Modified & Updated: 23 Sep 2023

Michael Jordan Facts

Long after his basketball career, Michael Jordan has established a legacy as one of the greatest athletes of all time. Aside from his record-breaking feats, he has not only shown great talent but also great determination and perseverance.

Additionally, his talents have also allowed him to not only play for the National Basketball Association (NBA) but with Olympic teams as well. Find out more about this great icon and his history with these amazing Michael Jordan facts.

  1. As of 2020, Michael Jordan’s net worth totals 1.6 billion dollars. 
  2. Michael Jordan stands 1.98 meters tall or 6 feet and 6 inches tall.
  3. He was born on February 17th, 1963.
  4. Throughout his career, Jordan used the jersey numbers 23, 12, and 45. 
  5. Michael Jordan weighs around 216 lbs or 98 kilograms. 
  1. Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn in the American state of New York. 
  2. He first played for the Chicago Bulls, but has also played for the Washington Wizards.
  3. As of February 2010, Michael Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets.
  4. He mainly played the position of a shooting guard during his career.
  5. Michael Jordan carries a long list of success for the teams he has played with, more prominently with the Chicago Bulls. 
  6. Michael Jordan has retired from professional basketball twice. 
  7. His official NBA biography states “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time.”.
  8. Michael Jordan helped increase the world popularity of the NBA during the 80s and 90s.
  9. Michael Jordan is also considered to be one of the most effectively marketed athletes in his generation.
  10. Michael Jordan also helped the success of Nike’s long line of Air Jordan sneakers.
  1. By the end of his career, he scored a total of 32,392 points. 
  2. Michael Jordan also ended his career with a total of 6,672 rebounds and 5,633 assists. 
  3. He has also won a total of 6 NBA championships for the Chicago Bulls.
  4. Michael Jordan is considered to be a global cultural icon.
  5. He is the first player in the history of the NBA to become a billionaire.
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Michael Jordan Facts Infographics

Michael Jordan Facts Infographics

Michael Jordan got married twice.

Michael Jordan first got married in 1989 to his first wife Juanita Vanoy. The two enjoyed their marriage for 17 years until getting divorced in 2006 after a mutual decision. 

Later on, Michael Jordan remarried in 2013 to Yvette Preto and later had two children together in the year 2016. His second wife Yvette works as a Cuban-American model and has worked with famous designers such as Alexander Wang.

He is also known to be a philanthropist.

Michael Jordan has been involved with several charities such as the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America, The Special Olympics, and several other organizations. Most of these charities support young children and families.

Michael Jordan has also been noted to donate his salary to help these organizations in the past. Apart from charity donations, Michael Jordan has also donated towards healthcare advocacies. 

Michael Jordan planned to become a weatherman if his career in basketball did not work out.

During an interview at his Flight School, Michael Jordan stated that he had a backup plan if his professional basketball career did not work out. Surprisingly, Jordan’s backup career plan was to become a weatherman due to his interest in geography and meteorology. This also explains why he majored in cultural geography. 

While this shocked some fans, this came as no surprise to Jordan’s loved ones, since he held interest in many other topics apart from sports from a young age. 

His short shift to a baseball career was made due to the death of Michael Jordan’s father.

After announcing his first retirement in 1993, Michael Jordan stated that he lost interest in playing basketball, instead signing with a Minor League Baseball team in 1994. This surprised sports fans and the world at large as many knew the icon from his career in professional basketball

Michael Jordan joined the Chicago White Sox in February 1994 and trained in Sarasota, Florida, USA. Since the owner of the White Sox at the time also owned the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan’s basketball contract continued to be honored through the time he played baseball.

He is the first player in the NBA to become the majority owner of an NBA team.

In 2006, Michael Jordan bought a minority stake for the Charlotte Bobcats, now known as the Charlotte Hornets. Over time, Michael Jordan became the team’s second-largest shareholder and took over the basketball side of the operation. 

