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Useful Notes: Michael Jordan

"When Michael Jordan jumped into the air, the other team had two choices: let him dunk or put five defenders on him. If they took the second option, Jordan would pass the ball to one of four wide-open teammates. It almost wasn't fair."

"I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 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."
Michael Jordan

FRRRRROM NORTH... Carolina, at guard, six-six, number twenty-three, Michael! JORDAN!!!

Michael Jeffrey Jordan, born February 17, 1963, is a former Basketball player for the Chicago Bulls and the Washington Wizards. One of the greatest if not the greatest player to ever play the game, due to his skill, leadership and general professionalism. Indeed, during his career the younger generation tended to root for him despite having no Chicago ties whatsoever. In addition his stardom gave way to a massive endorsement enterprise including Wheaties, Gatorade, McDonalds and his massively popular "Air Jordan" Nike basketball shoes. He is now the owner of the Charlotte Hornets, an NBA franchise in Charlotte, North Carolina.

In fiction he starred in a series of Looney Tunes / Nike crossover commericals and that led to the 1996 Movie Space Jam. He can currently be seen doing commercials for Hanes underwear.

As always, That Other Wiki has more information on him. But if you need some cold hard reasons why modern players want to retire his number altogether, you can peruse this list of accomplishments.

Tropes associated with Michael Jordan include:

