The Man That Was Bigger Than Life Itself

Never has the game seen a player do the impossible time and time again. Considered to be one of the greatest sporting athletes of all time, Michael Jordan is certainly regarded as the greatest basketball player to ever grace the game. Having won 6 NBA Championships, 5 NBA’s most valuable player and 10 times Scoring Leader – just to name a few – it’s not hard to see why.

Few players have shaped the game of basketball like he did, becoming so universally popular for his out-of-this-world performances, there aren’t many that haven’t heard the name, Michael Jordan. It was typical of the man to create sublime moments; like his crowd-thrilling record-setting drives and drunks, or astonishing fans with his last-minute game winning baskets. However, Jordan’s extraordinary success didn’t come without great perseverance, and pure ambition to challenge what we knew about basketball, and change the game forever.

As a sophomore at Laney High School, he decided to try out for the varsity team. To his dismay, 15-year-old, 5’10” Jordan wasn’t accepted onto the 15-man roster. Jordan said he was “embarrassed” not to make the team, and later locked himself in his room and cried. This was a turning point in his early career, as Jordan worked tirelessly to build up his strength and skillset, so he was never rejected again.

“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. That usually got me going again.”

The following summer, four inches taller, Jordan made the team averaging 25 points per game, and was selected in the McDonald’s All-American Team as a senior. After high-school in 1982, Jordan received a basketball scholarship from North Carolina University, winning the championship (with the game-winning shot) and being awarded ACC Freshman of the Year in his first year.

In 1984, Jordan’s hard work and determination had paid off, being third pick in the NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. For the next nine years Jordan was on cloud nine. Dominating the sport, Jordan became the Bulls all-time leading scorer, winning three regular season MVP awards, three NBA championships, three NBA finals MVP awards, one All-Star MVP awards and a defensive player of the year award.

When it seemed nothing could stop Jordan’s near-perfect form, his father James, was tragically murdered in 1993 by two robbers in North Carolina. Three months later, Jordan announced his retirement from the game, stating that he “no longer had the desire to play”. At this stage in his life he was lost, uncertain of his mental stability or what he might do next in his career. After some time to recover and mourn his father’s passing, Jordan pursued a short career in minor league baseball for the Chicago White Sox.

In 1995, Jordan returned to the NBA, going on to lead the Bulls to three more consecutive NBA championships and solidified his name in the history books as the NBA’s greatest player of all-time. Amongst the countless titles and awards Jordan earned, he also holds NBA records for the highest career scoring average and highest playoff scoring average. Being enlisted into the FIBA Hall of Fame, and being named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th Century by ESPN. Michael Jordan’s career is one of extraordinary lengths, revolutionizing the game of basketball and how it’s played around the world. Jordan was anxious to make a difference with the talents he possessed, motivated by success and determined to be the best, achieving just that.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot…and missed. I’ve failed over, and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

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