Michael Jordan is a retired professional basketball player from the United States. He has been hailed the greatest basketball player of all time by many people over the years. Michael Jordan was instrumental in making the National Basketball Association (NBA) popular not just in the United States but around the world in the 1980’s and 1990’s. His talent on the basketball court meant he reaped the rewards financially. However, Michael Jordan also became known for the products he endorsed. The revenue generated from both on and off the basketball court ensured Michael Jordan was and is more than financially comfortable with his net worth for this year coming in at an estimated $1.1 billion.
Michael Jordan’s Basketball Career:
Michael Jordan’s love for basketball began when he was in high school. He played a number of sports while in high school but his love for basketball and of course his talent meant that he was offered a number of basketball scholarships by various different colleges. He accepted the basketball scholarship in North Carolina.
Jordan spent a very successful three seasons with North Carolina winning the Naismith Award and the Wooden College Player of the year awards before leaving one year before he was due to graduate. Jordan left and began his professional basketball career with the Chicago Bulls in 1984. Michael Jordan became a firm favorite for the fans and was even greeted amicably when he went to arenas of the opposing teams. Only a few short months after turning professional, he appeared on the cover of the prestigious sporting magazine ‘Sports Illustrated’ an impressive and unprecedented feat. He was also voted as an All-Star starter by the fans in his first season with the Chicago Bulls. However, all the attention that Michael Jordan was receiving was greeted with some animosity by a group of basketball players in the NBA. Led by Isiah Thomas they attempted to ‘freeze-out’ Jordan which meant that some players point blank refused to pass the ball to Jordan for the duration of the game. This controversy did not seem to get Jordan down or affect his playing ability.
Jordan’s second season with the Chicago Bulls was marred with injury when he sustained a broken foot. Once he had recovered he began a prolific scoring streak making him one of the big names of the sport. During the 1986-1987 season, he became one of only two players to score 3000 points in a season. Further to that and even more impressively, he became the first player in the history of the NBA to record a total of 200 steals and 100 blocks in a season.
Jordan retained his title as the league’s top scorer in the 1988-1989 season and in the 1989-1990 season but the top scoring was not enough to secure a victory for the Chicago Bulls and they suffered a loss against rivals Detroit Pistons for three consecutive seasons.
Things were to change however for the Chicago Bulls and the 1990-1991 season seen them win the NBA Final. This also marked for Jordan his first NBA Finals Most Valuable Player award which seen him become visibly emotional when holding the NBA finals trophy. The winning streak continued for the Chicago Bulls with them securing wins in the 1991-1992 season and the 11992-1993 season.
The strain of being such a prolific figure in the world of basketball was becoming evident when Michael Jordan announced his retirement for the first time in October 1993. He said he had no desire to play the game but later admitted that his father being killed earlier in that same year had some influence on his decision. During his retirement, Jordan surprised the whole world when he signed a minor baseball league contract which seen him playing baseball for the 1994 season.
Early in 1995, Jordan quit playing baseball and in March 1995 announced his return to the NBA by simply saying: “I’m Back”. Jordan re-joined his former team the Chicago Bulls and played well upon his return despite having not played the sport for over eighteen months. Although the Chicago Bulls were defeated that season, Jordan was motivated by this defeat and trained hard in preparation for the 1995-1996 season. Jordan was back on form when he led that season as top scorer once more.
Jordan was instrumental in the Chicago Bulls wining three more consecutive season finals in 1996, 1997 and 1998. By this point Jordan had won six NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Awards.
Michael Jordan announced his retirement from the sport for a second time in 1999. He claimed that this time he was almost certain he did not want to make another comeback but in 2001 that all changes.
In September 2001, Michael Jordan announced he was coming out of retirement and returning to the NBA to play for the Washington Wizards. After the tragedy that occurred on September 111th in New York City, he stated that his salary earned would be donated to a relief effort for victims of the 9/11 attacks.
The 2002-2003 season was Michael Jordan’s last with the Washington Wizards and as a basketball player in the NBA. Many various tributes were paid to him throughout the NBA that season. In his final game in his old home court from when he played with the Chicago Bulls, he received a four-minute standing ovation. He played his final NBA game in Philadelphia in April 2003. After been substituted in the third quarter, he was brought back on when the crowd started chanting ‘We Want Mike’. When the game finally ended, Jordan received a three-minute standing ovation from his team-mates, opponents, fans and officials, well deserved after an incredible career.
