At the entrance of the United Center, which is the home to the Chicago Bulls Basketball team lies a very famous monument. The statue is of no one else but Michael Jordan in full flight. The front panel capsulizes the phenomenal: “The best there ever was. The best there ever will be.” He is the game’s most celebrated and personifies talent and hard work pays.
After struggling at the beginning, Jordan flourished into a basketball star at Emsley A. Laney High school in Wilmington, North Carolina. He converted a 15-jump shot in the dying seconds of the 1982 Championship to beat Georgetown University. He was awarded The Sporting News Player of The year in 1983 and 1984. After that his career took off and he never looked back. He subsequently joined the Chicago Bull at a time when the NBA was enjoying unprecedented popularity.
In 1993, the good times were cut short after Jordan’s father, a landscaper was murdered. The grieving Michael stopped playing basketball and joined a baseball team. However, this period was short lived and he was soon back with the team.
Jordan’s individual honors include 5 MVP awards, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, three All-Star Game MVP awards, fourteen NBA All-Star Game appearances, ten scoring titles, three steals titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, gold in the 1984 Summer Olympics, and many more accolades that he won with his team mates while he was at his peak.
He retired from Bulls in 1999 after a very successful and industrious basketball career but came back to play for the Wizards in a short stint. Jordan ventured into business and is also noted as a very successful entrepreneur. The icon helped in the success of Nike’s Air Jordan sneakers that are very popular at the moment. He featured in the movie Space Jam acting as himself. Jordan is also the majority shareholder and the chairman of NBA franchise Charlotte Bobcats.
The most recognizable name in the history of basketball is Michael Jordan. There is not a corner of the world where the mention of “Michael” raises eyebrows. As much as Air Jordan has given to the game, is it possible that he is also responsible for killing the game?
Michael Jordan was cut from his team as a young player. From that day on he committed himself to be the best he could possibly be. The incomparable drive in Jordan is legendary. His ability to score, dunk, play defense, and win are unmatched. Of all of the traits he possesses, his competitive spirit may be his best attribute. Nothing gets in the way between Jordan and success.
When Michael Jordan hit his peak in the late 1980’s, it was obvious to the world that he would lead his Chicago Bulls to Celtic-like success. The result was an incredible 6 NBA titles under Coach Phil Jackson. Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Bill Cartwright, John Paxson, and Dennis Rodman represented an unbeatable combination of skill, tenacity, and competitiveness. Jordan, the prince of late game heroics, was the magnet that made everything flow in the same direction.
Air Jordan Nike-brand shoes have been sold by the millions. The shoe reflects his game. Smooth, sleek, powerful, and explosive. Some will remember that Michael became a good shooter only after years of developing his stroke due to his drive for perfection. In the end it was his ability to put the ball on the floor that made him unstoppable. His drives were strong, quick, and acrobatic. His ability to get to the basket forced the Detroit Pistons to establish an elaborate set of “Jordan Rules” in an attempt to slow him down. Nothing slowed Michael Jordan down.
The Michael Jordan phenomenon created basketball phrases new to the game. Players everywhere worked on their ability to “put it on the floor” or “get to the rim”. How many times have you heard “And 1” as a shot is taken off the dribble drive? Scoring off the dribble slowly became the preferred mode of scoring points in the NBA. As with many popular trends, “the bounce” became the skill that dominated individual practice activity. Players from the NBA down to grade school worked to perfect their ball skills and driving ability.
With the advent of Michael’s slashing to the rim, players all over the world perfected this skill through practice. Was all of this activity good for the game? Not only did it focus on dribbling and driving, it was a blow to the jump shot. Since the glory days of Michael Jordan the art of shooting has steadily declined. Shooting percentages have been on the decline for years now. Pitiful free throw percentages are seen in the NBA, College, and high school levels. Kids are growing up without the ability to consistently shoot the ball. Certainly it is not fair to blame Jordan for this, but with fame comes responsibility. His fame was so enormous that if he had started to make half court hook shots, kids in every gym in America would have worked tirelessly to do the same.
The problem with the dribble drive is that every second spent on it takes seconds away from shooting jump shots. If repetition produces mastery, lack of repetition equals mediocrity. Shooters are not born they are made. They are made from hours of sweat, hard work, and thousands of shots. Gyms no longer are filled with jump shooting gym rats. Where did all the gym rats go?
