The number 23 conjures up thoughts of Michael Jordan leaping across a basketball floor in a Chicago Bulls jersey for basketball enthusiasts all around the country. Jordan, widely regarded as one of the NBA's best players, is still one of the most well-known sportsmen years after his retirement.
He first donned number 23 when he was a student at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. This was before he ever played a game in the NBA; he started off as a freshman on the bench. After appearing in only 10 games as a rookie, Jordan became a full-time starter the next season. He wore number 23 because it had been previously worn by Larry Johnson, who was eventually traded to the New York Knicks.
During Jordan's early years with the Bulls, they never won more than 50 games per season. It wasn't until 1995 that the Bulls won their first championship. By then, Jordan was already a six-time champion. He decided to retire after the 1997-98 season, but came back two seasons later at the age of 36. He ended his career with a final championship in 2001. Today, number 23 is the property of Damian Lillard, who wears it while with the Portland Trail Blazers.
There have been many numbers that have been used by multiple players throughout history.
Michael Jordan had three different jersey numbers during his NBA career: number 23 with both the Bulls and the Wizards, number 12, and number 45. Jordan wore the number 45 jersey during his brief career as a minor league baseball player with the Birmingham Barons. The number was given to him by coach Phil Jackson who felt that it would help recruit players to play ball with Jordan.
He returned to the Bulls in 1989 and was assigned number 45 by the team. The number was made available when John Salley was traded to the Seattle SuperSonics in 1990 after making it clear he did not want to wear number 23 again. Salley's number 23 has been retired by the Chicago Bulls.
During Jordan's first season with the Bulls, they played in the 1988-89 NBA season opener on October 31, 1988, at Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks. He scored 22 points in this game, which the Knicks won 93-90. As a result, he became the first rookie to start the season opener since 1962 when Wilt Chamberlain did so for the Philadelphia 76ers.
On November 11, 1988, in a game between the Chicago Bulls and the Golden State Warriors, Jordan scored 50 points in a single game, becoming only the second player (after Walt Bellamy of the Minneapolis Lakers in 1955) to score 50 or more points in a game.
Michael Jordan, popularly known as MJ, is a retired NBA player who spent the most of his 15-year professional career as a shooting guard with the Chicago Bulls. He is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history.
The son of James and Deloris Jordan, he was born on February 17th, 1963 in Philadelphia. His parents moved to North Carolina when he was 10 years old so that his father could take over as the head coach at UNC-Chapel Hill. After graduating from Chapel Hill High School in 1981, Jordan went straight into the NBA where he became one of the best players ever. In his first season, the Bulls finished with 54 wins; since then, they have never missed the playoffs. As a Bull, he won six NBA championships, three with the Bulls and three with the Wizards.
On April 2nd, 2016, it was announced by the Bulls that Jordan was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a neurodegenerative disease found in athletes who have suffered multiple brain injuries. According to the Mayo Clinic, CTE is found in people who have had multiple impacts to the head over a long period of time. It is also believed to be responsible for the death of NFL player Mike Webster.
Bulls.com features 50 of them, ranging from the early days of Air Jordans through the celebration of world titles in the 1990s. Michael Reinsdorf, President and COO of the Chicago Bulls, recently spoke with ESPN 1000 about Michael Jordan's legacy as he approaches his 50th birthday. Here are some of the highlights:
On whether or not Michael Jordan will join him on the podium for his retirement ceremony: "I think it's inevitable. I don't know if it'll be this year or next year but it's inevitable that he'll be there with me."
On why he believes Jordan will attend his retirement ceremony: "Because that's what champions do. They don't walk away unless they're convinced they can't win anymore. So I hope to have him there."
On how he feels about reaching 50 years old: "It just shows you how long you can keep doing this stuff right before your body gets too old for it. I feel like I can keep going now because of the way my body's feeling. I've got a lot more in me than people give me credit for."
On his plans following his retirement: "After I retire from basketball, I want to continue to give back to my community and work with at-risk kids. I want to stay involved in athletics in some way."
We've compiled a list of great devices that you didn't realize you needed! Michael Jordan wore the numbers 23, 45, and 12. His favorite number was 45, but when he began college, his brother Larry was also wearing a 45, so he chose to cut this number in half and wear the number 23.
Michael Jordan had three different jersey numbers during his NBA career: number 23 with both the Bulls and the Wizards, number 12, and number 45. Jordan wore the number 45 jersey during his brief career as a minor league baseball player with the Birmingham Barons.
In honor of great basketball player Michael Jordan's jersey number, the age of 23 is popularly referred to as one's "Jordan Year." The term is used because people assume that you are now old enough to drink alcohol or drive a car.
For example, if you're 23 years old this month, then you've had your Jordan Year recently passed. Before then, you didn't have much chance of getting in an accident or being arrested for drinking alcohol. Now that you can do these things, however, there's a good chance that you will during your next Jordan Year.
The year before your Jordan Year, you'll also be able to drink alcohol and drive. So keep that in mind when planning your next party.
If you're 24 years old this month, then you just entered your second Jordan Year. During your first Jordan Year, you couldn't buy alcohol legally, so now that you can, there's a good chance that you will soon. After all, many people believe that you should learn your lesson once you've been caught doing something wrong once, even if it's not during your Jordan Year.
Following Chicago's first three-peat, the Bulls lifted Jordan's No. 23 jersey to the rafters and constructed a monument in his honor outside the United Center (it now lives inside the atrium of the arena). The number has been retired throughout all or part of five seasons since then, with the exception of 2004 when it was not available because of a contract dispute with Reebok.
When it comes to selling jerseys, there are two things that count: popularity and profit. Since 1996, when the NBA instituted its "All-Star" game as an annual event, the league has awarded the right to produce All-Star merchandise to select brands. Each year, those companies give their approval by bidding for the rights; if their bid is accepted, they have six months to come up with merchandise for each team. If they fail to do so, the team's owner or management company has the opportunity to purchase such items after the conclusion of the season.
By 1998, the Bulls were selling out every home game and had a huge following around the world. With No. 23 retired, Reebok offered $3 million for the rights to produce Bulls merchandise. An agreement was reached between the parties and plans were made to launch a wide range of products featuring images of Jordan during his retirement season.