Michael Jordan Essay, Research Paper
The early years.
Michael Jordan was one of five children born to James and Delores
Jordan. He was born February 17, 1963 in Brooklyn. The Jordans’ felt that
the streets of Brooklyn were unsafe to raise a young family of five
children. Instead of trying to endure the streets of Brooklyn, the Jordan
family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina. James got a job in
Wilmington as a mechanic and Delores got a job as a teller at United
Carolina Bank. The Jordan’s always stressed the value of manners to their
children. The above examples typified Michael Jordan’s early years.
Michael’s first love.
Michael always had an eye for baseball. He played as an outfielder and
as a pitcher. When he was twelve, he was the top player in his league.
Michael had his picture placed in the Morning Star, which is Wilmington’s
newspaper. By the age of fifteen, he wasn’t the star in baseball he once
was. He was still very good, but he had lost some of his focus. Later, in his
high school career, he dropped baseball to pursue another interest.
Basketball and Michael.
When Michael was younger he adopted the game of basketball. Mike
used to work with his father in the garage. While working with his father,
Michael picked up the habit of sticking his tongue out in an intense
situation. When Michael reached the ninth grade, he tried out for
basketball. Coach Lynch, Michael’s coach, cut Michael which in turn may
have made the best player alive today. Michael then took practicing
basketball to another level. He played his brother Larry whenever he
could. Michael never expected what would come in the near future.
The College Years.
Michael Jordan went to the University of North Carolina as a basketball
recruit. Even though Jordan at 6′5″ was a man with potential, he still
studied very hard in an attempt to get a good education, while competing
in sports. Mike wasn’t expected to be a star of the Tar Heels, since they
had players such as James Worthy, Sam Perkins, and Al Wood. By the end
of the 1981-82 season, Jordan, as a freshman, was an everyday starter.
Carolina reached the Final Four with the help of Jordan, who had sixteen
points and led the team with nine rebounds. In the final twenty seconds,
Michael made a title winning shot from the left baseline. In Michael’s
sophomore and junior seasons, he was voted College Basketball’s Player of
the Year. Through Michael’s three years at Carolina, he average 17.7
points per game, while maintaining a “B” average.
The Rookie Season.
After a great college career, Michael was drafted by the Chicago Bulls as
the third pick of the 1984-85 season. Michael quickly signed a $6.15
million contract. Michael made a huge impact in the National Basketball
Association. He made such an impact that he was selected to be an
alternate on the Eastern Division All-Star squad. During his rookie season
with the Bulls, companies started picturing Jordan on posters and on
television. Jordan led the Bulls to a 38 win and 44 loss season. Jordan
averaged 28.2 points per game, while setting a team record with 2,313
points. He won the Schick Pivotal Player of the Year Award, Seagram’s
NBA Pivotal Player of the Year Award, and the honor of Rookie of the year.
Michael and Endorsements.
With Michael’s growing success in the NBA, more and more companies
wanted to use the “Air Jordan” name. One of the first companies to use his
name was Nike. Nike paid Michael $2.5 million, so they could begin a line
of shoes known as “Air Jordan’s.” Nike sold 2.3 million pairs for $65. Other
companies would attempt to endorse Jordan. These companies include
Coca-Cola, Wilson basketballs, McDonald’s, Excelcior Internantion (Time
Jordan watches), Wheaties and Gatorade to name a few.
Most Valuable Player.
During the 1987-88 season, Jordan raised his game to another level.
The Bulls status was also raised to another level with the additions of
Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant. Michael was having another great season
and this was evidenced when he started on the Eastern Division All-Star
squad. During the All-Star games Jordan won the slam-dunk contest. He
then finished the season, leading the Bulls in scoring for 81 games out of
the 82 game season. Michael averaged 35 points per game. For his efforts,
Jordan was selected as the Most Valuable Player and as Defensive Player of
The First Championship.
During the 1990-91 season, Chicago went on a rampage. The Bulls had
61 wins and 21 losses, which was the best record in franchise history.
Michael averaged 31.5 points which won him his fifth scoring title. The
Bulls reached the NBA finals for the first time in Jordan’s career. The Bulls
faced the Los Angeles Lakers which was called a dream matchup between
Michael and Magic Johnson. Chicago won the series rather easily. Jordan
was voted Most Valuable Player of the finals.
Jordan Quits Basketball.
Michael Jordan announced after winning his third consecutive NBA
championship, that he was stepping down from the game he loved. He said
that he was tired of the pressures. Some people believe that Jordan’s
gambling debts caused Jordan to quit. Others believe that the slaying of
his father which happened on August 15, 1993 caused Jordan to quit.
There is one final theory. The theory is that Michael wanted to pursue
one of his childhood dreams, professional baseball.
Michael and Baseball.
Michael Jordan announced that he would pursue his dream of playing
baseball. Jordan joined the Chicago White Sox organization. The White
Sox gave Jordan a tryout and then decided that he would be best playing
with the Birmingham Barons. When Mike hit his first home run on July 30,
he pointed to the sky honoring his father. However Jordan struggled in
baseball, with a horrible average. Jordan would soon be back to the game
After spending 17 months away from the game he loved, Michael Jordan
came back on March 18, 1995. Although he was back, number 23 was not
back. Jordan came back as number 45. In his first few weeks back, Jordan’s
shot was off, although his superb leadership was back. In one game
Michael showed flashes of his old self. Michael scored 55 points in a game
at Madison Square Garden in New York. A few weeks later, Michael, a very
superstitious man, switched his number from 45 to 23. Although the Bulls
were defeated by the Orlando Magic in the playoffs, the Bulls went on their
best winning streak of the season.
Michael Jordan has been called the best basketball player ever by Magic
Johnson. Jordan has led the NBA in scoring an amazing seven times.
Jordan is only the second player to score 3000 points in one season, with
the other being Wilt Chamberlain. Mike was voted Defensive Player of the
Year in 1988. Jordan has been Most Valuable Player of the NBA finals
three times. He was Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year in 1991.
Jordan has also received three MVP awards between 1988 and 1992.