Michael Jordan is one of the most influential basketball stars in the history of the National Basketball Association.
His performance on the court was enough to inspire an entire generation of new basketball legends.
With his brand of shoes being just as desirable as he was as a player, Jordan has ensured that his legacy in professional sports never goes away.
How Tall Is Michael Jordan?
Michael Jordan is 6’6” tall and is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all-time.
When Jordan was playing on his high school varsity team, he was passed up for a taller teammate because he was only 5’10”.
His potential height was an early concern for Jordan’s basketball career because his father was only 5’9”, and his mother was only 5’5”.
To add to the worry, none of his immediate family members were more than six feet tall either.
As a teenager, young Jordan was so desperate to get the few extra inches he needed to be noticed by his varsity team that he would hang off of pull-up bars in hopes of stretching his spine enough to allow growth.
Although this method may not have done anything in reality, Jordan was standing at 6’3” by the end of high school.
Jordan would become the second tallest member of his family when he grew to 6’6” because he has a cousin who is about an inch taller than him.
Not only was the basketball star an anomaly among his family members, but he is also known in the basketball world for being a physical anomaly as well.
Although most people’s hand size correlates to their foot size, Jordan has surprisingly small feet compared to his hands and the rest of his body.
However, this allows for Jordan to be more agile with his footwork and more difficult to predict on the court.
Another physical advantage that Jordan has are his large hands, especially for a center.
His hands are 9.75 inches in length and 11.375 in width, making it much more difficult for defensive players to swipe the ball from Jordan.
Although he was worried about his career as a child, Michael Jordan became a role model to many who would become legends themselves.
From High School Varsity Team To Olympic Champion
Michael Jordan has always had a passion for sports, but his height became a problem for him early on in his career.
His first struggle as a basketball player came while he was attending Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Jordan had been playing basketball, baseball, and football ever since he was a little child.
He grew up with competitive and athletic older brothers, who pressed him to become a better player on the court.
After playing on the high school’s varsity team during his freshman year, Jordan was cut from the team during his sophomore year to make room for taller players.
While he was away from the team, he focused on improving his skills alongside his older brothers and was able to make the team the following year.
As he was practicing with brother Larry Jordan, the young athlete found that he couldn’t beat his taller brother at one-on-one games.
His brother’s height advantage forced young Jordan to jump around if he wanted a clear shot at the hoop.
Michael Jordan had become a local basketball star by the time he began attending the University of North Carolina.
By 1982, Jordan had led his college team to a National College Athletic Association championship victory and won gold at the Pan American Games that same year.
Only two years later, Michael Jordan would lead the United States Olympic Basketball Team of 1984 to victory.
On average, Jordan would score 17.1 shots per game and won each of the eight games that the team played.
During the Olympics, Jordan was able to show just how well he could leap into the air.
The young “Air Jordan” was able to win the United States a gold medal with the help of fellow Olympians Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin.
Making History With The Chicago Bulls
Shortly after appearing in the 1984 Olympics and winning the gold medal for the United States Basketball team, Michael Jordan was quickly drafted by the Chicago Bulls and took the legendary number 23.
Jordan played for the Chicago Bulls for 13 seasons and helped the team win six NBA championships during this time.
This champion defensive player has earned himself even more accolades than championship rings.
Although the Chicago Bulls may have lost the championship game against the Boston Celtics in 1986, Jordan scored 60 points in that one game alone.
Jordan would reach his career-high score for a single game when the Bulls took on the Cleveland Cavaliers and scored 69 points.
There were only five other games over course of Jordan’s career where he would go on to score over 60, but he still was able to score above 50 points in 33 different games with the Bulls.
By the time his time with the Chicago Bulls ended, Jordan had a career average score of 31.5 per game.
Michael Jordan has been named the Finals Most Valuable Player each of the six times he appeared in the finals.
He has also been named the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player on five different occasions and named a league All-Star 14 times.
Jordan became the All-Star MVP three times and even went on to become the Defensive Player of the Year.
With a record like his, the Chicago Bulls felt that no other player would be able to live up to Jordan’s legacy and decided to retire his number.
