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BASKETBALL: NBA 97/98 CHICAGO BULLS, 07.11.97

Source: Alexander Hassenstein / Getty

Remember when Michael Jordan was just a soft spoken college student trying to navigate his newfound fame? It’s hard to remember a time when he wasn’t already established as the greatest athlete ever.

But just like all the athletes we’ve seem come up in the game, MJ wasn’t always the star we know and love today. Literally, ask anyone you know “who’s the greatest Basketball player ever” and even folks who aren’t into the game will most likely say Michael Jordan.

Just ask folks on Reddit who live for great debates like these. One Jordan stan wrote,

“It was almost like he was superhuman. He excelled in every skill of the game. He may have been the best offensive player and the best defensive player at his position of shooting guard.

Of his time, Bird, Magic, Kareem and Olajuwon were great, but they could not dominate the game and league like Jordan could and did.”

 

Another Reddit user added:

“Jordan has it all. He is the most accomplished athlete on the planet and by far one of the most famous one too amongst the audience outside America. Nobody holds a perfect record like he does in his respective sport. He has accomplished everything NBA has to offer.

The thing that makes Michael even more charismatic is the brand he created that everybody seems to love, the “Air Jordan” sneaker series.”

Speaking of Air Jordan, some would say MJ’s success with his Jordan Brand is one thing that most athletes before and after him weren’t able to accomplish. Jordan sneakers have become a cultural phenomenon, especially in the Black community. Think about it — Nike re-releases old designs and models of their shoes under the Air Jordan brand, and they still sell like hot cakes.

Twitter user @Styledbykmilan joked, “Michael Jordan: I don’t have to design any new shoes. I’ll just rerelease the old ones and call them “retro”. She has a point, and the brilliant marketing plot has made MJ a very rich man.  As of 2019, sources say his net worth is estimated at around 1.9 billion dollars.

In honor of the G.O.A.T.s birthday, let’s dig into the archives and take a look back at a different time— when Reagan was President, movie tickets cost $2.50 and Michael Jordan was a young college student unsure of his future in the NBA. Moral of the story, everyone has potential to be the greatest.

In the words of NIKE, just do it.

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