Did Michael Jordan Pave the Way For Other NBA Stars?

Michael Jordan’s Career and how he changed the NBA forever

Many basketball lovers consider Michael Jordan to be one of the greatest of all time. He certainly has the rings, the trophies, and the medals to back up that claim.

In this article, we are going to explore how Michael Jordan paved the way for other NBA stars.

In the NBA

Do either of us have the time to take an in-depth look at all the things that Michael Jordan achieved while in the NBA? No, but let’s still do a whistle stop tour.

Jordan made his NBA debut in 1984, where he was picked third in the draft by The Chicago Bulls. After being named 1983’s Rookie of the year at the AAC. Jordan wore the number 23 throughout his whole career – the jersey was retired by his college team, the Chicago Bulls, and by the Miami Heats.

During his time in the NBA Jordan won 6 NBA championships, 6 NBA Finals MVP titles, 5 NBA Most Valuable Player titles, he was an NBA All-Star 14 times, on the All-NBA first squad 10 times, in the NBA All-Defensive First Team 9 times, and he was named in the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team too.

Throughout his career, Jordan was named Sportsman of the Year multiple times by over 10 different publications.

Jordan is perhaps the most famous for his slam-dunking ability. He won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest twice, earning himself the nickname ‘Air Jordan’.

During his time in the NBA Jordan scored 32,292 – that’s a game average of 30.1.

Jordan is still involved in the NBA, despite retiring from it twice. He is the current owner of the Carolina Hornets.

In Team USA

The Career Highlights section of MJ’s Wikipedia article is so long, that there isn’t enough space to include the fact that he is a 2-time Olympic gold medal winner. That’s not actually a joke.

Jordan first played for Team USA in the Olympics when the competition only allowed amateurs to play. His performance was so impressive that he earned himself a spot in the NBA.

7 years later, the Olympics changed the rules and Jordan returned to win himself and his country another gold medal. During that time Team USA won gold at the Pan American Games and the Tournament of the Americas.

However, it was this second Olympic gold medal that caused the world to fall in love with Michael Jordan and basketball. This team also included Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.

Team USA’s performance in the competition was so impressive that the following season of the NBA saw a huge boom in its worldwide audience. For the first time, millions of people outside the states were tuning into the NBA.

Jordan played a total of 4 tournaments with Team USA. Jordan started every single game and Team USA didn’t lose a single one of these games.

Beyond basketball

The biggest way that Jordan paved the way for other NBA stars (and other sports stars in general) was in his life outside the court. Jordan will go down in history as one of the first sports players to truly capitalize on advertising, sponsorships, and PR.

Forbes magazine suggested that Michael Jordan’s collaboration and endorsement with Nike still earn the company around $1 billion a year. Selling Air Jordans with Nike was Jordan’s first big endorsement.

Jordan is perhaps best known to non-NBA followers as the star of the film Space Jam. A franchise that has made over $6 billion dollars since its release 25 years ago. The success of this film catapulted Jordan to astronomical levels of fame and changed the way that many saw the sport and its players.

Jordan is also famed for his philanthropy. Something which many other basketball players have also committed to.

In 2016, Jordan was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.