After four years, Michael Jordan became the first former player in the NBA to become the majority owner of a team in the association. That said, Michael Jordan has also been the first and only black majority owner of an NBA team.

Michael Jordan Facts
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Michael Jordan starred as himself in the 1996 feature film Space Jam.

At the time, Michael Jordan already claimed three championships in the NBA under his belt. He also requested the Warner Bros. for a court to use for practice and workouts that were not used for filming. 

At the time, Michael Jordan was keeping track of training and filming at the same time to stay in shape for his upcoming matches to make filming more realistic. The film also features other well known professional basketball players with some playing fictional roles. Grab a copy for yourself on Blu-Ray and relive the nostalgia in HD here.

He was included in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in April 2009.

This shrine honors Michael Jordan among four other athletes as the Greatest Basketball Players of All Time. Other players in this Hall of Fame include Jerry Sloan, David Robinson, John Stockton, and C. Vivian Stringer.

Michael Jordan was also awarded the title of the greatest basketball player in history. This was mainly due to his outstanding records in games and also his incredible dunking skills. 

He began his habit of smoking in the year 1991.

Michael Jordan stated that he picked up the habit of smoking sometime in 1991 when he was given cigars as a gift after winning his first NBA championship. Since then, Michael Jordan stated that it become a tradition for him to smoke a cigar on the way to every home game he plays in. 

By the year 1993, he smoked regularly to calm his nerves before a game and release tension from the built-up stress he had.

Michael Jordan dropped out of college.

In 1981, Michael Jordan received a scholarship from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for basketball. In his third year, he got drafted by the Chicago Bulls and decided to drop out of school to pursue his career in basketball. 

However, Michael Jordan, went back to school later on to complete a bachelor’s degree in Geography. How’s that for admirable Michael Jordan facts?

He is the fourth child among his siblings.

In many interviews, Michael Jordan has stated that his siblings helped instill his competitive drive throughout his youth. This is most especially the case with his older brother, Larry, as they grew up playing basketball together.

Out of all his traits, Michael Jordan’s competitive drive and the need to win is his most famous one as he often speaks about his motivations and goals.

Michael Jordan Facts
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Michael Jordan first retired from professional basketball in 1993.

The basketball superstar first retired from the NBA in the year 1993 after the death of his father. However, he stated that this was only one of the reasons that pushed him further towards this decision and stated that he was also burnt out from training for the 1992 Olympics. 

Later on, Michael Jordan signed to a Minor League Baseball team before coming back to professional basketball in 1995.

He has a total of five children.

Michael Jordan had a total of three children with his first wife Juanita Vanoy, with his daughter Jasmine being the last child born from the first marriage. Later on, in 2006, Michael Jordan had twin daughters with his second wife Yvette Prieto which they named Ysabel and Victoria. 

Like their father, two of Michael’s sons are now minor basketball players, while his first daughter currently helps manage their father’s brand at Nike. 

Michael Jordan’s best friend works as a limousine driver.

In an interview, Michael Jordan stated that he held close relationships with those who helped him during his early career. One of these people was a limo driver named George Koehler who was the one to pick up Michael Jordan when he first landed in Chicago.

At the time, Jordan’s team had forgotten to send someone to pick him up, which led Koehler to pity Jordan and offer to help him out. Later on, the two spent more time together after realizing that Koehler knew Michael Jordan’s brother, Larry from school, remaining close friends until today.

He had a meal tradition he followed 4 hours before every game he had.

For every meal before a game, Michael Jordan held a ritual of eating the same thing four hours before the start of the match. This meal consisted of a 23 ounce New York steak, a side of mashed potatoes (or baked potatoes if it was not available), and a salad on the side served with some ginger ale. 

Despite how heavy this meal may be considered, Michael Jordan stated that he felt that he was able to perform at his best when he completed this ritual. As such, he continued this tradition for years until eventually retiring for good later on. 

The highest bidding on a Jordan sneaker was priced at $71 thousand at an auction.

