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Current, Unknown and Interesting Facts About Michael Jordan

Some people are true icons that transcend their industry and are practically synonymous with what they do (Bill Gates to Computers, the Wright Brothers to Airplanes and Jack Nicklaus to Golf) and if you ask anyone to name the best basketball player ever, Michael Jordan is likely to be the first name they say.

With Michael's birthday on February 17, we decided to dig deep to find some truly interesting, unknown and current facts about the amazing Michael Jordan, #23.

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Interesting facts about Michael Jordan

The Michael Jordan Story - Pre-NBA

Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 17th 1963. It may seem strange but when he was in tenth grade he did not make the basketball team, losing out to a kid named Leroy (although he would get a strange revenge of sorts when he would use his name when checking into hotels).

His success began when he enrolled at the University of North Carolina. During this time as a Tar Heel, he would become extremely close to the college basketball coaching legend, Dean Smith. He even said in a USA today article that, "Other than my parents, no one had a bigger influence on my life than Coach Smith. He was more than a coach – he was my mentor, my teacher, my second father." Under coach Smith, Michael would thrive and become the NCAA College Player of the Year in both 1983 and in 1984.  

 

 

 

After his junior year in college Michael decided to turn professional and was drafted 3rd overall (Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie were drafted 1,2 respectively) to the Chicago Bulls organization. This is where he made his name and turned into a basketball legend and by acclamation, the greatest basketball player of all time. His achievements include:

Michael Jordan's Greatest Achievements

  • 6 Time NBA Champion
  • 6 Time MVP in the NBA Finals
  • NBA Most Valuable Player 5 times (1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998)
  • Highest career PPG ave. (33.2 - minimum 400 games or 10,000 points) 
  • The second player to score more than 3000 points in one NBA season (the other being Wilt Chamberlain)

You would think that being in the NBA for so long would result in arch rivals but many people have said that Michael never really had rivals (he was that good).

If we had to chose a few players that we would consider to be even close, we would say: Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Reggier Miller, Isiah Thomas, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.

Michael Jordan's Rivals

Unknown Facts About Michael Jordan

  1. One superstition was based on the meal Michael always ate before a game, a 23 ounce steak (!), baked potato and ginger ale.
  2. His trademark "tongue out" quirk is based on something his Dad would do while working.
  3. Michael Jordan has a tattoo of the greek letter Omega, representing the Omega Psi Phi fraternity.
  4. It is estimated he earned $80 million a year from Nike endorsements, while playing in the NBA only earned him $35 million a year.
  5. Some stories have suggested that he gets a manicure once every 10 days.
  6. Michael wore the number 23 because when he played at school his older brother had the number 45. While he wanted that number he reasoned that 23 is nearly half of 45 and so adapted the number. Later soccer star David Beckham also took the number 23 when he played for Spanish team Real Madrid in tribute to Jordan.
  7. His $168 million divorce settlement is one of the most expensive in history, ranked #11 (the most expensive was Dmitry Rybolovlev's, a Russian businessman, investor, philanthropist and the owner of AS Monaco FC divorce from Elena Rybolovleva; estimated at $4.5 billion)!
  8. Michael has a fear of water after nearly drowning as a child.
  9. Some people have suggested his “trash talking” stalled the careers of some arch rival players

Michael Jordan Post-Retirement

Actor - Space Jam

Michael Jordan has long been associated with branding. His Nike range of shoes continue to earn him millions of dollars a year and he is still the ambassador for numerous others. But one of the oddest brand extensions was the feature film Space Jam, playing alongside Bugs Bunny and company (it was also a rather odd cameo appearance by Bill Murray and Wayne “Newman!” Knight).

2 Sport Athlete - Basketball and Baseball

It has not always been easy for Michael, when his father was killed during an attempted armed robbery he retired from basketball to briefly take up baseball, which did not go very well. He played for the Birmingham Barons for 1 year (1994) and batted .202.

Sports Franchise Owner - 2 Basketball Teams

He would also go on to be the part owner of the Washington Wizards before his retirement in 2003. In 2006 he purchased a minority stake in the then called Charlotte Bobcats. In 2010 Jordan and his group purchased the Bobcats outright. Finally in 2013, Jordan filed papers to change the Bobcats' name to the Hornets, which became effective in the 2014–15 season.

    What is Michael Jordan doing now?

    He is no longer playing basketball at a professional level so what is he doing now? Michael Jordan is definitely still working hard. According to Forbes, he has a working relationship with a number of commercial sponsors including Gatorade, 2K sports and of course Nike. According to some other sources his endorsement deal with Nike alone is worth more than $60 million a year. He has over 25 million Facebook fans, ranked #10 on the top athlete Facebook pages (behind other global soccer superstars David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi etc...). He also owns a stake in the Montana State Bobcats.

    What is clear is that this iconic athlete is going to continue to enthral sports fans for years to come.

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    Jason Portnoy
    Jason Portnoy

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