Many basketball fans and experts look at the 1995–1996 season as one of the best seasons a team has ever played because Jordan led the Bulls to 72 regular-season wins.
Why Did Michael Jordan Retire?
Michael Jordan first decided to retire in 1993 after the tragic loss of his father, which led him to lose his passion for playing basketball professionally.
Although Jordan knew that his fans would be upset, he hoped that they would understand that he is simply human and wasn’t strong enough to be an attentive athlete, a supportive family man, and a beloved public figure while grieving.
James Jordan, the basketball legend’s father, was sleeping in his expensive car on the highway in Lumberton, North Carolina.
Daniel Green and Larry Demery had planned to rob a nearby hotel when they decided to take the seemingly empty car instead.
When Green and Demery began breaking into the car, James Jordan woke up and asked what was going on before he was shot.
His murderers had no clue who their victim was until they began rummaging through his things.
After discovering James Jordan’s identity, the pair of murderers decided to dump his body in a swamp near Bennettsville, South Carolina.
They were caught using the car to pick up dates for themselves.
Losing his father in such a sudden and devastating manner was too much for Michael Jordan to bear.
The death of his father reminded Jordan how quickly he could lose everything and how time with family could be cut short in an instance.
However, Jordan would return to the Chicago Bulls in 1994 when he found his passion for professional basketball again.
He would announce his retirement again in 1999 after a dispute with the Chicago Bulls’ manager caused him to leave his original team.
After joining and becoming a partial owner of the Washington Wizards, Michael Jordan retired for one final time on April 16th of 2003.
Jordan felt that he had made as many contributions to basketball as he possibly could.
The Team Player Becoming The Team Owner
Michael Jordan serves as the Executive Chairman of the Charlotte Hornets.
The professional player purchased the Charlotte Bobcats for $275 million from their former owner Bob Johnson in 2010.
Jordan first started investing in the Charlotte Bobcats in 2006 and decided that there were things in dire need of change if the franchise wanted to survive.
He quickly changed the team’s name from the Bobcats to the Hornets to start the brand overhaul he had in mind.
Michael Jordan saw his time as the majority owner of the team would help him create a better image for his hometown basketball team.
However, critics have wondered if Jordan can be as solid of a team owner as he was a player.
Since purchasing the team, the Charlotte Hornets have only made two playoff appearances and are only considered a mid-tier team by the Eastern Conference.
The team has also had a difficult time holding onto any players they’re able to draft.
Most players who are drafted by the Charlotte Hornets don’t have offers coming in from other professional teams, and players tend to leave the team when they do get better offers from more successful teams.
Even the team’s only success story Kemba Walker left Jordan’s team after being offered the chance to join the Boston Celtics.
Although Michael Jordan may not have made champions out of his players, he was able to save his dying hometown team.
Thanks to his help, Jordan has increased the value of his team to $1.5 billion.
By 2019, Jordan had planned to sell a minority stake in the team for $300 million.
He ended up selling a 20% stake of the Charlotte Hornets to Gabe Plotkin and Daniel Sundheim by September of that year, but Jordan still owns the majority of the franchise.
Entering The World of NASCAR
The early days of the pandemic had people around the globe willing to try things that they had never done before, and even basketball superstar Michael Jordan was no exception.
In late 2020, Jordan became a co-owner of the 23XI Racing team.
During the pandemic, an article had been released about Michael Jordan considering joining the world of NASCAR.
Unsure if the article was true or not, Nike’s Jordan ambassador and NASCAR driver Denny Hamlin decided to reach out to Jordan about potentially joining the world of professional race car driving.
Jordan quickly texted Hamlin back and told him that it was fake news.
Although Jordan had never previously considered purchasing a NASCAR team, he wanted to take the opportunity to make a difference in the sport and knew that he had the perfect partner to do so.
Only a couple of days later, Hamlin flew down to Florida to meet up with the basketball star to discuss the potential business terms.
The pair met at a golf course and enjoyed a game as they talked about what Jordan needed to know before going into the new industry.
