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The Jordan Legacy
February 17, 1963
Michael Jeffrey Jordan is born at the Cumberland County Hospital in Brooklyn, N.Y., to James and Deloris Jordan. Later in the year, after James completes his vocational training in hydraulics and automatic-transmission mechanics, the family would relocate to Wallace, N.C.
Jordan and Mother
Jordan's mother, Deloris, was a devoted parent throughout
her son's NBA career. AP
The Jordans move to a new house in Wilmington, N.C. Soon James will build a backyard basketball court for his five children.
Summer 1975
Dixie Youth Baseball Association names Jordan Mr. Baseball among North Carolina 12-year-olds.
June 1977
Jordan is named Oustanding Athlete at Trask Middle School and receives certificates of achievement in football and basketball.
Fall 1978
The 5'9" Jordan, a sophomore, is the last cut from the Laney High School varsity basketball team. Coach Clifton (Pop) Herring elects to go with 6'8" sophomore Leroy Smith. (Jordan will grow five inches before the next season.)
Spring 1980
Jordan, a righthanded pitcher and centerfielder for the Laney varsity baseball team, throws 42 consecutive scoreless innings.
July 20, 1980
The first of Jordan's many, many paychecks is for the modest amount of $119.76, compensation for 47 hours of maintenance work at El Barta Restaurant and Motor Inn in Wilmington.
April 11, 1981
At the McDonald's All-American High School Basketball Game in Wichita, Kans., Jordan hits a pair of free throws with 11 seconds left to give the East a 96-95 victory. He finishes with 30 points-a game record that still stands.
March 29, 1982
At the Superdome in New Orleans, freshman Jordan wins the national championship for North Carolina by draining a jumper with 15 seconds left to boost the Tar Heels past Georgetown 63-62.
Jordan UNC
It was at UNC that the world got
its first taste of Jordan's talents
June 19, 1984
The Chicago Bulls pick Jordan third overall in the NBA Draft, after Houston selects Akeem Olajuwon and Portland chooses Sam Bowie.
October 26, 1984
Jordan scores 16 points in his NBA debut, a 109-93 win over the Washington Bullets.
November 17, 1984
In a game against Julius Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers, Jordan unveils the first of his signature line of Nike sneakers, a red-and-black shoe.
May 16, 1985
Jordan is named NBA Rookie of the Year after averaging 28.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 2.4 steals.
October 29, 1985
In the third game of his sophomore season, Jordan breaks his foot in a 111-105 win over the Golden State Warriors.
March 15, 1986
After missing 64 games, Jordan returns to action by scoring 12 points in 13 minutes of a 125-116 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks. His minutes would slowly increase over the remainder of the season.
April 20, 1986
In Game 2 of Jordan's first playoff series, he torches the Boston Celtics for a postseason-record 63 points in a 135-131 double-overtime loss at Boston Garden.
February 7, 1987
Jordan wins his first Slam Dunk Contest at All-Star Weekend in Seattle.
Jordan Dunks
"His Airness" took the slam dunk
and turned it into an art form AP
April 16, 1987
With 61 points in a 117-114 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, Jordan becomes the first NBA player to score 3,000 points in a season since Wilt Chamberlain in 1962-63.
May 1988
Jordan is named NBA Most Valuable Player for the first time after averaging 35.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.9 assists and 3.2 steals. The award makes him the first player to earn MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the same season.
January 25, 1989
With 33 points in a 120-108 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, Jordan breaks the 10,000 barrier in career points.
May 7, 1989
Jordan hits The Shot, a hanging foul-line jumper over Craig Ehlo at the buzzer, to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 101-100 in the deciding Game 5 of the teams' first-round series.
September 2, 1989
At 3:30 a.m. in the Little White Chapel in Las Vegas, Jordan marries Juanita Vanoy before four guests.
March 28, 1990
The Cleveland Cavaliers are victim to another Jordan onslaught-this time a career-high 69-point performance in a 117-113 overtime victory. He hits 23 of 37 field goals, 21 of 23 free throws, and, for good measure, grabs 18 rebounds, hands out six assists and makes four steals.
May 1991
Jordan is named MVP for the second time after averaging 31.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 2.8 steals.
June 12, 1991
Jordan has 30 points, 10 assists and five steals as the Bulls win their first NBA championship by defeating the Los Angeles Lakers 108-101 in Game 5 at the Forum.
May 1992
Jordan is named MVP for the third time after averaging 30.1 points, 6.4 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 2.3 steals.
June 3, 1992
Jordan lights up the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Finals for 35 first-half points. After his sixth three-pointer, he looks to the sidelines and gives a disbelieving shrug as he jogs upcourt.
June 14, 1992
Jordan scores 33 points as the Bulls take championship No. 2 with a 97-93 Game 6 win over the Blazers.
