February 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Michael Jordan

The greatest basketball player of all time (according to many) was born on this day in 1963.

Playing for the University of North Carolina and for the NBA's Chicago Bulls, he was nicknamed Air Jordan and His Airness because he could leap so high (he could even perform slam dunks from the free-throw line!). He helped the Bulls “three-peat”—winning three NBA Championships in a row.

Jordan earned five MVP awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game appearances, three All-Star Game MVP awards. He owns several basketball records, was voted the greatest North American athlete of the 20th Century by ESPN, and was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Jordan has also been a successful product spokesperson, including for Nike Air Jordan sneakers, has appeared in a movie or two, and is the majority owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats.

Did you know...?
  • As a sophomore in high school, Jordan tried out for the varsity basketball game but was considered too short. He was 5'11”. A friend of his, who was taller, did make varsity as a sophomore.
  • Jordan eventually wasn't “too short”—he ended up growing to a height of 6'6”!
  • Jordan retired from basketball mid-career and played minor-league and, briefly, professional baseball. A couple years later, Jordan made a short, sweet announcement with the press release, “I'm back.”

Learn basketball with some fun-and-vigorous drills

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