Black History Month: Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan’s impact on basketball and sports is just one of the many reasons he is considered the GOAT.
Michael Jordan’s largest impact of his life is felt on the basketball court. In his career, Jordan won six NBA Championships, all six in the 1990’s with the Chicago Bulls alongside Scottie Pippen. He won the NBA Finals MVP award in all six championships, the most in NBA history. Jordan also won five NBA MVPs, was named an All-Star 14 times, was named All-NBA 11 times, won the Defensive Player of the Year award in 1988, and was the NBA’s scoring champ 10 times, another NBA record. For these reasons, he is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time. Some even consider him to be the greatest athlete ever.
Jordan was such a great player, that he brought many fans together to be fans of the Chicago Bulls, despite where they may have been from.
LeBron James, who is from Akron, Ohio, once said this about Michael Jordan, “I was a Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan fan growing up.”
He also impacted the expansion of basketball onto a global level alongside the 1992 USA Olympic basketball team, often referred to as the “Dream Team.” The Dream Team wound up dominating the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona en route to a gold medal.
However, Jordan’s reach expands further than just basketball. Jordan is largely the reason that so many athletes are seen in commercials and advertisements today. Before Jordan, not many athletes were used to advertise major brands, but Jordan’s impact on the court was so large, he was able to attract the attention of many large companies such as McDonald’s, Nike, Gatorade, and Coca-Cola. He is also the highest earning athlete of all time, with an estimated net worth of $1.9 billion.
Even after his retirement, Jordan’s impact is still being felt on the court. He owns his own NBA franchise, the Charlotte Hornets. Many NBA players still wear Jordan’s shoes, which were banned at one point in the NBA. Many of those athletes have endorsement deals with Jordan, including up-and-coming phenoms Luka Doncic and Zion Williamson.
Jordan was also able to impact the lives of young basketball players around the world. His shoe brand, Jordan, is a multi-billion dollar business, selling basketball shoes and athletic equipment. Without Jordan, we wouldn’t be blessed enough to see legends like LeBron James and the late Kobe Bryant.
I chose Michael Jordan for this piece because I grew up not only a fan of basketball, but a fan of the Chicago Bulls. Jordan’s face appears all across the sport, and his greatness is almost impossible to ignore, so I figured he would be a perfect fit for my Black History Month piece.
Without the impact of Jordan, sports as we know it would be vastly different, sports leagues wouldn’t be worth the billions of dollars they are today, there would be no athletes advertising sneakers on television, and most importantly, many of today’s legends would not be the same without the GOAT, Michael Jordan.