The line of Air Jordan’s are incredibly popular and valued in today’s market, most especially the earlier models of the shoe line. One pair of the earliest Jordan sneakers that were produced by Nike worn by Michael Jordan himself once brought over 71 thousand dollars in an auction. 

Today, some of the most expensive Jordan sneaker models sell for over 100 thousand dollars, such as the Air Jordan 12.

Michael Jordan Facts
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He is the only professional basketball player over the age of 40 with a 20 PPG average.

Michael Jordan is also the only professional basketball player to score over 40 points in a game. Because of these outstanding statistics, Michael Jordan made the top 50 NBA Players of All Time in the year 1996.

Since then, no other player in the NBA over the age of 40 has matched or exceeded Michael Jordan’s record.

Michael Jordan has never lost three games in a row during his early career.

During the beginning of his career as a professional basketball player, Michael Jordan went 8 years with the Chicago Bulls in an outstanding winning streak. At the time, he held no records of losing three games in a row which is stated to be a 1 out of 140 chance of accomplishing. 

His full name is Michael Jeffery Jordan.

Michael Jordan is also famously known for his initials, MJ. Michael Jordan is the fourth child of James R Jordan Sr. and Deloris Jordan. 

Today, Michael Jordan is so famous that there have been several monuments put up in honor of the player such as the Spirit Statue located in the state of Chicago.

Michael Jordan once commissioned an artist to design a dining room table for him.

The artist designed the table using a solid metal frame and punched exactly 32,392 holes in it to represent the number of points he has scored in his professional career. Michael Jordan considered this table to be one of a kind and proudly displays it in his home.

Designed with Michael Jordan’s legacy in mind and his accomplishments throughout his career, the table also serves as a memento for when he played professionally.

A type of salmonella was named after Michael Jordan by a doctor.

In 1993, a doctor discovered a new type of salmonella after treating a patient and checking the virus with the CDC. Since the doctor was also a huge fan of the basketball superstar Michel Jordan, he named the newly discovered virus Salmonella mjordan

While the disease has nothing to do with the basketball player himself, the doctor stated that discoveries should be honored in the same way people are.

Michael Jordan Facts
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Michael Jordan owns a custom mansion in Florida.

Michael Jordan owns a multi-million dollar custom mansion located in Florida, USA. This house includes a full-scale basketball court, a pool house, over eleven bedrooms, a guardhouse, and guest rooms. 

Michael Jordan also included a personal movie theatre that was built to handle large amounts of cigar smoke. The home around the property was built from scratch to suit Michael’s tastes perfectly.

Michael Jordan states that he plays golf and gambles as a hobby.

In 1993, Michael Jordan was confronted with a gambling problem to which he stated that gambling was not the issue, but rather his competitiveness was. While the exact origins of his gambling habits are unknown, Michael Jordan is known to regularly play cards and place bets on his games among other Chicago Bull players.

He also plays golf in celebrity charity events and some charity tournaments.

He was named the NCAA College Player of the Year twice.

Michael Jordan received this title twice, in 1983 and 1984, respectively. In 1992, Michael Jordan also helped his college team win the NCAA Division I Championships and scored the final basket needed to win the game as well. 

Before Michael Jordan came along, the last championship victory that the North Carolina Tarheels’ celebrated was during 1957.

ESPN ranked Michael Jordan as the 20th century’s greatest North American athlete.

In 1999, Michael Jordan topped the 20th Century’s list of the Greatest North American Athletes of All Time. The ranking was made according to a survey that fans and the public could vote to rank their favorite players of all time. 

Michael Jordan ranked first and in second place came Babe Ruth who was a professional baseball player. He has also ranked over other great athletes such as Muhammad Ali and Kobe Bryant.

Michael Jordan has a phobia of large bodies of water.

This phobia began when Michael Jordan was a child where he witnessed a good friend of his drown after being sucked into the undertow of the ocean. He also nearly died of drowning when he was 11 years old while attending baseball camp.

