January 24, 2022
Michael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by his initials MJ (pronounced: [ˈmɑɪ̯k (ə) l ˈdʒefri ˈdʒoːd (ə) n]; New York, February 17, 1963), is a former American basketball player and former baseball player and major shareholder and president of the Charlotte Hornets basketball team. Nicknamed the Air Jordan and His Airness for his athletic and technical qualities, he was elected in 1999 "the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century" by the ESPN sports television channel. The fame he gained on the court made him a sports icon, to the point of pushing Nike to dedicate to him a line of basketball shoes called Air Jordan, introduced in 1984. He played for three years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill , where he led the team to victory in the NCAA National Championship in 1982. He was then chosen third in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls and quickly became one of the stars of the league, helping to spread the NBA globally in the 1980s and '90. In 1991 he won his first NBA title with the Bulls, then repeated with two more successes in 1992 and 1993, winning a three-peat, after which he retired to pursue a career in baseball. He returned to the Bulls in 1995 and led them to another three-peat victory (1996, 1997 and 1998). He retired a second time in 1999, then returned as a member of the Washington Wizards from 2001 to 2003, and then retired for good. Individual honors include six Finals MVPs, ten Top Scorer titles (both records), five Regular Season MVPs, ten All-NBA First Team and nine All-Defensive First Team selections, fourteen NBA appearances All-Star Game, three All-Star Game MVPs, and an NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds NBA records for the highest point average in regular season history (30.12 points per game) and in playoff history (33.45 points per game) .He was inducted twice into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame: in 2009 for his individual career and in 2010 as a member of the Dream Team. He became a member of the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2015. On November 22, 2016, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States, by US President Barack Obama.