With some financial support from Toyota and Denny Hamlin’s own Joe Gibbs Racing, Jordan was convinced to purchase 23XI Racing.
Michael Jordan chose Bubba Wallace as his team’s first driver, and Wallace helped the team win its first race in October of 2021 at Talladega.
Eventually, Jordan expanded his racing team to include the 2004 NASCAR champion, Kurt Busch.
At the 2022 Daytona 500, Wallace managed to finish as runner-up.
With support from Michael Jordan, Bubba Wallace has made a massive impact on NASCAR and is currently the only Black driver in the league.
Wallace is also critically responsible for NASCAR’s recent ban of the Confederate flag at the league’s races.
The New Shoe Brand Of The National Basketball Association
Before every professional athlete and sneakerhead could be spotted wearing a pair of Jordans, the first-ever official shoe of the National Basketball Association was Converse.
They were also the first brand to have an athlete-endorsed signature shoe, Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars.
When Michael Jordan was first given the opportunity to work with Nike, they offered him a $2.5 million contract because the company was desperate to collect on Jordan’s clear popularity.
At the time, the best that most athletes were being offered was $100,000, but Nike was willing to take the risk, and it ended up paying off in their favor for decades.
Right before teaming up with Jordan, Nike had been working on an “air technology” that would make their shoes more comfortable.
The company wanted to premier their new technology with the Jumpman himself, and Jordan’s agent David Falk thought it was an excellent idea.
Falk also thought that Jordan deserved a short line that would bear his name and release new shoes annually.
Jordan wore his first pair of Air Jordans to a Madison Square Garden preseason game, and fans went wild.
However, the National Basketball Association wasn’t happy about the new pair of shoes that clashed with Jordan’s uniform and banned him from wearing the shoes again.
Rather than letting it get them down, Nike and Michael Jordan used the scandal to their advantage as newspapers began covering the story of Jordan’s banned shoes.
Before Air Jordans, the only professional athletes to have accessories named after them were tennis players and golfers.
However, Jordan completely changed the game and gave players a way to show off their individual identities.
Now, the shoe brand has made massive waves throughout the world of fashion.
Air Jordans are incredibly popular with anyone who is a fan of collecting sneakers.
Giving Back To Those Who Need It Most
Michael Jordan is one of the most successful athletes in the world, and he is incredibly grateful for the support that he has been given by his fans, especially all of the young fans that he has inspired.
Jordan is also known as one of the most charitable athletes.
Throughout his time with the National Basketball Association as both a player and a team owner, Jordan has noted a long list of charities.
In 2018, Michael Jordan gave a multimillion-dollar donation to Friends of the Children, an organization that looks to end generational poverty.
After Hurricane Florence, Jordan donated $1 million each to the American Red Cross and the Foundation for the Carolinas’ Hurricane Florence Response Fund.
Both organizations were providing care packages for the people of Jordan’s hometown of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Michael Jordan has served as a chief ambassador for the Make-A-Wish foundation since 2008 and has brought in more than $5 million for the organization through his donations and the collective donations of his fans.
He has also granted hundreds of wishes over his 30 years with the organization and continues to grant wishes to this day.
Jordan donated $5 million to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.
With this donation, he became a Founding Donor of the monumental museum.
Following the tragic events of 9/11, Michael Jordan donated his entire 2001–2002 salary from the National Basketball Association to a variety of causes surrounding the tragedy.
He was also able to establish the Jordan Institute for Families at the University of North Carolina.
Some of the other organizations that Jordan has supported include the Children’s Literacy Initiative, Common Threads, The Ounce of Prevention Fund, New Moms, Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund – Illinois, and the New Teacher Center.
Michael Jordan Is The GOAT
Whether you’re a Chicago Bulls fan or not, there’s no denying that Michael Jordan is the Greatest Of All Time.
There has never been a player from the National Basketball Association that has had a larger social impact than Jordan.
Although his track record as one of the best centers in the professional league is legendary, his ability to create a brand for himself and invest both his focus and finances effectively has allowed Jordan’s popularity to spread outside of the world of professional basketball.