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Michael Jordan: King of the Court

Oct 08, 1999 1134 Words
Michael Jordan: King of the Court

When I began my report I didn’t know much about Michael Jordan, but I did know that he was “undoubtedly the greatest player in the history of the NBA” (“Michael Air Jordan” 1). It seemed like every time I heard the word basketball I also heard the name Michael Jordan. There’s just no avoiding him. If you are watching television you might see him playing basketball or golf. If you were reading a magazine there will probably be an advertisement with his picture. If you were walking down the street you might see a kid wearing Air Jordan shoes or a Bulls jersey with “JORDAN” on the back of it. This man is probably as recognizable as the Pope. When we were asked to start thinking of our topics for our research papers Michael Jordan had just announced his retirement from basketball. There were all of these specials on the sports channels and the news so I had to find out what all the commotion was about. This is why I chose Michael Jordan to be the topic of my research paper. I hoped to find out how he became to be considered the greatest basketball player to ever play the game. I learned about a lot about Michael during the first week of my search since he was getting so much attention from the media at the time. When Michael Jordan was attending Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina nobody thought that he would ever turn out to be the player he is today let alone make it to the NBA. In fact, James Jordan, Michael’s father, actually thought that Michael’s best sport was baseball. His high school didn’t think he was so great at basketball either so they cut him from the varsity team when he was a sophomore. To Michael playing basketball in the NBA “seemed something of a distant dream” (Halberstam 20), but even after he was cut from the varsity team Michael still practiced every day. Michael’s practice paid off in his junior and senior years when he was the best player on the varsity team. After high school Michael was off to the University of North Carolina where for three years he would have some amazing accomplishments in basketball. Perhaps Michael’s most memorable collegiate moment occurred while he was a freshman. On March 29, 1982 the University of North Carolina basketball team was facing off against the University of Georgetown in the national championship game. With the University of North Carolina trailing by one, freshman Michael Jordan launches the winning seventeen-foot jump shot with just seventeen seconds left in the game. This amazing basket is often referred to as “The Shot”. Later on in his years at UNC Michael captured both the Dr. James Naismith Award and the John Wooden Award in 1984. He was also named the NCAA College Player of the Year in 1983 and 1984. With Michael too anxious about turning professional, he decided to skip his senior year at the University of North Carolina and enter the NBA draft. Michael was selected third overall in the draft by the Chicago Bulls. Little did they know the Houston Rockets and Portland Trailblazers had just passed on the greatest basketball player ever. Both of these teams should be kicking themselves in the head right now. Now that Jordan was in the NBA it was his big chance to make his mark and become a star. He made a very good first impression in his first season by being named to the NBA all-star game and winning Rookie of the Year honors. Michael Jordan became very familiar with being in the all-star game through out the rest of his career making it back every year from 1985-1993 and from 1996-1998. There were a lot of things that Michael became familiar with during his career with the Chicago Bulls such as: winning the NBA Most Valuable Player Award in 1988, ’91, ’92, ’96, ’98, being the NBA Finals MVP in ’91, ’92, ’96, ’98, and making the All-NBA First Team From 1987-1993, and in ’96, ’97. Over the year Jordan kept getting better and better so a lot of companies thought that it would be good idea if they would sponsor Jordan to get some publicity for their products. Some companies Jordan has endorsements with are: Nike, Gatorade, Ballpark, and AT&T. Michael made a lot of money from endorsements, especially Nike. “No company enriched more than Nike or benefited more from his career” (Halberstam 412). Through 1998 Michael had made around $130 million from Nike. In 1998 Michael Jordan would be paid $33 million from the Bulls just for playing basketball. This would be Jordan’s final year in the NBA and he went out in style. In his final season he notched his 5,000th career assist, scored his 29,000th point, and broke Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s NBA record by scoring in double digits for the 788th consecutive game. In the last game of his career, he ended the game with a jump shot to win his sixth NBA title with the Bulls and he also won his sixth NBA Finals MVP Award. Michael Jordan announced his retirement from basketball just before the 1998-1999 season began. Now I can see why Michael Jordan was so popular after my search. He had a superfluous amount of talent and had a great career in basketball. It was interesting to learn about his college and high school years. I was flabbergasted when I found out that he was cut from his high school’s varsity team, but I was impressed when I heard about all of his accomplishments and awards that he had won. It is really too bad that Michael Jordan decided to retire because I think he would have been able to dominate the game for a couple of more years. I am disappointed that I hadn’t watched many Bull’s games over the years because I am much more interested in Michael Jordan after doing all of this research on him. A lot of people are going to miss him. He did so much for the league and especially a lot for the Bulls. “The Chicago Bulls were a weak organization struggling in a city where basketball seemed to be something of a minor league sport” (Halberstam 109), but when Michael Jordan came to town they became the “Beatles of basketball” (Morris 3).

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