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*Michael Jordan was born on this date in 1963. He is a Black businessman and was one of the best professional basketball players in the world.
From Brooklyn, New York, Michael Jeffrey Jordan is the son of Delores and James Jordan. His family decided to move to Wilmington, North Carolina when he was still a toddler. Jordan is the fourth of five children. His dad worked at an electric plant while his mom worked at a bank. Jordan's parents worked hard to provide him and his siblings with a comfortable lifestyle. As a child, Jordan played baseball, basketball and football. His preferred sport at the time was baseball but after he began spending a lot of time on the basketball court, his outlook changed. His older and taller brother, Larry kept beating him when they played one-on-one.
In 1978, when Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, he was cut from the varsity team. Instead of giving up, he worked through this hardship and became one of the greatest basketball players in the world. Between the 10th and 11th grade, Jordan grew from 5'11" to 6'3", and because his game improved, he made the varsity team the following year. Jordan played so well in his junior season that he was invited to attend the Five-Star Camp in Pittsburgh before his senior year. By the time Jordan was finishing his senior year he had grown to 6'5" and attained a basketball scholarship from the University of North Carolina. Jordan's ever-growing popularity began at UNC where he made a last minute game-winning shot in the 1984 NCAA championship game.
That summer, Jordan played on the US Men's Olympic Basketball Team under head coach Bobby Knight. The team had such college players as Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Chris Mullin (NBA players weren't allowed to compete in the Games until 1992). Jordan scored 14 points against China, 20 against Canada and 16 against Uruguay. The US won all eight of the games by an average of 32.1 points per game. Jordan led the team in scoring with an average of 17.1 points per game.
Two months after the Olympics, Jordan began his first NBA professional season with the Chicago Bulls. His acrobatic moves and hang-time won him the infamous nickname Air Jordan. His basketball skills and allure made him the perfect key figure to market both Nike products and the NBA and he led the Bulls to three consecutive World Championships (1991, 1992 and 1993). Jordan retired from the NBA preceding the 1993/94 season after the mysterious death of his father and after rumors about his gambling addictions began to circulate.
He decided to try his hand at professional baseball. He played outfielder for the Birmingham Barons, and realized that he was not cutout for baseball after a disappointing season. In 1995, Jordan returned to basketball right before the playoffs but the Bulls didn't win the Championship. The following season, Jordan led the Bulls to their best regular season record and the fourth Championship title in six years. He also starred alongside Bugs Bunny in the animated comedy Space Jam. He also decided to retire after winning his last Championship in 1999, mainly due to dedicate his life to his wife Juanita, and their three children, Jeffrey, Marcus and Jasmine.
After partly returning to the game as president of basketball operations with the Washington Wizards (he owned a stake in the team), Jordan announced his return to the NBA, this time, as a Wizard. In that 2002 season, he suffered a knee injury that kept him on the sidelines for the rest of the year, and his wife announced her desire to file for divorce (the couple is still married).
Jordan has two older brothers (Larry and James), one older sister (Delores) and one younger sister (Roslyn). James R. Jordan is a Sergeant Major in the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U.S. Army. James R. gained certain celebrity himself when he announced, at the age of 47, that he intended to stay in Iraq until the Iraqi invasion ends. Michael Jordan currently lives in Highland Park, Illinois.
In 2006, Jordan bought a share of the Charlotte Bobcats and joined the team's executive ranks as its managing member of basketball operations. In 2010, he became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and serves as the team's chairman. Improving the team's less-than-stellar record seems to be Jordan's priority. He told ESPN in November 2012 that "I don't anticipate getting out of this business. My competitive nature is I want to succeed. It's always been said that when I can't find a way to do anything, I will find a way to do it."
In 2016, Jordan was presented with a Presidential Medal of Freedom honor by Barack Obama.
The Associated Press
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