To this day, Michael Jordan states that he is not comfortable boarding any boats or being near any large bodies of water. However, Michael Jordan has been able to swim in pools which he considered safer compared to the ocean. 

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Apart from basketball, Michael Jordan also played baseball and football in high school.

Michael Jordan attended highschool at the Emsley A Laney High School in Wilmington, NC. During his time here, Michael Jordan highlighted his highschool days with sports, most especially in basketball where he also tried out for the varsity team. 

However, at the time, he was still 5”11 which was considered too short to make the varsity team at that time. 

The number 23 is often worn by other professional athletes simply because Michael Jordan wore it.

Over the years, Michael Jordan’s jersey number has grown to be iconic in the world of sports. As a result, many athletes also wish to get the same jersey number as them in honor of Michael Jordan himself. 

Additionally, the number 23 holds a special meaning for Michael Jordan as these were his jersey numbers in high school and college as well. 

Michael Jordan played through a bad case of food poisoning in 1997.

This game is famously known as the ‘Flu Game’ where Michael Jordan consumed some bad pizza the night before the match. Many suspected the delivery men who arrived at their hotel which took over an hour to arrive after ordering it from room service. 

Some believe that this was intentionally done to sabotage the results of the game in favor of the Utah Jazz team. However, this was never confirmed and the Chicago Bulls remained victorious after the match.

During his career, he acquired many nicknames such as ‘His Airness’.

Throughout his career, Michael Jordan acquired numerous nicknames thanks to his great skill and impact on the world of basketball. Some of the most famous ones include Money, Black Cat, Superman, GOAT, Captain Marvel, and even Black Jesus. 

However, the most that have stood out and are most well known is his nickname, ‘Air Jordan.’ Later on, the name became the title of his shoe line with the company Nike.

Michael Jordan retired from professional basketball for good in 2003.

After his first retirement, Michael Jordan returned once again to the world of professional basketball for four years. By the year 1999, Jordan’s responsibilities to his team were coming to an end, and announced that he would retire for good after joining the Washington Wizards. 

Michael Jordan played his last game with this team and played his last official game on April 16 of 2003 where he scored a total of 13 points. After the game, Michael Jordan received a standing ovation for 3 minutes from not only the fans in the crowd but also his teammates and officials present on that day. 

In the short series called ProStars, Michael Jordan was featured as a cartoon superhero.

The animated show first aired on NBC in the United States in the year 1991 which features three popular professional athletes that appear as fictional superheroes. These athletes included Michael Jordan, Bo Jackson, and Wayne Gretzky. 

Sadly, the series was short-lived and only lasted 13 episodes before it was discontinued. However, some of the episodes may still be viewed today on video sharing websites such as YouTube. Definitely one of the cooler Michael Jordan facts.

Michael Jordan developed a habit of sticking his tongue out while concentrating.

Growing up, Michael Jordan was considered to be close to his father and was said to inherit the same habits he had from a young age. One of these habits was sticking his tongue out when he was in deep concentration while he was working or focusing on something. 

This habit was also addressed to Michael Jordan during an interview when he was invited to the Arsenio Hall Show. In many of his games, Michael Jordan can also be seen sticking his tongue out while he is playing which indicated that he was truly focused at the time. 

He nearly did not make a deal with Nike because he wanted to wear Adidas shoes.

During the 80s, Michael Jordan stated that he originally wanted to wear Adidas shoes over Nike due to his personal preferences. However, Michael Jordan was advised against this and was told to go with Nike instead as they were the upstart at the time, with an offer that a rookie could not refuse. 

Despite this, Michael Jordan’s management went as far as convincing his parents to make him take the deal with Nike. Eventually, Michael took the deal and was also given his shoe line as part of the deal called the Air Jordan which is now one of the most valued shoe lines. 

Michael Jordan stated that his most memorable dunk was against Patrick Ewing.

In 1991, Michael Jordan played in the Eastern Conference playoffs where he performed a baseline throw over Patrick Ewing during the match. 

