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Biography

Michael Jordan, the best known athelete in the world, perheps the best athelete in the world, is a legend in basketball. He is the best in the history of the game. Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was interested in the game of baseball, but he chosed basketball to be the sport. He received a scholarship to University of North Carolina. As a freshman he scored the game-winning shot in the 1982 NCAA championship game against the Hoyas of Georgetown. Jordan was selected college player of the year for the 1983-1984 season, and in 1984 he led the United States basketball team to a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

In his junior year, he joined the NBA draft and was picked 3rd overall by the Chicago Bulls. Jordan joined a club that had finished at 27-55 the previous season and had been led in scoring by Quintin Dailey. Jordan lifted the team to a 38-44 record and a playoff berth for the first time since 1981 and was voted to the 1985 All-Star Game as a rookie. His 1986 season was mostly sidelined because of a broken bone in his left foot. He eventually recovered in the playoffs and average 43.7 points in the first round loss against the Boston Celtics.

In the 1987-1988 season, the Bulls drafted the center Horace Grant and traded for Scottie Pippen. With the help of the new blood, the bulls finish the season with a 50-32 record. He won every major honor, including Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, selection to the All-NBA First Team, selection to the All-Defensive First Team, an All-Star Game MVP Award (after scoring 40 points), and the NBA Slam-Dunk Championship. He led the league in scoring with 35.0 points per game and in steals with 3.16 per contest. The Bulls past the first round of the playoffs but fail to the Detroit Pistons in the conference semifinals.

In 1988-89 Jordan turned in possibly the best all-around performance of his career. The league's leading scorer once again at 32.5 points per game, he finished 10th in the NBA in assists with a career-high 8.0 per outing and also set a career high by pulling down 8.0 rebounds per contest. He ranked third in the league in steals at 2.89 per game. On January 25 he scored the 10,000th point of his career. Named to the East All-Star Team for the fifth straight year, Jordan scored 28 points in 33 minutes of action. His postseason honors included membership on the All-NBA First Team and the NBA All-Defensive First Team. Bulls finished the season winning 3 less games than the previous season but advanced to the conference finals and was eliminated by the Detroit Pistons again.

When Phil Jackson took over the Bulls, they had a 55-27 record, the best since 1971. Jordan was again selected to the All-Star Game, All-NBA First Team, NBA All-Defensive First Team, but again, they ware defeated by the Detroit Pistons in the seventh game of the conference finals. In the next season, Jordan and the Bulls won 61 games, a club record, that give them the central division title by 11 games. The Bulls swept through the playoffs including a sweep against the Detroit Pistons. The Bulls won their first title of the dynasty against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 1991-92 season seemed so easy for the Bulls, they won 67 games and Jordan was again in the All-Star Team, All-NBA First Team, and NBA All-Defensive First Team. The Bulls swept the Miami Heat and battled with the New York Knicks until the seventh game. Bulls again beat the Portland Trail Blazers and won their second NBA title in a row. Jordan led the USA Dream Team to claim another gold in the Olympics. In the 1993 season, the Bulls won another title while Jordan won his 7th straight scoring title, 7th straight All-NBA First Team, and 6th straight NBA All-Defensive Team.

On October 4th, 1994, Jordan announced his retirement and play baseball for the White Sox double-A team Birmingham Barons and hit .202 in 127 games, striking out 114 times in 436 at bats. Jordan belted 3 home runs, collected 51 RBIs, and stole 30 bases. He also led all Southern League outfielders with 11 errors. Jordan decided to come back during the 1995 season he played the final 17 games with the Bulls but lost in the coference finals against the Orlando Magics.

Jordan's game was back in full form during the 95-96 season, he won the MVP award, another scoring title, NBA Championship, and a NBA Finals MVP. Jordan led the Bulls to a 72 win that season. The next two years was still easy for the Bulls for they won their 6th championship in 8 years and 2 three-peats. Michael announced his retirement from basketball and the Chicago Bulls for a second time on January 13, 1999. Debate will continue for years whether or not he was the greatest of all time. On September 25, 2001 Jordan cannot resist not playing basketball, he ended his retirement and gave up the ownership of the Washington Wizard. He had solid performances including a 41 points highlight against the Denver Nuggets. He was still as great as he was, but an injury turned everything around. He had a swollen right knee and he was done for the season. Their are rumors about him coming back next year, but even if he decided to retire forever, the legend will long live in our hearts.

Rick Yean

CourtsideBasketball

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