His leaping ability, demonstrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line in slam dunk contests, earned him the nicknames Air Jordan and His Airness.
Although Jordan abruptly retired from basketball before the beginning of the 1993–94 NBA season to pursue a new venture in minor league baseball, he returned to the Bulls in March 1995 and led them to three additional championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998, as well as a then-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 NBA season.
Jordan is the owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, who are currently the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference and have a chance to make the postseason for the first time since he took over as majority owner in 2010.
Jordan, who turns 51 next Monday, married former model Yvette Prieto on April 27 of last year in Palm Beach, Fla.
His biography on the NBA website states: "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." Jordan played three seasons for coach Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina.
As a freshman, he was a member of the Tar Heels' national championship team in 1982.