August 8, 1992
Jordan scores 22 points and earns a second gold medal as the original Dream Team crushes Croatia 117-85 at the Barcelona Olympics.
November 8, 1992
Forbes magazine names Jordan the highest-paid athlete in the world, estimating his annual income at $35.9 million (of which a paltry $3.9 million is his Bulls salary).
January 8, 1993
Jordan scores 35 against the Milwaukee Bucks, to reach 20,000 career points. Only Wilt Chamberlain achieved this milestone faster.
May 24, 1993
Jordan makes a gambling excursion to Atlantic City the night before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the New York Knicks. He is reported to have stayed as late as 2 a.m. and draws further criticism when he shoots 12-for-32 (albeit with 36 points and nine rebounds) in a 96-91 loss the next evening.
June 3, 1998
San Diego businessman Richard Esquinas announces publication of a book in which he details more than 100 rounds of golf he played with Jordan for money. Esquinas claims Jordan ran up a $902,000 debt, which they negotiated down to $300,000. The next day Jordan acknowedges in a statement that he did play golf with Esquinas but that his debt was "substantially less" than the amound cited.
June 20, 1993
Jordan has 33 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, but it is John Paxson's three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left that lifts the Bulls to a 99-98 Game 6 victory over the Phoenix Suns and championship No. 3.
August 5, 1993
James Jordan's stripped 1993 Lexus is found by authorities in North Carolina, alarming family members who had not heard from him since July 22. The next day, a badly decomposed body that had been discovered August 3 in McColl, S.C., and subsequently cremated is identified through dental records as that of James Jordan. Investigators later determine that he was killed the night of July 23 on U.S. 74 in Robeson County, N.C., and charge two local teens with the murder.
October 6, 1993
Jordan shocks the world by announcing his retirement from the NBA, amid further investigations by the league into his alleged gambling problems.
February 7, 1994
After working out several days a week at Comiskey Park for the past few months, Jordan signs a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox, who, like the Bulls, are owned by Jerry Reinsdorf. He says he is pursuing a dream of his late father, who always envisioned his son as a big leaguer.
April 8, 1994
In Hoover, Ala., before a crowd of 10,359, Jordan makes his professional baseball debut, going 0-for-3 for the Double-A Birmingham Barons in a 10-3 loss to the Chattanooga Lookouts.
Jordan 45
While on the Birmingham
Barons, MJ proved even
he was human AP
July 30, 1994
Jordan belts his first professional home run, an eighth-inning, bases-empty shot in his 354th at-bat. Jordan would finish the season with a measly .202 batting average, but would also be one of six Double A players with at least 50 RBIs and 30 steals.
March 18, 1995
With rumors intensifying, Jordan issues a press release that states simply, "I'm back." He returns to the NBA the next day, wearing No. 45, and scores 16 points in a 103-96 overtime loss to the Indiana Pacers.
April 16, 1996
Jordan scores 22 points as the Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks 86-80 for their 70th win of the season, setting an NBA record.
May 1996
Jordan is named MVP for the fourth time after averaging 30.4 points, 6.6 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.2 steals in his first full season back after his baseball experiment.
June 16, 1996
Jordan has a horrendous shooting day (5-for-19 for 22 points), but the Bulls defeat the Seattle SuperSonics 87-75 in Game 6 of the Finals to win their fourth championship. After the game, played on Father's Day, Jordan dedicates the title to his late dad.
September 25, 1996
Michael Jordan Cologne, designed and distributed by Bijan Fragrances Inc., is unveiled at a promotional appearance by Jordan in Culver City, Calif.
November 15, 1996
The animated film Space Jam, starring Jordan, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang, opens. The movie will gross $230 million worldwide.
February 9, 1997
Jordan becomes the first player in All-Star Game history to record a triple-double, finishing with 14 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in a 132-120 East victory in Cleveland.
June 13, 1997
Two days after a memorable 38-point performance while battling the flu, Jordan tops himself with 39 (and 11 rebounds) as the Bulls defeat the Utah Jazz 90-86 in Game 6 to win championship No. 5.
May 1998
Jordan is named MVP for the fifth time after averaging 28.7 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.7 steals.
Jordan's Last Shot
The last shot of Jordan's career
was the game-winning bucket
in the 1998 NBA finals to clinch
a sixth title AP
June 14, 1998
Jordan pours in 45 points as the Bulls earn their second three-peat with an 87-86 Game 6 win over the Jazz. In the last 40 seconds, with the Bulls down four, Jordan: 1) drives for a layup to cut the margin to one; 2) strips Karl Malone on an entry pass; 3) fakes Bryon Russell to his knees and then drains the game-winning jumper with 5.2 seconds left.

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