Why Did Michael Jordan Start Playing Basketball? What Led to This Decision?

Michael Jordan is an erstwhile professional basketball athlete, American Olympian, entrepreneur, and performer.

This player has been regarded as the premier basketball player of all time, the individual who controlled the sport from the midst of the 1980s until he guided the Chicago Bulls to six NBA titles and earned five league MVP accolades.

His five regular-season Most Valuable Player awards and three All-Star Most Valuable Player awards established him as the most adorned player in the NBA.

Why Did Michael Jordan Start Playing Basketball

According to him, it was pure passion for the Game. Growing up in Wilmington, North Carolina, Jordan had developed a spirit of competitiveness from quite an early age.

It was James who had introduced his son Michael to baseball, and it was him who built a basketball court in their backyard. Michael idolized his brother Larry, and they played one-on-one late into the night many times. Michael had to win every game.

Jordan attended Laney High School in Wilmington. Perhaps most infamously, he was cut from the varsity basketball team of the school as a sophomore—he was still under 6 feet then—before developing into one of the top recruits in the country.

Michael Jordan Awards and Honors

In 1988, the NBA would announce Jordan MVP for the first time, an honor he would receive four more times, in 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1998.

One of the highest honors anyone in basketball can get, Jordan got that recognition in April of 2009 when he was enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Being at the ceremony, he later admitted, was bittersweet, because it meant “your basketball career is completely over.

In 2016, Jordan was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.

Retirements from Basketball

Jordan left the sport three times during his 19 years of professional playing career. The first retirement happened on October 6, 1993, when Jordan was 30 years old because he decided to try his abilities in baseball because his father was killed.

That July, James was killed in his car when two teenagers shot him in what police said was a likely robbery as he drove from Charlotte to Wilmington, N.C. It wasn’t until his body was found in a swamp in McColl, South Carolina, that he was discovered.

The teens were later convicted and tried for the crime, where they were sentenced to life for the first-degree murder.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, Michael Jordan is taken into consideration by most of the best basketball players ever. He is one of the greatest athletes in history. He was a four-time gold medalist with USA Basketball and over that period, he racked up two Olympic golds.

During that time, he was named the USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year twice. He was the face of the NBA for over a decade.

And then he decided: A career change. How can a man, at the peak of success, walk out of success? Not only did he walk out, but he did the undoable.

He put his athletic ability on the line to play baseball, a game he had not played since his teenage years, knowing that millions of people would be watching his every swing, every throw, and every pop fly.