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Michael Jordan hardly needs an introduction considering he is one of the best known former basketball players in the world. He’s arguably the greatest NBA player of all-time having played 15 seasons in the league and winning six NBA championships in the process. But what makes Michael Jordan so remarkable isn’t just his accomplishments as a basketball player; it’s his incredible story of unmatched determination that all began with one instance of choosing to overcome adversity.

“Limits, Like Fears, Are Often Just An Illusion.”

– michael jordan –

As such, we aim to take a closer look at Michael Jordan’s life story to highlight some of the seemingly small aspects that played an oversized role in his become the G.O.A.T (the Greatest Of All Time). By understanding what helped Jordan become so successful, we can unlock the strategies and mindset that can help us improve our own lives and potentially achieve a little bit of greatness in our own unique ways.

Having said that, if you’re ready to learn about how the greatest of all time became the greates of all time, let’s dive right in to this Michael Jordan Story.


The Michael Jordan Success Story

Early Days

Michael Jordan was born in New York City, NY on February 17, 1963. He grew up in somewhat large family, having four other siblings. And at the age of five his parents sought out a safer environment to raise the family, so they packed up and moved to Wilmington, NC.

It was in North Carolina where Jordan would eventually make a name for himself. But, his first love when it came to sports was in baseball. In fact, in 1975 at the age of 12, he was awarded with the title of “Mr. Baseball” for the Dixie Youth Baseball Association.[1]

Jordan also loved playing catch with his Father outside in his youth, and shared a love for the game with his father, who also loved baseball.

But Jordan would eventually start playing basketball because his older brother Larry. Jordan idolized his older brother, but he also competed with him for his father’s attention and admiration. And Larry was good in basketball. So Jordan strived to make a name for himself as a basketball player as well.

When Jordan was a sophomore at Laney High School in Wilmington, North Carolina, Jordan aimed to play basketball for the Varsity team. He thought he was good enough so he tried out. Unfortunately, at the time he was only standing at 5’10” and his coaches didn’t believe he was ready, so he was cut from the team.[2]

Awakening The Sleeping Giant

Jordan’s coaches likely didn’t realize how competitive Jordan was when they cut him, nor did they realize how much he wanted to play on Varsity as a sophomore. But, by cutting Jordan they unknowingly unleashed a fury within him that very likely fueled his fiery competitive spirit for the rest of his career.

Cutting Jordan from the team awakened a sleeping giant within him. He didn’t take the rejection well, especially because one of his friends who was also a sophomore happened to make the team. In fact, after receiving the news that he didn’t make the team, Jordan locked himself in his closet when he got home and cried.

Despite the frustration, Jordan decided to channel his frustration into positive activity. Jordan accepted, for the time being, his new reality, and still played basketball, even though it was only for the JV team.

However, he sought to leverage his time on the JV team to sharpen his skills. As such, he put his heart and soul into shining on the court, and shine he did. Jordan would go on to put up multiple 40 point games that year and become the best player on the team. In short, he dominated on the courts, even though it was only against other 14 and 15 year old players.[3]

He took advantage of the off-season to hone his game, training long and hard over the entire summer. During that time, he would also put on an extra four inches in height. Needless to say, when he came back to play his Junior year, he was ready to take care of business.

Jordan made the cut this time around, and he immediately went to work to make a name for himself. In his first Varsity game he put up 35 points. And it didn’t take long before he was the team’s best player and highest scorer, averaging 20+ points per game.

The following year he would help his team achieve a No.1 standing in the state, even though they didn’t win the state championship. He would also become his team’s MVP, and make the All-American team.

College Bound

Jordan’s superstar performance during his last two years in high school paved the way for his college career. In fact, he committed to UNC long before finishing out his senior year of high school, signing a letter of intent in November of 1980.[4]

Jordan’s success on the college courts didn’t skip a beat. In just his first year he was awarded the ACC’s ‘Freshman of The Year’ award, and he made the game-winning shot in the 1982 national championship game against Georgetown.

Michael Jordan’s extraordinary Freshman year helped set the stage for his long and productive career in basketball. And even though his college team didn’t win national championships for the next two years that he played, experiencing greatness in that first year solidified Jordan’s champion mindset.