I remember having conversation with a plumber the other day, and he mentioned that in most gyms these days and you will see kids lined up at the three point line. They hang around this line not to shoot, but to drive to the rim to attempt the dunk. Most kids have no chance to dunk, let alone touch the rim. Yet visions of SportsCenter dunks are still fresh in their mind. They spend hours trying to dunk it just one time. What a waste of time most coaches would tell you. Why? Games are not won on the drive and dunk. They are won with toughness, fundamentals, and shooting. Yes, I said shooting.
Our kids must fall in love once again with the jump shot. No matter how great the slam dunk is, it will never put three points on the scoreboard like the popular three point shot. Both the drive and the jump shot have their place in the great game of basketball. They can survive together in balance. Lets open the door and invite the passion for shooting back in the gym.
Although he has been retired for several years now, Michael Jordan is still widely regarded as greatest basketball player to ever play the game. His influence was felt not only in the way the game was played, but also in how it was perceived around the world. Ultimately, his excellence at his sport was instrumental in catapulting the popularity of basketball and National Basketball Association all over the world during the eighties and nineties. Beyond all this, Jordan was also a marketing force and was hands-down the most successfully marketed athlete of his generation and, possibly, all time. In 1999, Jordan was named by ESPN as “greatest athlete of the 20th century.”
Jordan surrendered from the NBA after 15 seasons, in the midst of which he developed different prestigious records. His 30.12 centers for every entertainment typical is the most raised ever in NBA history. He similarly won six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls and was the MVP of the NBA Finals every time they stated the title. Besides, has been the NBA’s driving scorer for 10 straight seasons and was the affiliation’s Most Valuable Player five times. He was moreover decided to the All-NBA First Team 10 times, the All-Defensive First Team nine times close to driving the NBA in takes in three years. The Associated Press also situated him as second just to Babe Ruth as top contender of the century.
I remember, the day where our my friends and I got a chance to watch Jordan play. We took a party bus to his game and were completely amazed at Michael Jordan’s impressive talent. Jordan’s wizardry on the basketball court has always been evident from the very first time he stepped onto an NBA court as a rookie in 1985. He unveiled the full package – a dazzling array of dunks, ferocious defense and the amazing ability to score any time he wanted to. His leaping ability was off the charts and quickly earned him such colorful nicknames as “Air Jordan” and “His Airness.” In one playoffs game against the Boston Celtics in 1986, Jordan scored a record 63 points, which prompted the league’s then-reigning MVP Larry Bird to proclaim that he was “God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
The media has portrayed a number of players as “the next Michael Jordan” upon entering the NBA, including such renowned hoopsters as Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter, who have all fallen short of their lofty billing. The latest to earn the sobriquet are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, but they have a long way to go before they can earn the right to be called the next Jordan. Jordan retired when he was still among the best on the court in 1999 saying he had accomplished all he had set out to do.
Michael Jordan, the phenom has had many, many amazing games and I cannot begin to write about all his games. But I will describe what I believe was Michael Jordan’s 10 best games
Number 10 – Michael Jordan’s 50 point game at the age of 38 with the Washington Wizards. After scoring less than six points in the previous game, Michael Jordan came out roaring, and absolutely decimated the other team with a 50 point game. Previously Michael Jordan had gone 866 consecutive games in a row with at least 10 points (NBA record) and the only reason that streak isn’t longer is that he was recovering from an injury the first time he scored below 10 points. After retiring for 3 years then coming back to the NBA and scoring 50 points in his second game at the age of 38 is absolutely incredible and the reason why I believe that this is absolutely one of his greatest games
Number 9 – One of the most iconic moments in NBA history was the switch hand move in the air by Michael Jordan. This was the finals game, where he scored 33 points and had 7 rebounds, and 13 assists – he made 15/18 shots, insane. He made 13 consecutive field goals in this game ( Another NBA record)
Number 8 – This is the game, where we knew that Michael Jordan was seemingly infallible. After years and years of watching the NBA, we knew that Michael Jordan was not a three point shooter, but when it was necessary he would do it and he would do it well. During this final game Michael Jordan scored 35 points in the first half adding 6 3 pointers – This record would later be broken by Ray Allen, but the 35 points in the first half is still an NBA record
Number 7 – 55 points on 57% shooting! Why is this so impressive? Michael Jordan was playing his 5th game in a row after missing 21 months of basketball. Enough Said
Number 6 – 44 points and 9 rebounds – Famous buzzer beater over Craig Ehlo – simply amazing
Number 5 – 55 points 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Michael Jordan simply outplayed the suns and this would go down as second highest scoring performance in an NBA finals
Number 4 – 69 points (62.2 FG percent), 18 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals and 1 block! Michael Jordan’s highest scoring output of his career