  • The Ace: Although he certainly had some much-needed help from Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Toni Kukoc and Dennis Rodman.
    • Broken Ace: Throughout his career, Jordan was marred by struggles against the Pistons, frequent losses to the big boys of the era, food poisoning (the cause of the Flu Game), the death of his father, the constant publicity, the bad blood with Jerry Krause and old age stunting his athleticism.
  • Always Someone Better: Before 1990, Larry Bird's Celtics, the "Bad Boys" Pistons (who even had a special strategy to play MJ!) and Sidney Moncrief's Bucks prevented him and the Bulls from reaching the finals...
    • Overshadowed by Awesome: ...and then Jordan was always the one standing in other players' and teams' way of getting a ring. As the winner of two three-peats, he shut out a lot of players' dreams of becoming NBA champions during his prime career in the 90s.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Why did he retire the first time around? Was it because his father died, was it over the gambling, or was it because he grew tired of the publicity on top of that? Our guess is that it's somewhere in between.
  • Badass: Won six championships (three in a row for each) during, in essence, the most competitive era of Basketball. One that boasted such names as Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, Charles Barkley, Clyde Drexler, Chris Mullin, David Robinson, Dominique Wilkins, Hakeem Olajuwon, Tim Hardaway, Alonzo Mourning, John Stockton and Karl Malone. Only four of those guys won a championship since Jordan retired.
  • Badass Boast: In an 1988 game against the Utah Jazz, Jordan dunked on 6'1 point guard John Stockton. Jazz owner Larry Miller heckled him by saying "Why don't you dunk on someone your own size"? The next possession, Jordan dunked on 6'11 center Mel Turpin. Jordan then turned to Miller and said "Was he big enough?"
  • Badass Crew: See Dream Team below.
  • Bald Black Leader Guy: A role he fulfilled for the Bulls as a whole.
  • Bald of Awesome: Fittingly, it was when he shaved his head that he won his first ring.
  • Baseball Episode: He retired from the NBA in 1993, only to sign a minor league baseball contract and spent the year playing for the Birmingham Barons, the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox. He returned to basketball in 1995, but he was never truly on the same level as he was in 1991-1993.
  • Bash Brothers: Jordan was always an exceptional player, but he was rather selfish with the ball if he felt his team wasn't living up to his standards. Because of this, his early career had him with high game stats, but few game wins. It wasn't until Scottie Pippen joined the team in the late 80s that they formed a rather unbeatable duo.
  • Blood Knight: The basketball equivalent. It went so far that he would purposefully take certain quotes about him out of context to get himself fired up enough on the court to play at a high level. Especially when playing his "buddy" John Starks.
  • Cast from Hit Points: His famous flu game caused him to push himself harder than normal, but weakened him every quarter of the game, until he finally collapsed after it was over.
  • Controversy Proof Image: Nothing really seems to truly phrase through his legacy. Not the horrendous Baseball Episode. Not the gambling scandal. Not the time he lost his temper and punched one of his teammates during practice. Not when he raked Reggie Miller across the face and threw a fist at him after Reggie set him off. Not the offensive foul on Byron Russell. Not the two-year stint of playing for the Washington Wizards and missing the playoffs both times. Not the ownership of the league-worst Charlotte Bobcats. Being undefeated in the Finals certainly helps.
  • Determinator: Easily one of the most famous Real Life examples. The most memorable example of this being Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals, where he scored 38 points while he was visibly weakened by sickness.
  • The Dreaded: If you played against him, and you were terrified of having to guard him one on one, we can't blame you.
  • Dream Team: The Trope Namer. The single greatest team ever assembled in any sport was the 1992 United States Men's Olympic Basketball team. It consisted of 12 players, 11 of whom were inducted into the professional basketball hall of fame. It was coached by one of the greatest coaches of all time (Chuck Daly, who won two titles with the Detroit Pistons). The assistant coaches were the men who would later become all-time winningest NBA coach, and the all-time winningest NCAA Men's coach (Lenny Wilkins and Mike Krzyzewski, respectively). The roster was loaded with men who would later be considered the best ever to play their individual positions. They won games by an average of 44 points. How good was this team? Shaq and Isiah Thomas were left off it. The roster consisted of...
    • Jordan, widely considered the best basketball player to ever live. Six time NBA Champion. Six time NBA Finals MVP. Five time NBA MVP. NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
    • Magic Johnson, one of the greatest players ever, considered by many the best point guard of all time. Five time NBA Champion. Three time NBA Finals MVP. Three time NBA MVP. NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
    • Larry Bird, one of the 10 best players, and possibly the best small forward ever. Three time NBA Champion. Two time NBA Finals MVP. Three time NBA MVP. NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team
    • Patrick Ewing, NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
    • Karl Malone, at the time considered the best power forward to ever play. Now Tim Duncan is in the argument. Two time NBA MVP. NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
    • Scottie Pippen, six-time NBA champion, NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
    • David Robinson, 2 time NBA Champion, NBA MVP, NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
    • Charles Barkley, NBA MVP, NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
    • Clyde Drexler, NBA champion, NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
    • John Stockton, NBA's all time Assists and Steals leader, one of the only other guys mentioned in the "greatest point guard ever" argument with Magic, also named to the NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team..
