Michael Jordan

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Tyrell Bethel
11/16/2009
COM 161

Michael Jordan:
The Man and The Media Icon

Michael Jordan is the greatest professional athlete to every play professional sports in my opinion and I bet in many others too. Jordan has been called the greatest basketball player of all time and I really believe that on and off the court. He was the top sports figure in the 90s and became one of the most recognized faces in the world. He changed the way pro athletes are view in the media and corporate world. He was one of the first professional athletes to use the media to market himself and become a global icon. Jordan was everywhere in the 90s and is still around to day. There wasn’t a TV or magazine that did have Jordan on it at some point selling a product. Michael knew that by putting his face and likeness out there in the world that he could make a lot of money for himself. He did many highly successful commercials and other endorsement deals for his products and for other products in the 90s and still some today that put him on top in the eyes of the media. His most famous commercials were for his sneakers “Air Jordans” and also had a catching song and a media catch phrase “ I want to be like Mike”. Jordan was also on many magazines covers and also did movies like “Space Jam”. Michael Jordan not only changed professional sports but the culture of not only the US but also the world.

Now I will tell you a little about the life of the man they call “Air Jordan”. Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the fourth of five children born to James and Deloris Michael Jordan. Him and his family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina when he was still a toddler. Jordan is the fourth of five children, having two older brothers and an older and younger sister. His father was a mechanic at the General Electric plant and his mother worked with a bank. His life was not a rags-to-riches story Mike’s childhood was pretty comfortable. Jordan went to Wilmington’s Laney High School, where on his first attempt he failed to make the varsity basketball team. The Laney’s basketball coach, Clifton "Pop" Herring, decided that Michael could become a better player by playing more time on the junior varsity team. During his sophomore year on the junior varsity, Jordan averaged 25 points per game. Michael Jordan the following summer worked out on his own and at basketball camps to improve his basketball skills. Jordan’s brother Larry helped him development more as a player. Larry often beat Michael in one-on-one games and taught Michael about the meaning of competition. That summer, he grew four inches and practiced tirelessly. The hard work paid off as Jordan made his varsity team was selected to the McDonald's All-American Team as a senior. He accepted a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina after high school. At UNC, he received coaching from the legendary coach Dean Smith. He made a name for himself in his first year by making it to the title and being named the ACC Freshman of the Year. Jordan's ever-growing popularity began when he scored the game-winning basket in the 1982 NCAA championship game against the Georgetown Hoyas. That fifteen-foot winning jump shot that made his teammates nickname him ‘Superman’. Jordan was selected college player of the year in the 1983-84 season, and led the US Men's Basketball Team to an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics under coach Bobby Knight. Jordan left North Carolina after his junior year and was selected by the Chicago Bulls as the third pick of the 1984 draft. The Chicago Bulls was not a very good team but Jordan’s talent quickly turned things around. Jordan brought a unique style of play and ferocious spirit of competition to the Chicago Bulls. Jordan had an incredible leaping ability and unbelievable hang-time that excited fans in arenas around the league. He finished his rookie season as one of the top scorers in the league, averaging 28.2 points per game, was...
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