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Happy Birthday to Michael Jordan, the GOAT

Happy birthday to one of the NBA’s all-time greatest players, Michael Jordan. The GOAT was born February 17, 1963 in Brooklyn, NY, and here’s a brief history of what he did on the court.

When Jordan was young, his family moved to Wilmington, NC, where he played baseball, football and basketball. He famously didn’t make the varsity team his sophomore year, but wanted to prove himself so he lit up the JV league. Jordan played varsity basketball his junior and senior year and was selected as a McDonald’s All-American Team after averaging a triple-double as a senior.

Jordan went on to play collegiately for legendary and Hall of Fame coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina. MJ was named ACC Freshman of the Year in 1981, and made the game-winning shot against Georgetown in the 1982 National Championship. Jordan was a First Team All-American at UNC in his sophomore and junior seasons. He entered the 1984 NBA Draft after winning the Naismith and Wooden College Player of the Year Awards.

MJ went number three overall in the NBA Draft to the Chicago Bulls behind Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie. Both teams needed a center and Portland already had Clyde Drexler, who had a similar skill set to Jordan.

Jordan quickly became a fan favorite and even appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated during his rookie campaign. He made his first of 14 All-Star Games and was named Rookie of the Year.

Nike gave Jordan his first signature shoe in 1985 with what is known as the Air Jordan 1. Thirty years later, the Jordan Brand stands atop as the most sought after shoes release after release.

MJ and the Bulls finally made it to the NBA Finals during the ’91 season and went on to defeat the LA Lakers. This was the first of three straight NBA Championships for Jordan and the Bulls as they defeated the Portland Trailblazers in 1992 and the Phoenix Suns in 1993.

Months after winning the ’93 Championship, Jordan retired for the first time. He decided to pursue a career in Major League Baseball. During this time away from the NBA, the Chicago Bulls retired his number ’23.’

In March of 1995, Jordan quit baseball due to the MLB Strike and returned to the Bulls with a short press release: “I’m back.” Jordan wore number 45 when he returned to the court, which was his number while playing baseball for the Birmingham Barons, and scored 19 points.

Jordan and the Bulls started another run during the ’95-96 season. It was the first year of another Three-Peat as champions. The Bulls defeated the Seattle SuperSonics in the famously known 72-10 season, which is still the best regular season record in NBA history. The Bulls then defeated the Utah Jazz in consecutive NBA Finals to finish off the Three-Peat.

Jordan once again retired and a year later became part owner and President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards. He later suited up for the Wizards from 2001-03.

In 2006, Jordan bought a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats, and became a majority owner in 2010.

Over the course of his playing career, Jordan scored the third most points all-time (which he is now fourth after Kobe Bryant passed him) and is third all-time in steals. He won six NBA Championships, six Finals MVPs, five regular season MVPs and many more awards throughout his career. Jordan also won two Olympic Gold Medals: in 1984 and again in 1992 as part of ‘Dream Team.’

Images via: Vine and