    • Chris Mullin, NBA's 50th Anniversary All-Time Team.
    • Christian Laettner, NCAA Hall of Fame. The NCAA Tournament's all time leading scorer.
  • Friend to All Children: He was always very nice to all of his younger fans.
  • Genius Bruiser: He's very strong and very intelligent.
  • Handicapped Badass: Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals also known as "The Flu Game", where he put up a line of 38 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 block while suffering from food poisoning.
  • The Hero: In the eyes of the Chicago Bulls and all of their fans.
    • The Dragon: To Phil Jackson, in the eyes of his rivals' fans.
  • He's Back: Happened twice, the second when he was part owner of the Washington Wizards and he started playing again to help lure Jerry Stackhouse to the team.
  • Jerk Jock: On the court, for sure. Many players, including his teammates, found it hard to work with the guy a lot of the time.
    • His Hall Of Fame induction speech further illustrated it. he spent most of the time belittling anyone and everyone who has slighted him, at all, EVER! He singled out coaches and players for insults they had hurled his way as far back as 20 years ago, singling out Isiah Thomas, Magic Johnson, George Gervin, Bryon Russel and Jeff Van Gundy among others, while barely mentioning his own family at all, and even that was to remind them how tough they had it having to put up with his ego. He even flew in, at his own expense, the high school coach who cut him from the varsity team sophomore year and the player that coach had kept on the team instead of him, just to ridicule them for their mistake.
      Jordan's Speech: I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The last defining moment for Jordan was actually a no-call offensive foul. In Game 6 of the 1998 Finals, with the Bulls down 86-85, Jordan drove right and pushed his defender, Byron Russell, to the ground, before draining the game winner with five seconds left. No foul was called and the Bulls won the championship. The Bulls haven't made it back to the Finals ever since (neither have the Jazz, for that matter), and the teams whose front offices he stepped into since then, the Wizards and the Bobcats, haven't even sniffed getting close to the Finals.
    • Another example came in the 2011 NBA lockout. Jordan spearheaded a group of 10 to 14 hardline owners that wanted to cap the players' share of basketball-related income at 50 percent and as low as 47. In the following, 66-game season, the Jordan-owned Charlotte Bobcats posted a 759 record, the worst in NBA history.
  • The Leader: Although the coach also had its share, of course.
  • Lightning Bruiser: He's strong, tough as hell and quick on his feet.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Jeff Van Gundy claimed that Jordan would deliberately act buddy-buddy with his opponents to lull them before he blows them out during a game.
  • Name's the Same: Actor Michael B Jordan uses his middle initial because this guy became famous first (and, thanks to Space Jam, claimed the "Michael Jordan" SAG card).
  • Not Quite Flight: His aerial abilities bordered on a Real Life example of this.
  • One-Man Army: He was tough enough to outscore multiple players at once with ease.
  • Phrase Catcher: "I want to be like Mike."
  • Power Trio: With Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen. In the first three-peat, with Pippen and Horace Grant.
  • Red Baron: In a way, his 23 number.
    • Another would be "Air" Jordan.
  • Retired Badass: Three times, actually. The third one, we think, is permanent.
  • The Reveal: Turns out, he wasn't suffering from the flu. His trainer, Tim Grover, confirmed that it was food poisoning.
  • The Rival: In his prime, to everyone. First was to Isiah Thomas, of the Detroit Pistons, who knocked Jordan out of the playoffs three years in a row, before Jordan finally managed to beat 'em and get his first ring. Jordan was allegedly the driving force to keep Thomas off the Dream Team, marking the second time Thomas was denied a chance to compete in the Olympics - he'd been named to the 1980 team that never got to play due to the Moscow boycott.
    • After that, he alternatively faced Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Reggie Miller, Gary Payton, Karl Malone, John Stockton, Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning. Even his eventual teammate, Dennis Rodman took a couple shots at him.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: The Chicago Bulls in the 1995-1996 season. Led by Jordan, the Bulls won a record 72 games, lost only 10 times during the regular season and 3 times during the playoffs. Jordan led the league in scoring and won every major award.
  • Tear Jerker: Literally, on his part. His father was robbed and killed a while after the Bulls won their third championship, prompting Jordan to retire for 18 months, before returning in 1995. When the Bulls won their fourth overall championship, and the first since his dad was killed, it was on Father's Day. This was his reaction. invoked
  • Teen Genius: He did very well in school when he was younger.
  • The Peter Principle: The man is, without a doubt, one of the best to play the game. Managing the game however... it's quite some Irony that the greatest modern-day basketball player is now the head of the absolute worst basketball team, the Charlotte Bobcats.
  • Trash Talk: He was an expert in it, the crowning moment when MJ made a free throw with his eyes closed to annoy Dikembe Mutombo. And afterwards said "Welcome to the NBA!"
  • The Unfettered: He wants to win. No matter what.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: His reasoning for retiring from basketball to give professional baseball a chance after his father was murdered.
  • Worthy Opponent: Jordan's opinion of the Detroit Pistons' Joe Dumars, at the very least considering him to be the toughest defender he ever faced in the NBA.
  • Your Cheating Heart: He ended up cheating on his wife at some point, which was one of the factors in their divorce.

Spike JonzeActorsMichael B Jordan

alternative title(s): Michael Jordan
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