Michael Jordan The Greatest of All Time: Biography of The Great Basketball Player

Michael Jordan The Greatest of All Time: Michael Jordan could have become a baseball player but chose basketball. With him, the Chicago Bulls won their first NBA title, and immediately after – the second and third titles. 

Two years after his first retirement, Jordan returned to Chicago to help a team that had lost leadership. Michael won three more league titles with the Chicago Bulls and left the club permanently. Michael Jordan is the greatest of all time.

Jordan has won numerous individual awards. Home – the title of “Most Valuable Player in the NBA”, which he was awarded five times. More than Michael, only former Milwaukee Bucks, and Los Angeles Lakers player Karim Abdullah-Jabbar have won the title.

Jordan’s athletic qualities were evaluated not only by trophies but also by prize and advertising contracts, many of which are still valid. In 2017, Forbes named Jordan the highest-paid athlete in history.

There were many obstacles in the way of Jordan. In his youth, Michael was short and did not get into school basketball teams. Several times Michael’s ascent could be interrupted due to the tragedy: in childhood, he almost drowned twice. At his peak, Jordan lost his father and retired from basketball.

Michael Jordan The Greatest of All Time

Michael Jordan’s life is a story of overcoming, followed by success. We tell you about the path to the glory of one of the best basketball players in history.

Michael Was Born Into A Large Family 

Michael’s parents are James and Deloris Jordan. Michael was the fourth of five Jordan children.

Prior to Michael’s birth, James served in the US Armed Forces. Deloris attended cosmetology courses, but after the birth of her first child, she interrupted her studies and moved to the home of James’s parents in Teachy, Duplin County, North Carolina. 

James was assigned to a military base in Virginia, an hour’s drive from Teachey. This allowed him to visit his family frequently during the service.

The first Jordans had a son, James Ronald. Then the daughter Deloris and the son Larry appeared in the family. After the birth of his third child, James retired from the Air Force. Under the GI Bill Act, which provided for preferential vocational training for veterans, he moved to Brooklyn, New York. There, James learned to assemble and maintain hydraulic equipment.

In Brooklyn, the fourth child, Michael, was born to the Jordan family. This happened on Sunday, February 17, 1963.

The Jordans left New York when Michael was five months old. The family returned to North Carolina. They first moved back to Teachey, then to the larger Wallace, where the Jordanians had their last, fifth child. James worked at a General Electric plant and Deloris at a bank. In 1970 the family moved again to Wilmington. Michael’s school years passed there.

As A Child

As a child, Michael was lazy and got into trouble. Once he almost cut off his finger for a bet. Michael was not an obedient child. Jordan always took up challenges and often got into trouble because of this. For example, at the age of four, Michael argued with his cousin. 

He offered Jordan a bet: he would pay a dollar if Michael chopped off his toe. Jordan didn’t want to sound like a coward and dropped the ax to his toe. The finger remained in place, but the wound could not be avoided.

During his school years, Michael’s other problem came to light – he was not a hardworking child. Jordan didn’t want to work and dodged household chores. One summer Deloris got her son a job at a hotel. He had to serve the rooms. The experience was negative. Michael was constantly late and made the decision never to look for work again.

Discipline problems drove Jordan to a temporary exclusion from school. Michael left the campus without asking and ran to the store for candy. For this, he was suspended from classes for several days.

Michael became more in charge in high school. He improved his discipline and academic performance, and after school, he took a correspondence course in economics.

Jordan Was Often On The Verge Of Death 

At the age of two, Michael almost died from an electric shock. He touched the junction of the two extension cords on the wet grass. The blow was strong – the child was thrown a couple of meters away.

At the age of seven or eight, Michael almost drowned. Together with a friend, they swam in the ocean. When the children were far from the shore, a rebound wave appeared. The friend was covered with a wave and pulled to the bottom. 

At the last moment, he almost pulled Michael with him. Jordan’s friend died. Since then, Michael has been afraid of water. Later, Michael could again become a victim of water. 

At the age of 11, he nearly drowned while trying to pass the required swimming test at school. Jordan couldn’t swim, but he got into the water anyway and tried to swim.

Already being a famous basketball player, Michael explained why he sometimes made rash and risky actions:

“I never thought about the fact that I could make an unsuccessful throw. Why? Because when you think about the possibility of failure, you set yourself up for failure. If I’m going to jump into a pool, even though I know I don’t know how to swim, I’m thinking that I can swim. ”

In Elementary School,

Jordan played baseball. He came to basketball for his brother. Michael’s father loved baseball and wanted to introduce children to his favorite sport. As soon as the children grew up enough to hold a bat in their hands, he began to take them out into the yard and throw a baseball. 

