Tedrick Wilcox Psychology Mr. John Hughes December 8, 2017Final ProjectMichael Jeffrey Jordan, also known by Air Jordan or MJ is a worldwide legend, with a name known in nearly every household. Jordan is mostly known for his signature brand and as a basketball mogul, but also has ties in baseball, he is also a businessman, and principal owner and chairman of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association . Jordan played 15 seasons in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls and briefly with the Washington Wizards. Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan was one the most effectively marketed athlete of his generation and was considered the blueprint in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.In 1978, according to News Week, Michael Jordan was just another kid trying out for the Emsley A. Laney High School varsity basketball team. Jordan, a 15-year-old sophomore who was only 5’10’ and could not yet dunk a basketball, did not make the team. “It was embarrassing not making the team,” Jordan later said. He went home, locked himself in his room and cried. Then he picked himself up and turned the cut into motivation. This made Jordan use himself as a motivated agent. “Whenever I was working out and got tired and ﬁgured I ought to stop, I’d close my eyes and see that list in the locker room without my name on it,” Jordan would explain. “That usually got me going again,” While on Junior Varsity Jordan was set to prove he belonged on Varsity. MJ, then not yet famous for his initials, recorded many 30 and 40 point games attracting crowds that were unusual for a j.v. affair. The summer leading into his junior year, Jordan began to grow . In 1979 he grew 4 inches and worked out consistently. That year he not only made the varsity squad but instantly became Laney High’s best player, averaging more than 20 points a game as well according to Newsweek.
Despite having secured his spot on the team, Jordan was not yet satisfied. Jordan’s work ethic never dropped off. His senior year he averaged a triple-double, the accumulation of a double-digit number total in three of five statistical categories – points, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots – in a game, and led Laney High to a 19-4 record. Jordan capped off his high school career in style, being named a McDonald’s All-American. Nothing was given to Jordan he had to earn it. As a kid he was never the biggest or the best. Growing up he had to battle his brother at the park everyday, and his brother made sure to push him. Jordan let it be known that those experiences at a young age gave him his work ethic and drive for success, “It was in my blood” Jordan claimed. He established that both his parents were had workers and they made sure to pass that trait onto him. The Jordan family all had a great sense of self-esteem and great competitiveness. In college Jordan’s actions resembled those traits. In 1982, his first year at Chapel Hill, he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Freshman of the Year. As a freshman he averaged 13.4 points per game with an impressive 53.4 field goal percentage. That year he also established his dominance hitting the game winning jump shot against Georgetown in the National Championship game. Jordan continued to make a name for himself at UNC the following 2 seasons as a Tar Heel.
Jordan averaged 17.7 points per game on 54 percent shooting recording 5 rebounds a game for his career at the University of North Carolina. He was selected by consensus to the NCAA All-American First Team in both his sophomore and junior seasons. Won the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984. Jordan instantly let his presence be known when he arrived to the NBA. He quickly became a fan favorite even in opposing arenas, and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the heading ‘A Star Is Born’ just over a month into his professional career. Jordan’s second season was cut short when he broke his foot in the third game of the year, causing him to miss 64 games. Jordan not only rehabbed and recovered in time for the 1986–87 season, but he also evolved his game and took it to the next level. He had one of the most dominant scoring seasons in NBA history averaging 37.1 points per game. Michael Jordan and the infamous Chicago Bulls won 3 consecutive championships in 1991, 1992, and 1993. The summer after that was life changing for MJ. Jordan’s father was murdered on July 23, 1993, at a highway rest area in Lumberton, North Carolina. The murderers also robbed Jordan’s father of Michael’s 3 championship rings. Jordan was close to his father; as a child he had imitated his father’s proclivity to stick out his tongue while absorbed in work. He later adopted it as his own signature, displaying it each time he drove to the basket. On October 6, 1993, Jordan announced his 1st retirement after a short 9 year career in the name, claiming a loss of desire to play the game. Jordan later stated that the death of his father also shaped his decision. During his retirement MJ decided to pursue his childhood passion for baseball that he shared with his father. Mike made his professional debut in the Southern League on April 8, 1994, for the Birmingham Barons.
Though his very presence on the field drew crowds, Jordan batted only in his first summer, striking out 114 times in 127 games. By March 1995, he had decided to put down his bat and return to the basketball court. Mike made his return to the NBA in 1995 for the Chicago Bulls. During his return Jordan re established himself as the best player in the world. In Jordan’s first season back he started right where he left off averaging 26.9 in only 17 games as well as winning another NBA championship. The Bulls also won the NBA championship the following 2 years, giving him a total of 6 championships. In his 12 full seasons with the Bulls, Jordan was voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player five times and won six NBA Finals MVP awards, one for each final his Bulls played. Despite many tough playoff losses Jordan is, in fact, undefeated in the NBA Finals winning all 6 series he appeared in. Jordan again retired in January 1999 after bitter tension between General Manager Jerry Krause and Coach Jackson resulted in Jackson’s leaving Chicago. Jordan explained his decision to retire by saying he had lost the drive and desire that was necessary to continue playing at the high level that he exerted night after night, and that he wanted to spend more time with his family. When asked if there was a chance he would come back, Jordan said he was “99.9 percent” sure he would not. At the start of the year 2000, Jordan became part-owner and president of basketball operations of the Washington Wizards, at the time a struggling NBA franchise. Jordan quickly decided he was going to take the team in a new direction, hiring the former Bulls coach Doug Collins.
Most surprisingly, while redirecting the team in the winning direction the 38-year-old Jordan got himself into playing shape and came out of retirement yet again in September 2001 as a free agent with the Wizards. Jordan’s actions never able to lead the Wizards into playoff competition causing him to retire for the third and final time on April 16, 2003. Air Jordan is widely considered to have been the greatest player in the history of the sport. Michael Jordan was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2009. During his career, Jordan tried to claim the record book as his own, conquering many previous records. He played 12 and a half seasons for the Chicago Bulls, leading the league in scoring a record of 10 times. His 30.1 points per game career average is the highest in NBA history. With 32,292 points, he sits comfortably at fourth on the all-time scoring list. In March 2010, Jordan became the majority owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, prior to four years as part of the team’s ownership group and its Managing Member of Basketball Operations. Jordan is the first former player to become the majority owner of an NBA franchise. Under his ownership, the team changed its name, colors, and logos. Michael Jordan has also proven to be a successful businessman. Since its creation, the Jordan Brand, a branch from Nike, has been an innovator of athletic shoes and apparel. The Jordan Brand is considered to be a powerhouse in the sneaker industry. The Jordan brand has a wide variations of apparel, gaining fans from rappers and actors, to athletes and even businessmen. As one of the world’s most popular and recognizable figures, Jordan’s endorsement collaborations include Gatorade, Upper Deck and Hanes, among others. Jordan’s triennial business ventures include several thriving restaurants.
Air Jordan will go down as a legend globally. His presence in the basketball world was iconic, his sense for business was unlike any former athlete, and it all started with a young man who was driven from failure. Michael Jeffrey Jordan is a living example of a self motivated agent. He knew that with success comes failure and that is why he used his failures to reach his success, and now his success is so great his failures are no longer spoken of.
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