Jordan would go on to achieve the following accolades as a collegiate athlete:

  • 1982 ACC Rookie of the Year
  • 1982 national champion
  • 1982 All-Tournament Team
  • 1982 Freshman All-American
  • 1983 First Team All-ACC
  • 1983 East Regional Team
  • 1983 consensus All-American
  • 1983 National Player of the Year (The Sporting News)
  • 1984 First Team All-ACC
  • 1984 ACC Player of the Year
  • 1984 ACC Athlete of the Year
  • 1984 consensus All-American
  • 1984 consensus National Player of the Year
  • 1980s NCAA Tournament All-Decade Team
  • NCAA Tournament All-Time Team
  • Named the No. 1 male athlete in ACC history
  • Named a top-15 player in the 75 Years of March Madness Celebration

In addition the impressive accolades above, MJ also achieve a handful of impressive personal records during his college years as well. Here are just a few of his most impressive ones:

  • Most points by a sophomore in North Carolina history: 721 points
  • North Carolina’s leader in points and steals: 1982-83 and 1983-84
  • Tied for fourth in North Carolina history in steals in a season: 78 steals
  • Ranked Sixth in North Carolina history in field goals made in a season: 282 field goals
  • Ranked Seventh in North Carolina history in points in a season: 721 points

Needless to say, Michael Jordan had an extremely successful college career in basketball, and it led to him getting drafted after only playing for UNC for three years.

The Pros

Jordan’s on-court dominance didn’t stop after college. The competitiveness and determination he exemplified in his college years transferred seamlessly into his professional play.

The bulk of Jordan’s career was spent with the Chicago Bulls, even after a few short retirements. But he also spent two seasons as a Washington Wizard.

Despite where he was playing in the pros, Jordan would go on to score 32,292 points in his professional basketball career, while achieving 6 NBA championships, obtaining 6 NBA Finals MPV, as well as 5 NBA MVP titles, 2 NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards, as well as 2 Olympic Gold Medals, and this is the short list.

That said, Jordan became a force to be reckoned with in the NBA, not only was he one of the most entertaining players to watch for over 15 different seasons, but his competitiveness and will to win helped him become what most people agree upon; the greatest basketball player of all-time.

Michael Jordan’s Massive Fortune

Michael Jordan’s extraordinary career in basket ball helped him also become one of the richest men on the planet. Not only is MJ considered the best NBA player of all-time, he’s also the G.O.A.T. when it comes to money.

As of 2023, Michael Jordan’s net worth is $2.2 billion, which makes him more than two times as rich as the next richest player, which is Lebron James.

And even though MJ is retired, with a fortune like this, he can live like a king for the rest of his life without ever having to touch his principal.

In fact, here’s how much Michael Jordan’s net worth could easily earn him every month for the rest of his life: $88,000,0000 per year or more.

Money Metric Amount
2023 Net Worth: $2,200,000,000
**Earnings Per Year: $88,000,000
Per Month: $7,333,333
Per Week: $1,692,437
Per Day: $241,776
Per Hour: $10,074
Per Min: $167.9
Per Sec: $2.79

Note: this is an estimated (but very possible) earnings metric based off the earning power of Michael Jordan’s net worth assuming a 4% annual yield.  It does not include how much MJ makes from side projects, sponsorships, social media, etc. These calculations are for entertainment purposes only.

Success Ethos | MJ’s Success Story

With a net worth like this, it’s obvious that Michael Jordan is just as savvy as a businessman as he was a basket ball player. In fact, these days, Jordan is the primary owner of the Charlotte Hornets, as well as Nascar’s 23XI Racing.

In addition to owning this great franchises, Jordan did in the past, and also continues to makes loads of money as and principal spokesman for many household brands like Nike, Gatorade, Coca Cola, Wheaties, Hanes, and countless others.

Having said that, there’s no doubt that Michael Jordan knows a thing or two about success and achievement. In fact, here’s a few keys to success that he’s uttered in his own words:

Related: Michael Jordan Quotes

Success In Action

If you’ve never seen MJ in action, this short video is worth the watch. It quickly demonstrates why he’s the best of the best, and why’s he’s worth ever penny of the billions he’s earned:

Final Thoughts

Michael Jordan’s success story should be an inspiration for just about everyone. It provides one of the best examples on how disappointment and rejection can be transformed into something so much greater than we ever imagined.

Jordan’s story also demonstrates the type of mindset needed to win and dominate regardless of the field your in. It highlights the extra-mile that you must go into your training and preparation, and the extraordinary levels of desire you must have for winning if you wish to become the best.

Till you reach your aims,


PS – If you enjoyed this Michael Jordan Success Story write up we have a hunch you’ll also appreciate our Kobe Bryant Success Story as well.

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