At five or six years old, the Jordan boys played in the children’s baseball league. Michael looked good on the baseball court, the coaches predicted a professional career for him. 

From the age of nine, Jordan began to get involved in basketball. Michael was influenced by Larry’s older brother. The father hung up a basketball hoop for his brother in the yard. Michael and Larry played one on one.

In high school, Michael finally switched from baseball to basketball. Michael’s baseball career began to decline at that time. In Junior League Baseball, Jordan has been a star and has won awards. 

But at the age of 13, he moved to the league, where athletes from 13 to 15 years old played. Michael began to lose in competition – the coach trusted older and more experienced players.

During this time, Jordan began to spend more time on the basketball court. Michael realized that basketball was the sport he wanted to play.

Jordan was not accepted into the school basketball team due to his short stature

There were no tall people in the Jordan family. Michael was no exception. The short stature was a big problem for Jordan. When Michael was 15 years old, due to his height, he was not accepted into the high school basketball team.

At the age of 15, Michael Jordan’s height was only 175 cm. He was the tallest in the family, but this was not enough for a basketball player. Michael spent all the time on the basketball court and grew by 11 cm over the summer. 

In the eleventh grade, the grown-up Michael was nevertheless taken to the basketball team. There he was spotted by the assistant coach of the Tar Hills from the University of North Carolina. The specialist immediately appreciated the talent of the young player.

Assistant Coach Roy Williams recalled: “We decided that even if we could only afford one basketball player, that would be Michael.”

During the game at the university, Michael grew even more. When Jordan played in the NBA, his height was 198 cm.

Jordan Scored 12 points In His First Tar Hills Game

In Jordan’s first game for the Tar Hills of the University of North Carolina, his team beat Kansas 74:67. Michael brought 12 points to the heels. Not only the first match was successful, but the whole season. 

Tar Hills reached the final where they beat Georgetown (63:62). The victory in this match and the championship title “Tar Hills” brought Michael’s throw 15 seconds before the end of the match.

Michael was distinguished from other basketball players by self-criticism and a willingness to work on mistakes. For example, after the first game for the Tar Hills, despite a number of successful shots, Jordan noted that he needed to add in defense. 

Michael worked hard on shooting and possession throughout the season and did not stop training during the summer between courses. Jordan’s performance has helped him develop his talents and inspire the trust of his coaches.

Jordan won the Pan American Games, And A Year Later Took Olympic Gold

In 1983, Michael competed at the Pan American Games. He joined the US national basketball team. The national team won all eight matches and won the gold medal. Jordan was the team’s highest-scoring player.

Winning the Pan American Games allowed the team to qualify for the 1984 Olympics. Those Games were home games for the United States in Los Angeles. American basketball players played well in all the matches – they won 10 victories and took Olympic gold.

Jordan again became the best player on the national team in terms of points scored, averaging 17.1 points per game.

In 1984, Michael began playing for the Chicago Bulls and signed with Nike

Michael had to leave the Tar Hills before winning the Olympics. Two months before the start of the Games, he was drafted in 1984 and was selected as No. 3 by the Chicago Bulls. 

Michael recalled: “It was difficult to leave North Carolina. The best three years of my life have passed here. It’s time to move to a new level, to move towards new achievements. “

At the time of Michael’s transfer, the Chicago Bulls were a young team with no championship ambitions – the club was fighting to maintain its registration in the major league. In the previous season, the bulls won only 27 of their 82 matches.

In his first season in the NBA, Michael averaged 28.2 points per game in the regular season and 29.2 in the playoffs. These were the best indicators in the team. In 1985, Michael was named NBA Rookie of the Year.

From the mass of other basketball players, Jordan was distinguished by soaring jumps. He seemed to be hovering in the air for a few seconds. Because of this, he received the nickname “Air Jordan” or “His Airness”.

Michael’s nickname was quickly monetized. In 1984, Jordan signed an advertising contract with Nike. Red and black sneakers were specially designed for him, which, at the suggestion of Jordan’s agent David Falk, were named Air Jordan.

At the time, the NBA had strict equipment requirements for athletes. For example, sneakers were supposed to be dominated by black or white. The Jordans were too red. The NBA fined Michael $ 5,000 for each appearance in a match in flamboyant sneakers, but Nike consistently paid fines, offsetting the costs with increased sales.