Today, this dunk is now considered as one of the best dunks ever made in an official match and has gotten fans from all over the world excited over it. Many fans also got hooked on the rivalry between the two players, which provided the public with more entertainment and anticipation on Jordan’s next move. 

He has endorsed other brands apart from Nike such as Coca-Cola and Gatorade.

Michael Jordan has endorsed several companies that also don’t relate to basketball or sports such as McDonald’s fast food, Chevrolet, Hanes, Wheaties, Hair treatment commercials, and more. He has also had several of his commercials promoting his Air Jordan shoe line which continues to grow in popularity. 

Michael Jordan Facts
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Michael Jordan has played in the United States Olympic basketball team.

In the 1992 Olympics, Michael Jordan competed for the Men’s Olympic Basketball team, winning the gold medal against Croatia. Thanks to Michael Jordan, the team led by an average of 44 points which also allowed the team to be honored in the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2010.

Michael Jordan was also the only player to star in all eight games that occurred during the Olympics which notes his value to the team. Other players on this team included famous basketball icons such as Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley, John Stockton, Chris Mullin, Larry Bird, David Robinson, and more. 

His childhood idol was Magic Johnson.

As a child, Michael Jordan stated that he idolized Magic Johnson and stated that he wanted to be as good of a basketball player like him one day. This admiration for Johnson also led Michael Jordan to be given the nickname Magic Jordan as a reference to his idol’s nickname. 

Later on, as Michael Jordan began his career in professional basketball with the NBA, his longterm idol became one of his biggest rivals. However, despite being on opposing teams, Michael Jordan stated that he still looked up to Magic Johnson and respected him as a fellow professional in the NBA. 

Michael Jordan was also named Defensive Player of the Year in 1988.

This basketball superstar is one of the highest-scoring players in NBA history with an average of 40 points per game. However, in 1988 he has also given the Defensive Player of the Year award thanks to his average of 1.6 blocks during the 1987-1988 season.

At the time, Michael Jordan also finished the season with an average of 3.16 steals per game which is considered a new league high. Some say that this was Michael Jordan’s most successful season yet as he ended with an outstanding record in both offensive and defensive play throughout 82 games. 

He is also affiliated with a few restaurants.

Michael Jordan is not just known as a star basketball icon but he is also a successful philanthropist who has stretched over to business. One of his projects included putting up American-style restaurants where fans and foodies could experience eating like the basketball superstar himself. 

These restaurants include the Michael Jordan Steakhouse and The Michael Jordan’s Restaurant in Chicago. These eating establishments are now also considered a popular tourist destination for basketball fans from all over the world. 

In honor of Michael Jordan, both the Chicago Bulls and the Miami Heat retired the number 23.

After the absolute retirement of Michael Jordan, the Miami Heat team decided to retire Jordan’s jersey number as well in honor of the legacy the player left behind. This is also the first-ever jersey number that the team has retired in its history despite Michael Jordan never playing for the Miami Heat during his career in the NBA. 

Later on, the Chicago Bulls also did the same to honor and show respect to Michael Jordan who remains to have one of the biggest impacts in the world of professional basketball. Throughout Michael Jordan was also considered to be one of the best players to play for the Chicago Bulls. 

Michael Jordan Facts
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Michael Jordan was charged with a penalty every time he wore his Air Jordans in a game.

According to the NBA regulation regarding shoe wear, Michael Jordan’s red Air Jordan sneakers were not up to the regulation’s standards. This led the player to be fined around $5,000 during every game he would wear them to since the sneaker’s release in 1984.

Additionally, because Michael Jordan kept wearing them to games regardless of the penalty fee, the NBA also wrote a letter to the Nike company stating that the black and red sneaker was against regulation codes. Official statements indicated that regulation-approved sneakers used in the NBA must be white and could not be overpowered by other colors. 

Michael Jordan also owned Michael Jordan Motorsports from 2004 until 2013.

