Icon: Michael Jordan
3….2….1! BUZZZZ! As young children playing on the concrete courts of any park we relive this imagery of being Michael Jordan and making that buzzer beating shot, thrusting our hands in the air exclaiming to be him in front of all players in and on the surrounding courts. If and when that shot was made we told ourselves, ‘I would be the next Michael Jordan, for all to see my greatness.’
Legendary … that’s all that needs to be said about Michael Jordan and the empire that he decrees upon under his own name. For years Jordan has been the go to name when comparing past, present and future NBA players, the talk of the streets with the hottest and most anticipated sneaker releases or whether it being part owner of the Charlotte Bobcats. Being widely considered as THE best basketball player ever to play in the NBA, he has led the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles and voted the Finals MVP a record of six times. Yearning to be close to Michael Jordan is what many basketball player’s dream of as a child and continue to do so upon playing in the NBA to try and match the bar that he has set.
Great achievements from an individual such as Jordan barons much responsibility unto him to share with others that aspire to be just like him. Jordan has been a 14-time All-Star, averaging 20.2 points per game, and became the only player to ever record a triple-double in an All-Star game, which he achieved in 1977. He was named Defensive Player of the Year in 1988, and was on the All-Defensive First Team nine times. Michael Jordan also held the record for consecutive games scoring in double-digits. In 1996, Jordan was named as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History. In a record number, he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated 51 times! His legacy still lives on, well at least on the soles of our feet. Famous for his personalized signature of him jumping in the air with a basketball in one hand reaching out and legs spread has been a driving force for the sale of Nike products as well as the hysteria and chaos at sneaker stores around the country and online on anticipated release dates.
Jordan revolutionized the business of athlete endorsements. He signed on with companies such as Wheaties, McDonald’s, Gatorade, and Nike. Gatorade’s marketing strategy surrounding Michael Jordan brought about the slogan, “Be Like Mike,” which stuck around for years and had millions singing ‘I want to be like Mike.’
“I think he’s God disguised as Michael Jordan,” said Boston’s Larry Bird, about Michael Jordan after he scored 63 points against the Celtics in Game 2 of the 1986 Eastern Conference First Round. That was the thought by many players and spectators of the game as Jordan always moved swiftly, sometimes it even looked as if he was flying.
Just in name we know Jordan like we played with him one on one on numerous occasions. A myriad of tremendous wealth, achievements and endorsements is why Jordan is so iconic and so many people look up to him. He continues to accumulate his already mountainous stack of wealth by becoming primary owner of the Charlotte Bobcats in 2010. In the words of Michael Jordan, “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”