Awards and Honors Won by Michael Jordan:
Over the course of his very successful career, Michael Jordan won many awards for his excellent playing skills and achievements in the sport. During his career, he won a total of 6 NBA Championships and earned a total of 14 Most Valuable Player awards. He was also selected to 14 All-Star games. The list of awards is long and extensive but it worth noting that Jordan also won two gold Olympic Medals. The first medal was won in the 1984 Olympic games held in Los Angeles. Jordan was a college basketball player at the time and had not yet turned professional in the sport. The second gold medal he won was in the 1992 Olympic games held in Barcelona, Spain. This time he was part of a basketball squad that was known by American basketball fans as the ‘Dream Team’ because it had basketball greats on the team such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and David Robinson. There were a total of eight games played in the 1992 Olympic games by the US basketball team and Michael Jordan was the only player to start in every game.
Michael Jordan’s Family Life:
In 1989, Michael Jordan married Juanita Vanoy. Throughout the course of their marriage they had two sons – Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James – and a daughter – Jasmine – together. However, it was not to be for Michael and Juanita and in 2002 they filed for divorce. They reconciled once more for a short period before eventually divorcing in 2006. It is said the divorce was amicable.
Michael Jordan remarried in 2013 after proposing to long-term girlfriend Yvette Prieto in December 2011. Just six months after they married, they announce that Yvette was pregnant with their first child. In February 2014, Jordan’s identical twin daughters Victoria and Ysabel were born.
Controversies surrounding Michael Jordan:
Although Michael Jordan has had quite a clean cut career and personal life in comparison to other athletes, some controversy surrounded him back in 1993 when he was seen gambling in a casino the night before he was due to play against the New York Knicks. He admitted during the course of that year that he had to cover gambling losses of over $57,000.
In 2005, he appeared on the CBS show ’60 Minutes’ and when asked about his gambling said he had made some reckless decisions. He said: “Yeah, I’ve gotten myself into situations where I would not walk away and I’ve pushed the envelope. Is that compulsive? Yeah, it depends on how you look at it. If you’re willing to jeopardize your livelihood and your family, then yeah.” When he was further probed about whether he had ever been willing to jeopardize his livelihood and family he answered no.
Michael Jordan Now in 2018 – What’s He Doing
The things that are taking up most of Michael Jordans time in 2016 are his business ventures. Michael Jordan has been involved with many well-known brands over the course of his career. These include sportswear giant Nike, Coco-Cola, fast food chain McDonald’s, Chevrolet, Ball Park Franks and Gatorade to name but a few. One of the longest standing deals has been with energy drinks company Gatorade. Jordan has appeared in over 20 television commercials for the company over the last twenty-five years.
Another particularly famous endorsement deal is with sportswear giant Nike. A personalized signature shoe referred to as the Nike ‘Air Jordan’ was created especially for the basketball player. The demand was so high for these shows when first released that Nike decided to create a whole brand around Jordan known quite simply as the ‘Jordan Brand’.
During the 1992 Superbowl, Michael Jordan appeared in a Nike television commercial playing basketball alongside Bugs Bunny. This commercial was said to be the inspiration behind the movie ‘Space Jam’ which was released four years later in 1996.
Michael Jordan’s yearly income from endorsements alone is said to be approximately $40 million. It has also been rumored that the legendary basketball player has generated over $1 billion in sales for Nike from the ‘Jordan Brand’.
It was no surprise with his huge financial success that Michael Jordan was announced as the very first NBA player to become a billionaire in 2014.
Michael Jordan showed his true entrepreneurial skills when he founded ‘Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse’ back in 1997. The restaurant is a fine dining restaurant in Grand Central Terminal, New York City. He has since opened a ‘Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse’ in Connecticut and in Chicago. The restaurant is unusual in that it contains no sports memorabilia. Michael Jordan felt he wanted to open the restaurants as a businessman not as a basketball player.
Michael Jordan bought a minority stake in NBA team the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006. However, in 2010, it was reported that Jordan was looking for majority ownership which he was granted. This meant he was the first retired NBA player in history to be a majority owner of an NBA team. In 2013, Jordan legally requested to change the name of the team from Bobcats to Hornets. This was certified in May 2014.
Following an incredible career Michael Jordan has become a household name not just in the United states but worldwide. His many endorsement deals and other business ventures will ensure that his net worth will only continue to grow!