This company also owns a professional closed-course motorcycle racing team which competed in the AMA-sanctioned Superbike Championship. In the years that Michael Jordan owned the company, he kept busy after his retirement by managing the teams and promoting his line of clothing as well. 

The team competed with two Suzukis until its last season in 2013, which also marked the last year of Michael Jordan’s ownership of the company. For some time, Michael Jordan also rode the motorcycles himself until he passed on ownership of the company to someone else. 

Contrary to popular belief, Michael Jordan was not cut from his high school basketball team.

According to Michael Jordan’s old high school coach, Jordan never made it to the cut for the varsity basketball team due to a matter of height and not skill. At the time, Michael Jordan was also still considered an underclassman, while the team only had junior and senior players. 

However, Michael Jordan was determined to play on the varsity team and repeatedly declared that he was good enough for the team and tried to convince the coach. By his junior year in high school, Michael Jordan was able to join the varsity team where he was able to play extensively and gain popularity among his peers. 

Michael Jordan stated that he used his slight as a tool for motivation to work harder.

Throughout his life, Michael Jordan was known for his deep desire to win which motivated his competitiveness and drive along the years in his career and upbringing. In an interview, Michael Jordan stated that he used slights as a method of motivation during his training as it could be used to get ahead of his opponents in-game. 

Michael Jordan saw this as an opportunity to get better and as a way to get around stronger opponents during matches. 

The baggy basketball shorts trend credits Michael Jordan for its popularity.

Michael Jordan unknowingly set a fashion trend in the 1990s when he asked to wear longer and baggy basketball shorts during a game. At the time, Michael Jordan only thought of doing so because he stated that he wanted to wear his University of North Carolina shorts underneath his uniform. 

Michael Jordan was also noted to constantly grab his shorts when fatigued during a game, which made the change all the more understandable. The basketball star also connected a manufacturing company called Champion to create more comfortable basketball shorts for him that he could use in official matches, which later on began the trend that we know today. 

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He has also been featured in numerous sports magazines and media.

Michael Jordan left behind a great legacy which led him to rise to fame and success. Thanks to his career as a professional athlete in the NBA, he was no stranger to the media and has been featured in many magazines, news articles, and talk shows. 

Michael Jordan also set a record for being the only person to be featured on the cover of both Sports Illustrated, Time. and Fortune on the same day. To this day, no other person has been able to accomplish this feat. 

Michael Jordan has a small tattoo over his heart.

The famous basketball star has 1 small tattoo on his chest, right above his heart. The tattoo is an Omega horseshoe symbol that links to his old black fraternity in college, Omega Psi Phi, which he joined in 1911.

While Michael Jordan was careful to hide this tattoo, he stated that it symbolizes his undying loyalty to his fraternity and his fellow members. At the time, this was also the first African-American fraternity that was founded at a historically black university in the United States. 

Despite being a talented basketball player, Michael Jordan was not considered to have class.

Michael Jordan is considered to be one of the greatest basketball players of all time and continues to hold the title even after his permanent retirement. However, despite his remarkable talent down on the court, he was not considered to be as classy as other professional athletes in his league. 

This is mainly due to Michael Jordan’s excessive gambling habits which were constantly swept under the rug by his PR team and managers. He was also noted for having several extramarital affairs during his career which Michael Jordan all paid off to keep hidden from the public. 

Michael Jordan has a degree in cultural geography.

Michael Jordan describes cultural geography as an introduction to meteorology to which he added that his reason for taking on this course was wanting to become a weatherman. This story also reminds many of his fans that before his rise to fame and professional athleticism, Michael Jordan was once a regular person trying to work with what he had to get through in life. 

Michael Jordan is not related to Michael B Jordan in any way.

The famous basketball star Michael Jordan and the celebrity Michael B Jordan are not related by blood nor marital statuses. It has also been clarified that Michael B Jordan was not named after the basketball icon Michael Jordan in any way.

Michael Jordan is the son of James R Jordan Sr. and Deloris Jordan and does not share the same parents as the actor Michael B Jordan.