to the basket, and his leaping and dunking abilities. Which is why he is referred to as “His Airness”. His dunking exploits were compared to Dr J and have inspired many of the current players including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson among others. As a scorer, he holds the highest points per game career average, marginally ahead of Wilt Chamberlain. It’s no surprise that he was a 10x Scoring Champion in 14 and a half seasons as a professional player, and currently is the 4th All-time scorer.
The fact that most never see of Jordan is his work rate and defensive prowess. Some of his top plays of this career have been blocking or stealing a shot and pass. He is 3rd in the all-time Steals leaders and was one of the quickest players in transition. His willingness to work back on defence saw him being a regular name on all NBA Defensive Team and was even named the Defensive Player of the year. He was an all-around player, with 6 .2 rebounds a game, a good return for a player in his position, 5.3 assists a game which indicated his willingness to share the ball (despite some criticisms pointing at him being a selfish player). He also averaged nearly 1 block a game, but would contribute at the right moments with blocks.
He is one of the greatest clutch performers in the history of the sport. More than 50 times he was the one deciding a close game in the end. He won the 1997 and 1998 titles through clutch performances of shooting the winning points. Nothing was more important than Game 5 of the 1997 Finals, with Jordan putting a phenomenal effort when sick, causing the game to be dubbed as the “Flu Game”.
To Michael, he had to try and had to win, no matter the cost. It might have come out as a tougher and harsh attitude to some, but that was the reason, he was good at what he did. He has never been afraid to take on challenges, and it’s his desire to win, that propelled him and the Chicago Bulls to the pinnacle of the sport in the 1990s.
Given his mentality, his performance on the court, there is no surprise that Michael Jordan is a member of the basketball elite and even considered as the Greatest of All Time.
Happy Birthday, Legend!
Get notified about breaking news and watch highlights on the go; join the Arena on NBA Hoops