Interesting Facts about Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan is a name that almost everyone knows. He is one of the most recognized and popular players in basketball history. Although he was a very successful player, there are still some things that you might not know! That’s why we’ve created this list of interesting facts about Michael Jordan to get you up to date on any Jordan facts that you might be missing out on.

1. Michael Jordan’s nickname was “Magic Jordan,” who was also his inspiration 

Michael Jordan idolized Magic Johnson while growing up. Due to his admiration of the former American basketball player who later led the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association to various championships, Michael Jordan was called Magic Jordan by his friends and teammates.

2. He had a license plate with the nickname “Magic Jordan.” 

Michael Jordan loved his nickname so much that he even had a license plate made by this name on his first car, a 1976 Grand Prix. [1]

3. Michael Jordan’s father initially trained him

As learning starts from home, basketball training of the iconic American basketball player Michael Jordan also started at home. His father trained him before he got into the school’s basketball team.

4. As opposed to his longtime personal narrative, Michael Jordan was never cut from his high school basketball team 

We are all familiar with how the great Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team. However, the reality is a bit different. The selectors passed on him when he tried out for the Laney High School varsity due to his 5’10” height. 

It proved to be the best motivation for Jordan to work day and night. It resulted in a surprising growth spurt as Michael Jordan impressively showed his height at 6’3” as a junior. [2]

5. Michael Jordan has a phobia of water due to tragic incidents in his childhood 

Michael Jordan lost a dear childhood friend due to an incident at the ocean as his friend got sucked into the ocean’s undertow, and he witnessed the whole thing. It has left a scar so deep in the mind of the basketball legend that he cannot be comfortable around water. He also does not feel quite at ease on boats. 

Michael Jordan himself got saved from drowning in the water when he was at a basketball camp at eleven years of age. [3]

6. His senior year changed his whole future course of life 

Michael secured a triple-double as a senior (29.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 10.1 assists). This breakout senior year changed the whole course of his basketball future as he was selected to play on the McDonald’s All-American Team.

7. Michael’s father wanted him to be a mechanic to practice excellent hand skills 

Before Michael started his senior year of high school, his father’s advice was to become a mechanic. According to his father, mechanical work is the best practice for unmatched hand skills, the prerequisite for basketball.

8. Michael majored in cultural geography

Michael Jordan started his college in 1981 at the University of North Carolina based on a basketball scholarship. His major was cultural geography.

9. The University of North Carolina won its first championship after more than 25 years with Michael Jordan on the team

Michael Jordan played extraordinarily in the university team. He helped them win the NCAA Division I championship by scoring the much-needed last basket against Georgetown University. It was the first win of his university after 25 years. [4]

10. He instantly was selected on the Olympic team after passing out from the university  

In the summer of 1984, Michael Jordan was selected for the National Olympic Basketball team of the US. They won the gold medal at the games held in Los Angeles with him on the team.

11. In the first seven years of his contract, Jordan was worth $6.15 million 

Michael Jordan signed his first contract in 1984 when he joined the Chicago Bulls. He was a rookie player, but his promising superhuman leaps were worth around $6.15 million. He received the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1985 and got selected for the NBA All-Star Game, which marked the beginning of a remarkable career for this basketball legend.

12. He started the trend of baggy basketball shorts 

If you see basketball players wearing baggy basketball shorts these days, you should know who to give credit to. Michael Jordan wanted to wear his North Carolina Tarheel shorts in every game he played as a national basketball player. So, the Chicago Bulls uniform had to be tweaked slightly, and shorts became baggy for Michael Jordan. [5]

13. His other nicknames are Air Jordan and His Airness 

Michael Jordan is deservingly the most iconic player in the history of American basketball teams. His high leaps and slam dunks from the free-throw line are unmatched. It is why he is rightfully called by nicknames “His Airness” and “Air Jordan.”

14. Michael Jordan has only been beaten once in the NBA Finals 

This basketball legend led his team to the finals and never faced defeat in any NBA final game except one time. It is why he is the most decorated NBA player in the history of the NBA.

15. He played alongside his inspiration on an Olympic Dream Team  

Michael Jordan is proudly a part of the Dream Team that played in the 1992 Olympics held in Spain. He played alongside other great basketball legends, including Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Scottie Pippin. The Dream Team was undefeated in the Olympic Games and won the gold medal for the country.

