Shopping Cart

Your cart is empty

Continue Shopping

The Life of Michael Jordan

Icons do not get any bigger or more mythical than Michael Jordan. He is more than a basketball player, more than a sneaker promoter, more than a world renowned icon. Read on as we look at the extraordinary life of Michael Jordan.

Michael Jeffrey Jordan

Michael Jeffrey Jordan was born on February 17, 1963. He was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in North Carolina. MJ attended Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina. The story has been told a billion times, but MJ was cut from his varsity basketball team. That story has been used as a form of inspiration ever since MJ debuted in the NBA. Mike experienced a growth spurt the summer before his junior year of high school. Jordan has expressed in the past that he felt like he willed himself to grow. His height and talent grew, and he would never have to worry again about being cut from a team.

mj laney


MJ would become a dominate high school basketball player and would attend the University of North Carolina. During his freshmen year for the North Carolina Tar Heels, MJ was in the shadow of his older and more accomplished teammates. That would all change when North Carolina faced off against the Georgetown Hoyas in the NCAA Championship game in 1982. Jordan hit the game winning basket, a 16 foot jumper, with 18 seconds left in the game. The Tar Heels 63-62 victory, highlighted by his game winning shot, elevated the young Jordan to stardom. He was far, far from finishing his spectacular rise, however.

mj unc

The Chicago Bulls

Michael Jordan left North Carolina after his junior year. He was the third overall pick in the 1984 NBA Draft by the Chicago Bulls. MJ going third in the draft is now considered one of the biggest blunders in the history of the NBA. When MJ was entering the league, there were legitimate questions about his game. He was not a great long range shooter, and his man to man defense was not strong. Mike quickly turned those weaknesses into strengths.

Mike’s impact in his rookie season was immeasurable. His charisma, his showmanship and his skill level made him the number one attraction in the NBA. Home attendance for the Chicago Bulls went up dramatically. When Mike went on the road, fans of the opposing teams came out in droves to watch him play.

The artistry of MJ was second to none. His aerial exploits, and passion for the game, made him magnetic to watch. His dangling tongue, as he competed on the court, became his trademark. He picked up the habit watching his father work around the house as a kid.

MJ wore baggier shorts on the court than were the norm during the 1980s. Baggy shorts would quickly become a trend for kids around the country.

Michael Jordan was a phenomenon on and off the court.

mj bulls rookie

The Birth of the Air Jordan

Michael Jordan signed an endorsement contract with Nike for $2.5 million his rookie year. That looks like clearance aisle pricing today, but at the time many felt MJ, an unproven newcomer, did not deserve a contract that large.

The Air Jordan 1 was designed by Peter Moore and was released in 1985. The release was tied to Jordan’s rookie season in the NBA. The design of the 1 was simple and consistent with the other basketball shoes of the era. The 1 lacked the sophisticated technology that the Jordan Brand would be known for with later installments. Nike was dedicated to giving MJ his own shoe and brand to grow with. That commitment is clear when you view the shoe’s distinctive logo. Moore designed a wings symbol, a precursor to the Jumpman logo, which was placed on the upper ankle of the shoe.

The marketing of Michael Jordan’s shoes was massively successful and helped to expand his notoriety. The collaboration between Nike, MJ and director, Spike Lee, would prove to be incredibly fruitful for everyone involved. The first commercial featuring Lee’s character, Mars Blackmon, debuted in 1988. The ad was for the Air Jordan III. The commercials featuring Mars adopted much of the style and look of Spike Lee’s work as a director. The tone, aesthetic and feel of the ads was movie quality. The elevated level of production added to the value of the Air Jordan line.

mj x nike

Winning Time

There are a lot of things that make the NBA career of Air Jordan a singular one. His personal highlight reel is unparalleled and the impact he has had on our culture with his sneaker line is massive. But what truly separates MJ from the horde of great basketball players is his number of championships. His six rings are obviously a monumental accomplishment.

MJ had to prove he could win and win at an elite level. Critics felt he was too ball dominate, too interested in scoring, to play winning basketball. MJ was determined to prove his critics wrong. When Air Jordan faced Magic Johnson in his first NBA Finals appearance not many gave him a chance to beat the Los Angeles Lakers’ legend. Magic had already won five championships when he matched up against the Bulls in 1991. Mike and the Bulls were able to rise to the occasion and defeat the Lakers 4 games to 1. Not many would ever doubt MJ again after that career defining series.

mj 6 rings

The 1995-1996 Chicago Bulls squad is a historic one. The season after the Bulls shattered the record for wins by going 72-10, they followed that up with 69 wins during the 96-97 campaign. No squad in history before Chicago had won 70 games, and the Bulls almost pulled the feat off in back-to-back seasons. That elevated level of consistency proves that the Bulls as an organization had mastered a formula that was successful. The Chicago Bulls during their 6 rings in 8 year run were as dominant as any NBA squad ever. Much of that success can be credited to Michael Jordan and the personal sacrifices he was willing to make to allow the Chicago Bulls to become a dynasty for the ages.

mj 72-10


Michael Jordan is widely considered to be the GOAT. Many believe he is the greatest basketball player of all time, and based on all his accomplishments, it is a stance that is hard to argue with. Especially when you look at his career achievements and stats.

  • Career PPG: 30.1
  • 9 All Defensive Teams
  • 11 All NBA Teams
  • 1 Defensive Player of the Year Award
  • 6 NBA Finals MVP Awards
  • 6 NBA Championship Trophies
  • 5 NBA MVP Awards

MJ’s impact on the game was so much bigger than stats and accolades. He changed the game and altered the worldwide perception of greatness. The life of MJ is a singular one and we will never see another Michael Jordan.

You can find Jordan Brand products at Shoe Palace stores and on


- Adam C. Better

Latest Blog Posts