Happy Birthday Michael Jordan: MJ’s Greatest Moments
Michael Jordan is set to turn 50 years old on Sunday, and throughout his 15-year NBA career, and his career at the University of North Carolina, he wowed everyone that watched him put on the red and black, and baby blue.
Jordan was cut from his high school team and wasn’t even drafted number one. Hakeem Olajawon and Sam Bowie were drafted ahead of him. Jordan never gave up and said it best himself, “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.”
As a result of Jordan never quitting, he has become the best basketball player the game has ever seen.
Let's rewind some of Jordan's top moments of his NBA career that made him the GOAT (Greatest Basketball Player of All-Time).
1. In 1982, Jordan won his first NCAA championship as a college freshman for the North Carolina Tar Heels against the Georgetown Hoyas.
2. As an NBA rookie, Jordan was incredible. He averaged 28.2 points per game and shot 51% from the field.
3. Perhaps one of Jordan’s best early performances happened in 1986 against the Boston Celtics at the Boston Garden, when he scored 63 points and lost. Jordan’s 63 points against Larry Bird set a postseason record for most points scored in a playoff game. Bird would go ahead and say, “He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
4. 26 years ago in 1987, Jordan won the Slam Dunk contest after finishing second in 1985 to Dominque Wilkens. Jordan imitated Dr. Julius Erving’s free throw launch and won the contest. In 1988, Jordan beat Wilkens and received a perfect 50 in the contest.
5. In 1989, Jordan leaped into the air and pumped his fist as he hit a game-winning jump shot for 15 feet to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The signature move came after Jordan nailed a shot over Craig Ehlo, which became known as the “Shot over Ehlo.”
6. In Jordan’s first NBA finals game in 1991, he lost to Magic Johnson on his own missed shot. The hype would be similar if LeBron James and Kobe Bryant met in an NBA finals today. Game 2 was just as exciting as Jordan did his famous switch from his right to left hand to score his 13th consecutive field goal in the game. Marv Albert made the call, “”Oh what a spectacular move by Michael Jordan.” Jordan would win his first NBA title and NBA Finals MVP in Johnson’s last year in the NBA finals.
7. In 1992, Jordan was fantastic against the New York Knicks. Against the Knicks, he averaged 31.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists, shot 47.7 from the field and 77.3 from the charity stripe. Jordan would win his second title against the Portland Trail Blazers. In game one, Jordan scored 35 of his 39 points. Against the Blazers, he averaged 35.8 points, 6.5 assists, 4.8 rebounds, and shot 52% from the field en route to second NBA and NBA Finals MVP title.
8. Jordan and the Dream Team won the gold medal in the Summer Olympics in 1992 as well. Perhaps the greatest game no one ever saw was when Jordan’s White team beat Magic Johnson’s blue team, 40 to 36 in an intra-squad scrimmage.
9. In 1993, Jordan won his third straight title defeating the Phoenix Suns, and it came after the Bulls magically won four straight games in the Eastern Conference Finals after falling behind 2-0 to the New York Knicks.
10. In 1995, Jordan won his fourth championship after he was out of basketball playing professional baseball. The Bulls beat the Seattle SuperSonics 4-2, and Jordan was again NBA Finals MVP.
11. Michael Jordan’s, “The Flu Game,” will go down as one the best performances ever in basketball. On June 11, 1997, Jordan took down Karl Malone and John Stockton, scoring 38 points en route to a Game Five win. Jordan’s Bulls won the NBA Finals in six games and Jordan was NBA Finals MVP for a fifth time.
12. A year later, Jordan beat the Jazz again in the Finals in six games, and who still hasn’t forgot his game-winning shot with 5.2 seconds left that was nothing but net? Some say Jordan pushed off, but he held his follow through and clinched his sixth and final championship. Jordan scored 45 points in the game and was also named NBA Finals MVP for a fifth time.
13. Jordan was elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2009 for his illustrious career.
So, happy birthday, Michael, you deserve it