16. Michael Jordan is the 20th century’s most outstanding player, even surpassing Muhammad Ali 

According to ESPN, Michael Jordan is the best player NBA has ever gotten. His skills are indisputably unmatched, and his sport even surpasses the biggest sports icons, such as Muhammad Ali and Babe Ruth. [6]

17. Michael Jordan’s iconic number 23 jersey was stolen from a locker room in 1990

Since his high school basketball times, Jordan had been wearing a jersey with the number 23. This number had become so well-known that players only wanted to wear jersey number 23 all over the country. There was only one instance when Jordan had to wear another sports jersey in 1990. It is speculated that a thief stole his number 23 jersey on Valentine’s Day from the locker room before the game started. 

Jordan tried wearing a replica jersey, but it obviously did not fit him. So, the equipment manager could only dig out another jersey that fit Jordan, but it had the number 12 printed on it.

18. Eight years in the Chicago Bulls and Jordan never lost more than three games in a row 

Michael Jordan began his Chicago Bulls career in 1990. Chicago Bulls did not lose three games in a row for the eight years he was on the team. It was one of the most celebrated achievements of the team and Jordan as they played about 500 regular-season games and 126 playoffs. 

According to Ben Blatt of the Harvard Sports Analysis Collective, the reoccurring odds of this historic strike of winning the most number of games was only one out of 140 instances.

19. 1983 and 1984 were the years of Michael Jordan 

Michael Jordan helped his university basketball team win the championship after many years. It resulted in him winning the NCAA College of the Player Award for two consecutive years, 1983 and 1984. 

20. Jordan played himself in the movie Space Jam 

Jordan’s impressive persona also led him to become a movie star. He starred in a 1996 mixed-animation movie, including famous cartoons like Daffy Duck and Bug Bunny. Michael Jordan played himself in the film.

21. Michael Jordan has his own line of sports shoes called Air Jordan 

Michael Jordan always had a liking for Adidas. He also wanted to promote a small sports shoe brand called SpotBilt, but no one could match the offer by Nike. The brand drew a full-court press and signed Michael Jordan for a staggering $500 grand per year. Nike also offered him to tailor his own preferred sneakers. 

However, a collaboration between Nike and Michael Jordan resulted in a heaven of a sports shoe line that made more than $100 million in revenue during its first year. The Air Jordans were released in May 1985 and are still the most wanted sports shoes ever.

22. Michael Jordan retired in 1997 but returned before his second and final departure from basketball as a player in 2003

After the first time Michael Jordan retired in 1997, he joined the Washington Wizards as a co-owner and president of the basketball operations. After four years as a president, Michael Jordan returned to the basketball court in 2001. However, his second course in the court was not long, and he finally retired in 2003.

23. Michael Jordan’s net worth is 1.6 billion dollars 

Michael Jordan became a persona of strength, resilience, and superhuman abilities when shooting the ball right through the basket and slamming dunks. His silhouette of a soaring leap with a basketball in hand has become a trademark of his legacy. 

His net worth, by 2020, is estimated to be approximately around 2.1 billion dollars. [7]

24. Michael wore Air Jordan at his games and was fined by NBA every time 

As a part of Nike’s endorsements, Michael Jordan wore his own line of sports shoes, Air Jordan sneakers, during his games. It was against the dress codes by the NBA, and Jordan had to pay a fine every time. However, he still stands as the world’s top highest-paid athlete even after retiring.

25. He owned a motorcycle racing team 

Michael Jordan owned a professional closed-course motorcycle racing team from 2004 to 2013. His motorcycle racing team won the AMA Superbike Championship with only two Suzukis.

26. He joined the Forbes list of international billionaires in 2015

Michael Jordan is the only basketball player who achieved this level of success. He owns most NBA teams and is the first African-American to do so. Forbes’ included him in the list of international billionaires in 2015.

27. Michael Jordan’s best friend is a limousine driver 

In 1984, the Chicago Bulls forgot to send someone to pick Michael Jordan up from the airport. A limousine driver named George Koehler, who went to high school with Michael Jordan’s older brother Larry Jordan, mistook him for Larry and gave him a ride. He only charged him $25 for the ride but earned a great friend.

They are best friends to date, and there is a special bond between them. Koehler is also Michael Jordan’s personal assistant. [8]


With his level of popularity and his years as a prominent figure in the sports and entertainment industries, it’s almost impossible not to know something about Michael Jordan. Still, there are some things that you may have missed about this basketball legend.