Jordan Put The Opportunity To Play Above The Relationship With The Club’s Management

In his second season with the Chicago Bulls, Jordan suffered a left foot injury. Bulls President Jerry Reinsdorf and Vice President Jerry Krause were reluctant to push Michael’s recovery and quickly return him to the site. 

Jordan disagreed with the management’s decision. He believed he had recovered and was eager to play. When he was left out of the application, Jordan left for his old varsity team and began training with her. 

Michael believed that management did not care about his health, but about their investments. Jordan was not shy about his expressions. In an interview, Michael said that he felt “only meat” for the leadership of the team and noted his independence.

Without Jordan, the Chicago Bulls performed poorly in the regular season (52 losses in 82 games) but made the playoffs. By that time, Michael had recovered and in the second match against the Boston Celtics set a record for points scored in the playoffs – Jordan chalked up 63 points.

This record has not been broken so far. Despite Jordan’s excellent play, “Chicago” lost in the series with a score of 0: 3.

Jordan And The Chicago Bulls Waited Seven Years To Win The NBA

The Chicago Bulls first reached the conference finals only in the 1988/89 season. Jordan’s team lost 2-4 to the Detroit Pistons. The following season, the bulls again played with Detroit in the conference finals and could not take revenge (3: 4). Jordan felt responsible for the team’s results, so after the match, he was depressed. Jordan didn’t speak to anyone on the way to the bus.

In 1991, the Chicago Bulls and the Detroit Pistons met for their third consecutive conference finals. This time, the bulls took revenge, beating Detroit in all matches of the series (4: 0). In the final of the NBA playoffs, “Chicago” played with the “Los Angeles Lakers”. “Chicago” allowed only one defeat in the series (4: 1) and became the champion of the National Basketball League for the first time in history. 

According to the results of the final match, Jordan was named “Most Valuable Player in the NBA Finals.”

After winning the 1991 final, the Chicago Bulls became champions two more times, in 1992 and 1993.

Jordan Entered Dream Team And Won The Second Olympics

Until 1989, the US national basketball team was prohibited from using professional basketball players. The abolition of the ban was influenced by the defeat of the Americans against the USSR national team in the semifinals of the 1988 Olympics (76:82).

Michael Jordan was among the professional basketball players called up to the national team. Because of the stellar line-up, the team was named “Dream Team” – the dream team.

Dream Team was the strongest at the Olympics and beat rivals with an advantage of at least 38 points on the way to the final. Only in the final match did the Americans beat Croatia by a smaller margin – 32 points (117: 85).

After the murder of his father, Michael retired from basketball for two seasons and played baseball.

Jason Jordan was killed in his car in 1993. He was returning home after the funeral of a former colleague. It was late and Jason was tired. He parked his car on the side of the road and fell asleep. 

Two teenagers, attracted by an expensive car (Jason drove a red Lexus donated by his son), shot Jason, threw away his body, and stole the car. Relatives quickly reported to the police that Jason was missing, but they did not receive confirmation of his death until a few weeks later. 

The body of Michael Jordan’s father was found in a swamp and cremated without identification. After 10 days, thanks to the analysis of the remains, it was possible to confirm that it was Jason Jordan who was cremated. The basketball player’s father’s killers were caught and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Death of His Father

After the death of his father, Michael announced his retirement. After graduating from basketball, Jordan decided to fulfill his father’s dream of becoming a professional baseball player. In early 1994, he signed with the Chicago White Sox, which had one president with the Chicago Bulls. 

Although Michael trained with the White Sox, he started his first baseball season at the Chicago team’s farm club, the Birmingham Barons.

Michael was serious about baseball. He trained a lot. Jordan’s first season was mediocre, attributed to a lack of practice. Michael hoped to get in shape for the second season.

Michael’s second season of baseball didn’t start as he planned. A baseball union strike has begun in the Major League, triggered by worsening financial conditions. The strikers were replaced by players from the minor leagues. Michael refused to enter the field in such a situation. He supported the striking baseball players. Michael decided to end his baseball career.

After Jordan left baseball, everyone expected him to return to basketball. On March 18, 1995, Michael Jordan held a short press conference in which he said, “I’m back.”

Returning To Basketball

After returning to basketball, Michael spent three more seasons with the Chicago Bulls. Without Jordan, the Chicago Bulls missed the playoff final. 

