A Michael Jordan Starter Pack 🏀🐐

NBA legend Michael Jeffery Jordan – aka MJ, aka Air Jordan, aka His Airness, aka Big Jeff (ok, no one called him that), or simply the GOAT – racked up basketball achievements like misguided collectors from the 90s stockpiled Beanie Babies. That is to say, A LOT.

The championships, the MVPs, the scoring titles, the All-NBA Teams, the All-Star selections, the Olympic golds, the high-flying dunks, the clutch shots, the terrifying competitiveness, the sneakers, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, and the crying meme – from the mid-80s to the late-90s, Jordan morphed into the most famous athlete on the planet. We all wanted to be “Like Mike.” I mean I wanted to be another 90s icon, JTT, but that’s another story.

Now thanks to ESPN’s sprawling, 10-part documentary series The Last Dance, which chronicles Michael Jordan’s rise and the Chicago Bulls’ final and sixth NBA championship, Number 23 is front row and center of the sporting world. The series might double as an advertisement for Jordan’s legacy (and cigars), but it’s an immensely entertaining ride.

Whether you’re a millennial, gen Xer, or beyond, you probably have some idea why Michael Jordan is considered the greatest ever basketballer. Heck you might be drizzled in his cologne (I know I am). However, your kids might not know. So here’s an introduction to help teach them about Michael Jordan and his unparalleled influence on the game of basketball, popular culture, and denim (lol).

The Beginning

The story goes, at 15, Michael Jordan was cut from his high school varsity team, which led him to quit basketball forever and no one knew what happened to him… I kid. He worked his butt off, had a growth spurt, and went on to play college ball for North Carolina. He led the Tar Heels to the 1982 NCAA championship, scoring the game-winning basket.

After three outstanding college seasons, Jordan declared for the 1984 NBA Draft. The Portland Trail Blazers famously passed on Jordan for Sam Bowie, and at the No. 3 pick, the Chicago Bulls found a scoring guard that cemented their future (spoiler: it’s MJ). The rest is history.