Google+

Happy Birthday, Michael Jordan

 

Happy Birthday, Michael Jordan

By Burt Carey

Today (Feb. 17), Michael Jordan turns 53. While it’s been 13 years since fans last saw him play professional basketball, his retirement years have been arguably the best retirement of a professional athlete ever.

He ranks among the greatest NBA players of all time. Some say he’s simply the greatest. By all rights MJ could have Michael Jordan turns 53, enjoying retirement, among greatest NBA players, Charlotte Hornets owner, Nike basketball shoes, billionaire club, #23, philanthropisttaken his career — his six NBA titles with the Chicago Bulls, his five NBA MVP awards, the six times he was named NBA Finals MVP, Rookie of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, 13 All-Star nominations, the three times he was named All-Star Game MVP, and induction into the NBA Hall of Fame in 2009 — and he could have disappeared.

But that wouldn’t have been the Michael Jordan we came to know, respect and love.

The Michael Jordan we know became the principal owner of the Charlotte Hornets, a franchise whose $175 million worth in 2010 has exploded to more than $725 million in 2016. This is the Michael Jordan whose worldwide appeal fuels the sale of six out of every 10 pairs of Nike basketball shoes.

Now well into his second decade as a retired professional athlete, Jordan will make more money this year (as he did in 2014 and 2015) from endorsements than the $94 million he made during 15 seasons playing in the NBA. As he blows out the candles on his birthday cake today, he does so with the knowledge that his net worth exceeds $1 billion.

According to Forbes, he most likely entered the billionaire club in 2014. Simply put: No professional athlete has parlayed a sports career into a personal and business brand the way Jordan has done it. His endorsement deal with Nike, a relationship that began with an unheard-of five-year, $7 million contract during his rookie year in 1984, has grown into a $2.2 billion sales empire that nets the legendary star about $100 million per year.

Jordan will forever be No. 23, the agile 6’6” shooting guard and sometimes small forward, whose jersey has been retired by the Bulls organization. We remember what he did on the basketball court: making twisting, turning immortal moves to the basket, leaping to dunk from the free throw line, sinking three-pointers and scoring 32,292 points over his career (fourth best in NBA history). And to a generation of kids now entering high school who lace up their Air Jordans but who never saw him play, it’s his business acumen, the Michael Jordan brand, they know.

Despite his fame and the fact that 98 percent of consumers around the globe recognize his name, Jordan is also known for philanthropy. He’s active in charity work for such organizations as the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America, the UNCF/College Fund, Make-a-Wish Foundation, Kids Wish Network, Special Olympics, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Opportunity Village, the Children’s Literacy Initiative, the Jack Robinson Foundation and others. He donated his $1 million salary from the Washington Wizards to the families of 9/11 victims and recovery efforts. And after winning a copyright lawsuit in 2015, he donated all of the money, $8.9 million, to 23 different Chicago charities.

Happy birthday, MJ.

Entertainment

Calvin and Company Get Real in Chicago

  Barbershop: The Next Cut DVD Review by Kam Williams Calvin and Company Get Real in Chicago  There's been a big change at Calvin's Barbershop since our last visit over a decade ago. The once-sacred male sanctuary has been converted to a unisex salon, and some feisty female employees have brought a new flava to the former man cave, including manager Angie (Regina Hall), flamboyant Draya (Nicki Minaj) and cynical Bree (Margot Bingham). Besides Ice Cube as Calvin, … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Recovering the Self Journal Offering Giveaway of New Issue on Goodreads

The quarterly journal Recovering the Self: A Journal of Hope and Healing (RTS) is offering Goodreads members in the United States a giveaway, starting July 19, 2016.The Michigan-based journal has just recently resumed publication with the first issue of the fifth volume. 20 printed copies of the issue are offered to Goodreads members, the giveaway offer ending midnight on July 30, 2016.The current issue is themed “Relationships” and explores at the nature of relationships in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

ART EXHIBITION: 150 Years After The Civil War

  Cynthia Groya 150 Years After The Civil War: A Contemporary Perspective January 10 - March 6, 2016 Artist's Reception: Sunday, January 24, 3:00 - 5:00 pm Nassau Club 6 Mercer Street  Princeton, NJ 08540 The ideas reflected in Groya's paintings express a conversation about struggle for equal rights in our culture, in our time. The origin of this struggle can be traced to The Civil War in our country, which ended 150 years ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

New Home Sales Jump in April

  New Home Sales Jump in April By Burt Carey Sales of new homes hit their highest rate since 2008 in April, according to the Commerce Department’s U.S. Census Bureau. April sales increased 16.6 percent over March figures, which correlates to a seasonally adjusted rate of 619,000 home sales projected for the year. The median price of those new homes was $321,000, the highest median price ever recorded. That’s up 9.7 percent from sales one year ago. The … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Dennis “Spanky” Hill Named the 2016 Recipient

  Dennis “Spanky” Hill Named the 2016 Recipient of the Perpetual Gulf Legends Award   Child actor Spanky McFarland brought laughter, energy, compassion and devoted friendship to the beloved Our Gang comedy films in the 1930s. Now, 80 years later, another Spanky is being honored for the same wonderful traits, with marinas and tournament weigh scales replacing Hollywood sets.   In a special ceremony at the captain’s meeting for this year’s Blue Marlin Grand … [Read More it Good for You...]

Outdoors

Dennis “Spanky” Hill Named the 2016 Recipient

  Dennis “Spanky” Hill Named the 2016 Recipient of the Perpetual Gulf Legends Award   Child actor Spanky McFarland brought laughter, energy, compassion and devoted friendship to the beloved Our Gang comedy films in the 1930s. Now, 80 years later, another Spanky is being honored for the same wonderful traits, with marinas and tournament weigh scales replacing Hollywood sets.   In a special ceremony at the captain’s meeting for this year’s Blue Marlin Grand … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans

  Tiger Woods Opts Out of U.S. Open, Quicken Loans By Burt Carey Tiger Woods isn’t ready to stage a comeback just yet. The 14-time major champion sent messages via Twitter and his website Tuesday that he would not be competing at either the U.S. Open at Oakmont next week or the PGA Tour’s Quicken Loans tournament the following week. "While I continue to work hard on getting healthy, I am not physically ready to play in this year's U.S. Open and the Quicken … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Calling All Entrepreneurs: Creating “Buzz” For Your Brands

  Calling All Entrepreneurs: Creating “Buzz” For Your Brands by Amy Lignor   This is 2016. This is an election year. “Shark Tank” is a top show on television. And more than ever people want to be entrepreneurs; be in business for themselves and make some money. But even after all this time in the computer-age, entrepreneurs are finding it difficult to see the ‘niches’ they can get into to build their brand so that all consumers know who they are and why their … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Inexpensive Dream Vacations to be Found in “America the Beautiful”

Inexpensive Dream Vacations to be Found in “America the Beautiful” by Amy Lignor Say “dream vacation” and 80% of American’s minds journey to those ritzy areas, like Paris or Athens…they dream of touring the castles of London or dive into the magical history and culture of Ireland. But very few ever get the fact or remember, perhaps, that America the Beautiful is called that for a reason. There are a slew of perfect vacation spots in the good, old U.S. of A. that offer … [Read More its Good for You...]

Google+