Michael Jordan, the greatest basketball player to ever play the game, turns 60 today! Jordan, in today’s age, is known for his iconic retro shoe collection that has people lined up around the block on each release date. As LeBron leads the new generation’s argument for the G.O.A.T. discussion, The golden era NBA fans hold on to Jordan as their G.O.A.T. for his sick Jay’s, unbelievable plays and overall undeniable dominance.
Jordan was drafted in the NBA in 1984 and led the league in scoring his rookie year! After breaking his foot in his second year, returned to the NBA leading the league in scoring for seven consecutive years! Doing it in style, with flashy plays, and a couple of dunk contests in between, Jordan became a household name before the championship rings. But it didn’t stop at just basketball, Jordan was athletically gifted. from basketball to baseball, Jordan, fresh off of a three-peat in the middle of his prime, decided to test his skills professionally by playing for the Chicago White Sox’s minor league team. Jordan recorded 88 hits with a .289 on base average, 51 RBIs, 3 home runs, and 30 stolen bases.
Great for a rookie, but not as dominant of a performance he’d like to have, He returned to the NBA where he won another three consecutive NBA championships, None of which went to game seven of the series, to cement his legacy as the Greatest player to ever play the game. Today, Jordan is recognized as an American businessman, as he is the face of his own Jordan brand, he also serves as Chairperson for the Charlotte Hornets.
But before the board meetings, his business was handled on the basketball court and on the baseball diamond. As we commemorate Michael Jordan on his 60th birthday, we take a look back at the top 5 moments in his athletic career!
The Shot – Jordan made many game-winning baskets in his career, dating all the way back to college. This one wasn’t even to win an NBA championship like “The Final Shot”, but “The shot” over Craig Ehlo in the 1989 NBA playoffs just officially sealed the deal for Jordan as a closer. With time winding down in a must-score situation, You give Michael Jordan the Basketball.
Jordan Snatch Block- A 38-year-old Michael Jordan letting these young bucks know he’s still got it, he climbs the ladders to save two points on a go-ahead fast break layup.
The Shrug- After talks of only being a “paint scorer” and not having much versatility outside the paint, Jordan made a point to prove his game in the 1992 NBA Finals. In game 1, he took his talents beyond the arch, making (an NBA record at the time) six three-pointers in one half!
Happy Birthday Michael Jordan! Top 5 MJ Moments was originally published on rnbphilly.com
1. #5: Jordan’s Game-Winner vs Georgetown
A young “Mike Jordan” as they knew him then, was not the go-to guy on that 1982 Tar Heels team. James Worthy was considered the go-to guy on that team and was recieving a lot of double team coverage in a closely contested game that came down to the wire, which gave head coach Dean Smith the perfect idea. He drew up a play for Michael Jordan and the rest was history!
2. #4: Jordan’s First Professional Home Run
Jordan’s father loved baseball and got Jordan involved in the sport as a kid. It’s not everyday you see a player at the top of their sport, leaving in the middle of their prime to bring a childhood hobby back to life. That’s exactly what Jordan did. After his first three-peat, he signed with the Chicago White Sox’s affiliate and lived out his fantasy, in tribute to his father, to play baseball professionally.
3. #3: “The Flu Game”
In Game 5 of the 1997 Finals, Jordan arrived to the arena suffering from Flu-like symptoms. In today’s day, Players would have been sidelined for safety measures, But in a tough series, with an NBA Championship on the line, missing one day of work could have changed the trajectory of Jordan’s career. He went on to help his team defeat the Jazz, contributing 38 points, seven rebounds, and five assists in must-win game that will be remember forever.
4. #2: Air Jordan Dunk
Michael Jordan and Dominique Wilkins set the bar with the 1988 giving the fans what we know today as arguably the greatest dunk contest ever. In the first round, Jordan came out firing. Taking off from the free throw line, Jordan’s flair through the air moment was captured on camera and used today as what we know to be the iconic Air Jordan logo.
5. #1: The Final Shot
What else could be number one? Arguably the most important shot of his career, Jordan took the ball coast to coast in the final seconds of the 1998 NBA Finals to hit the game-winning shot over Byron Russell to put the cherry on top of a second three-peat!