Michael Jordan, the best known athlete in the world, is a leading scorer in the National Basketball Association (NBA), who led the Chicago Bulls to many recent NBA championships. He is, by far, and will be for a time to come, the best basketball player in the history of the game. Jordan was raised in Wilmington, North Carolina. He accepted a basketball scholarship from the University of North Carolina and as a freshman scored the winning basket 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.
Jordan left college in 1984 to play with the Bulls. He finished his first season (1984-1985) as one of the top scorers in the league, with an average of 28.2 points per game. He was also named rookie of the year and made the first of his nine All-Star game appearances. Jordan finished the 1986-1987 season as the second player, after Wilt Chamberlain, to score more than 3000 points in a single season. He led the NBA in scoring for seven consecutive seasons (1987-1993), tying Chamberlain's record, and averaged more than 30 points per game in each season. He also became the Bulls' all-time leading scorer and set numerous scoring records, including 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 and 1993. In addition to his three league Most Valuable Player awards (1988, 1991, 1992), Jordan won the All-Star game MVP award twice (1988, 1996) and a record three-consecutive NBA championship series MVP awards (1991-1993). Jordan 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.
Stating that he had lost his desire to play professional basketball, Jordan announced his retirement prior to the 1993-1994 season. Early in 1994 Jordan returned to professional sports, this time as a 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 team's 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 in the Arizona Fall League. Jordan ended his retirement from professional basketball by rejoining the Bulls near the end of the 1994-1995 NBA regular season. In the 1995-1996 season he enjoyed another great year, 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 season, finishing with 72 victories, and they went on to win the NBA championship title. Jordan was named MVP of the NBA finals, becoming the first player to earn the honor four times.
During the summer of 1996, Michael starred in his first feature movie, Space Jam alongside Bugs Bunny, Marvin Martian and Porky Pig. The movie idea was born in a series of McDonalds commercials. The movie was definately Michael's vehicle, as it focussed on his life, giving us some tidbits of what it was like to grow up as MJ. Finally, since Jordan has always been one of the most underpaid players in the league, making most of his salary from endorsements. The Bulls renewed his contract in 1997-98 for a reported 33 million for one year. Michael announced his retirement from basketball and the Chicago Bulls for a second time on January 13, 1999. On September 25, 2001 Jordan ended his retirement and returned to basketball, giving up his ownership of the Washington Wizards, he picked up his sneakers and signed a two year contract to play for them.