Essay, Research Paper: Michael Jordan


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In this paper , it will be proven that Michael Jordan is the best basketball
player that ever played the game . The Road to Greatness Michael Jeffrey Jordan
was born on February 17 , 1963. He was born in Brooklyn ,New York . He was the
fourth of five children , the most active but also laziest . "Michael was
probably the laziest kid I had" said his father ("100% JORDAN"
,.20). At the age of 5 he moved to Wilmington , North Carolina , where he spent
the rest of his scholastic career . As a teenager , he became very athletic .
Maybe the best learning experiences for young Michael were the backyard games
against his brother, Larry . On the court that his father built , Michael
suffered some of the worst beatings in basketball that he ever received . The
way Michael remembers , " It was like we were opponents . We never thought
of brotherhood at all . Sometimes it would end in fighting." (Krugel , 11).
When Michael speaks of Larry now , it is with all respect that an older brother
should receive . " Heís got the dunks and some 360ís and most all the
same stuff I got . And heís 5-foot-7 . Larry is my inspiration ."(11) .
All the games against his brother gave him the better sense of competitiveness ,
persistence , and responsibility that he has today. He attended Laney High
School where he first started playing organized basketball . As a freshmen , he
started on Junior Varsity , where he averaged 25 points per game . He did not
make the Varsity team as a sophomore , even though he averaged 28 points per
game on Junior Varsity. When junior year came , he grew up to 6-foot-3 inches
and made people notice him . He made varsity that season and averaged 20 points
a game . That summer he attended the well known Five-Star Basketball Camp where
he started to attract the attention of college coaches . " His is one of
the strange , great stories" says Sonny Vaccaro ("100% JORDANí,
.22). "He was a nobody , he wasnít all that highly-touted"(22). By
the time his senior year began , he didnít have to worry , for he was already
being scouted by the North Carolina Tar-Heels . He had a strong senior season ,
averaging 23 points a game and helping Laney to 19 victories . But they lost in
the conference tournament to a New Hanover team that included future NBA player,
Kenny Gattison and future NFL defensive end, Clyde Simmons . Even though Patrick
Ewing was rated number one high school player, North Carolina still picked
Michael . "What set him apart from the rest was his burning desire for the
game" Gibbons, coach of North Carolina, said . "Iíve watched many,
many players that rise above the pack because of some special characteristic
that others donít have-the heart of a champion. If anybody has that , itís
Michael Jordan" (.22). Jordan took part in the McDonaldís All-star Game ,
and scored 30 points ; that made people realize how good he really was . The
next year he started to play at North Carolina . In North Carolina ,he played
for coach Smith , who is known for his great tactics in the game of basketball ,
and for his winning career . He became the eighth freshman player to start on a
Smith-coached team and proved to be a fine outside weapon, balancing the inside
play of veterans Sam Perkins and James Worthy . He really started to make heads
turn by showing up some of the best college players . Like Hakeem Olajuwan ,and
Patrick Ewing . His first day of practice , we noticed he was trying to do what
we said, even though maybe it wasnít natural from a defensive
standpoint," Smith said . " But within three or four days , he would
have it down pat . He has good savvy about the game , learning it.("100%
JORDAN", .24). Jordan finished third on the team in points (13.5) and
rebounds (4.4) in a fine freshman season , although he definitely deferred to
Worthy and Perkins . Against Georgetown in the í82 NCAA title game , he really
took over the court . With 31 seconds seconds to play and the Georgetown Hoyas
holding a 62-61 lead , Smith designed a play that would get the ball inside to
Perkins or Worthy . But as the huddle broke , Smith went in another direction .
He told Jordan, " Do it , Michael . Just knock it in ." (.24).
Fourteen seconds later , there was Jordan ,wide open on the left wing ,
launching the 16-foot jumper that gave Smith his first-ever national
championship . It was the first of so many clutch shots for Jordan , and it shot
him onto the road to stardom . Jordan was a first-team all-American as a
sophomore , averaging 20 points a game and showing the first signs of defensive
greatness that would later make him the NBAís suffocating stopper. He then led
the U.S. to victory in the Pan-American Games . His great accomplishments in his
junior put a cap on his collegiate career , starting him on the road to
greatness . Even though UNC crumbled in the NCAA tournament ,he was named
national player of the year , and it earned him a spot on the í84 Olympic team
,which won the gold against Spain . Jordan left college in 1984 to play with the
Bulls. He finished his first season (1984-85) as one of the top scorers in the
league , with an average of 28.2 points per game . He also was named rookie of
the year and made the first of his ten All-Star game appearances (1985 ,
1987-1993 , 1996 , 1997). Jordan finished the 1986-87 season as the second
player , after Wilt Chamberlain , to score more than 3,000 points in a single
season . He led the NBA in scoring for seven consecutive seasons (1987-1993 ) ,
trying Chamberlainís record , and averaged more than 30 points per game in
each season. He also became the Bullsí all-time leading scorer and set
numerous scoring records , including the most points in a playoff game (63
points against the Boston Celtics in 1986 ); and highest scoring average for an
NBA championship series ( 41 points per game in the 1993 NBA finals). He led the
Chicago Bulls to their first NBA championship title in 1991 ; with Jordan , the
Bulls won again in 1992 , 1993 , 1996 , and 1997 . In addition to his four
league Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards (1988 , 1991 , 1992 , 1996 ), he won
the All-Star game MVP award twice (1988 , 1996) and has won the NBA championship
series MVP in every Finals in which he has played . Michael was also a member of
the United States Olympic basketball team , known as the dream team , that
captured the gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona , Spain , and the 1996
Olympics in Atlanta , Georgia . Before the 1993-1994 season a tragedy occurred
in Jordanís life , his father was killed . Stating that he had lost his desire
to play professional basketball , Michael announced his retirement prior to the
1993-94 season . Initially noted for his scoring , his tenacious defensive play
made him one of the best all-around basketball in NBA history . He had also
become a world wide celebrity due to his success in the NBA and in the Olympics
, and in his numerous commercial endorsements . Early in 1994 Jordan returned to
professional sports , this time as a professional baseball player . He signed a
minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox of the American League (AL) ,
reported to spring training , and was assigned to the teamís minor league
system . That summer he batted .202 with the Birmingham Barons , a class AA
affiliate of the White Sox . Later in the year he batted .252 with the
Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League . Jordan decided to end his
retirement from professional basketball by rejoining the Bulls near the end of
the 1994-95 NBA regular season . In the 1995-96 season he enjoyed another great
year , leading , leading the NBA in scoring with 30.4 points per game and being
named league MVP . The Bulls also became the first NBA team to win 70 games in a
single season , finishing with 72 victories , and they went on to win the NBA
championship title . He was named MVP of the NBA finals , becoming the first
player to earn the honor four times . Finally, he again led the league in
scoring during the 1996-97 season with 29.6 points per game . Chicago beat the
Utah Jazz , 4 games to 2 , in the 1997 NBA Finals and Jordan received his fifth
NBA finals MVP award.

Bibliography"100% Jordan" Slam Magazine volume # 20 , New York , NY 1997 Krugel
, Mitchell . MICHAEL JORDAN Saint Martinís press co. New York : 1988-1993
"Michael Jordan" , Comptonís Interactive multimedia software .
Computer software SoftKey Multimedia , 1992-1996 . Windows or DOS 3.0 . CD-ROM
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