There aren’t many players in the game of basketball that you could compare to the man they call “Air”. After scoring a record 63 points in a playoff game against the Celtics, Larry Bird described him as “God disguised as Michael Jordan”. Born on this date in 1963 in Brooklyn, New York, Michael Jordan is perhaps the most popular sports figure in history and according to the NBA, “the greatest basketball player of all time”. Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to three consecutive NBA championships, which was a first in the NBA, but to return from retirement after a short stint in professional baseball and repeat the “three-peat” just proved his superior prowess on the parquet.
Even though championships require a team effort, his individual accolades are even more proof of his impact on the game. This includes 5 MVP awards, 10 all-NBA first team nominations, 14 All-Star game appearances, 3 All-Star game MVPs, and 6 NBA Finals MVP awards. In 1999, ESPN named him the greatest athelete of the 20th century and was 2nd only to Babe Ruth on AP’s list of atheletes of the century.
Well, Babe Ruth may have a candy bar, but MJ’s “Air Jordan” kicks by Nike has revolutionized urban fashion for the last 30 years. Happy B Day Mr. Air!
Other “Black Facts” on this date:
1897- the British military gained control over Benin City, a historic city in Nigeria on the West African coast. In what is known as the “Punitive Expedition”, the city was pillaged and burned to the ground. Thousands of valuable works of art, including the Benin Bronzes, were stolen and can now be found in European museums.
1936- Hall of Fame NFL player, actor, and activist Jim Brown was born on St. Simons Island, Georgia in 1936.
1938- Dr. Mary Frances Berry was born in Nashville, Tennessee. She was the first woman to serve as Chancellor of a large research university(University of Colorado).
1942- Black Panther Party for Self Defense co-founder and international struggle icon Huey P. Newton was born on this date in 1942 in Monroe, Louisiana.
2009- President Barack Obama signed into law a $787 billion Stimulus Package. Despite major criticism, this was Obama’s first major legislative victory.