In 1995, Michael joined the team at the end of the regular season, too late to immediately return the bulls to their previous level. Chicago made the playoffs but lost in the conference semifinals to Orlando (2: 4).

Fans saw the former Chicago Bulls the following season. The Bulls have won 72 of their 82 regular season matches, the best in the tournament. “Chicago” performed excellently in the playoffs as well: won in three rounds with a total score (11: 1). In the final, Jordan’s team beat Seattle (4: 2) and regained the championship. 

Michael Jordan was named NBA Finals Most Valuable Player for a record fourth time.

In total, after Michael’s return, the Chicago Bulls became champions three times: in 1996, 1997, and 1998.

Jordan Retired For The Second Time

After the 1998 season, Jordan retired for the second time but returned two years later. At the end of 1998, Michael had accumulated fatigue. He began to think about retirement. Circumstances in the league did not turn out well either. Before the start of the 1998/99 season, a lockout began due to disagreements between the league and the club owners over the salaries of the players. 

The start of the season was delayed. The matches only started on February 5, 1999.

Things were not calm in “Chicago” either. The team was updated. Some of Michael’s partners were going to leave the team due to expired contracts or a desire to change clubs. In January 1999, Jordan announced the end of his basketball career. 

Michael went to administrative work. He became a co-owner of another NBA club – the Washington Wizards. Jordan had control over all the sports activities of the team. As a manager, he did not achieve much success.

On September 25, 2001, Michael announced his return to basketball again. This time he played for the Washington Wizards.

Jordan’s third entry into basketball was not marked with championship titles. Michael was the best in the team in terms of scoring, assists, interceptions, but alone could not pull the team out even in the playoffs. Michael was also prevented by injury, due to which he missed 22 regular season matches. 

The second season, despite Michael’s efforts, was also not successful for the Wizards. Jordan was unhappy. He blamed his partners for not striving for victory. Michael was especially angry at Kwama Brown, whom he himself chose in the 2001 draft.

In 2003, Michael left basketball for good.

After Completing His Playing Career

After completing his playing career, Jordan concentrated on management work. Michael leads the Charlotte Hornets team, which plays in the South East Division of the NBA’s Eastern Conference. At first, Jordan was a small shareholder, but in 2010 he bought the club. The team was unsuccessful. In ten seasons under Michael’s leadership, the club reached the playoffs only three times and in all cases were eliminated in the first rounds.

Jordan is fond of motorsport. In 2004 he became the owner of the Michael Jordan Motorsports team, which competes at the professional level.

Michael still makes money from advertising. Jordan’s biggest profit comes from working with Nike. His signature Jordan brand dominates the retro basketball shoe market. In 2017, his brand had a 65% share of the US market.

Michael Has Been Married Twice And Has Five Children.

Michael’s first wife is Juanita Vanoy. They were introduced by a friend of Michael. Juanita was the executive secretary of the American Bar Association. She doubted whether she should meet with an athlete, who is also four years younger than her. But in 1989, the couple got married. They have three children: sons Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James, and daughter Jasmine.

In 2002, Juanita filed for divorce due to irreconcilable differences but soon reconciled with her husband. Four years later, they still ended the relationship.

In 2013, Michael married a second time – to model Yvette Prieto. A year later, the couple had twins Isabelle and Victoria.


  • In 2009, Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.
  • Jordan is a six-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player and a five-time NBA Most Valuable Player.
  • Michael became the NBA regular season leader 10 times in terms of points scored.
  • Jordan has played 14 NBA All-Star games.
  • Michael loved to play away games. He said: “It’s easier for me to play away because you are usually expected to lose. It teases me and makes my blood boil in my veins. “
  • All the salary that Michael received, playing for the Washington Wizards in the 2001/02 season, the basketball player donated to charity. He helped the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
  • The name Michael, translated from Hebrew, means “equal to God.”
  • As a child, Michael witnessed the death of a friend. He drowned. Since then, Jordan has been afraid of water.
  • In the school basketball team, Michael played with the number “45”. His brother Larry played the same number on the university team. When Michael joined the varsity team, he had to choose a different number. He chose “23” because he is closer to half of the number “45”. As number 23, Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls until his father’s death. Michael wore a jersey with the number “45” on the baseball team after retiring from basketball, and then after returning to the Chicago Bulls.
  • Jordan is the only basketball player in his 40s to average over 20 points per game and score over 40 points in a single match.
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