50-at-50: A Chronology Of The 50 Greatest Jordan Moments

At the Michael Jordan statue outside the United Center

How do you rank Michael Jordan’s career achievement list?

The answer: It’s nearly impossible.

The G.O.A.T., as he’s so often referred to (by those who never saw Wilt Chamberlain play) has done so much for the game that ranking his performances simply doesn’t do justice to his illustrious career.

That’s why we here at SheridanHoops decided to compile the ultimate list of Jordan moments: 50 of His Airness’ most memorable moments in honor of his 50th birthday, which just so happens to fall on All-Star Sunday, to put his career into perspective.

The list is in (mostly) chronological order.

If you like basketball, then it’s (somewhat) impossible for you to not appreciate the story of Michael Jeffery Jordan, the most renowned athlete in the world in the 1990s, and whose staying power has lived on through Jordan Brand sneakers and his ownership of the Charlotte Bobcats.

This is a 50-at-50 chronology of Jordan’s career, and we encourage you to share it with others and comment below. Post your links and share your favorite MJ moments and highlights that we may have not included. Because as we know, there are many.

From Ben Baroff and me to the basketball community, we hope you enjoy this all-encompassing tribute as the game’s best enjoys his Golden Jubilee later this week during All-Star Weekend.

50. Everyone knows this one. It’s one of the most motivational stories in the history of basketball, the origin of Jordan’s motivation, which has also helped countless kids overcome the obstacles in their young lives.

Jordan was cut from his high school varsity basketball team as a sophomore, came back the next year with a chip on his shoulder and shredded the competition for years to come.

For those looking to read more about Jordan being cut, here’s an excerpt from Thomas Lake of SI from an excellently written story, “Did This Man Really Cut Michael Jordan?

In those days it was rare for sophomores to make varsity. Herring made one exception in 1978, one designed to remedy his team’s height disadvantage. This is part of the reason Mike Jordan went home and cried in his room after reading the two lists. It wasn’t just that his name was missing from the varsity roster. It was also that as he scanned the list he saw the name of another sophomore, one of his close friends, the 6’7″ Leroy Smith.

Over the next three decades Jordan would become a world-class collector of emotional wounds, a champion grudge-holder, a magician at converting real and imagined insults into the rocket fuel that made him fly. If he had truly been cut that year, as he would claim again and again, he wouldn’t have had such an immediate chance for revenge. But in fact his name was on the second list, the jayvee roster, with the names of many of his fellow sophomores. Jordan quickly became a jayvee superstar.

Is that not fun to read?

MJ goes up for a jump ball with Len Bias at Five-Star

MJ at Five-Star

49. As a prep player Jordan was relatively unknown, which made his rise to stardom that much more amazing to the casual observer. During the summer between his junior and senior seasons, thanks to then-UNC assistant Roy Williams, MJ attended Five-Star Basketball Camp in the Catskills.

Jordan had to bus tables just to be allowed at the camp.

Tom Konchalski, one of the best-known recruiting experts filled in the world, filled in for a coach who had the first pick in the camp’s draft that week. Instead of choosing highly regarded players like Greg Dreiling or Aubrey Sherrod, he took MJ.

Here’s a short excerpt from a must-read piece by Kevin Armstrong of Sports Illustrated:

Malone’s mood changed. He had known Konchalski as a “ubiquitous basketball maven” and grown to respect his word. The previous two years, though, the bird dog recommended players who never showed up. “Who the f— is Jordan?” Malone asked. By week’s end, Jordan shared Most Outstanding Player honors and was named all-star game MVP. “No one cursed out Rod Thorn for drafting him,” Konchalski says.


  1. says

    When i heard NBA Live was coming back I was first of all happy. Live was the sreies that got me into basketball with two years straight of no Live it was disappointing. Now that there back first thing is first you need to stay true to the game not just a game where you built the engine, and add stuff to it no! You have to stay true what I’ve always wanted in a game as some fellow people who have commented have said. Haven Espn on ABC sunday’s or TNT thurday’s etc. Make the graphics better on Live 10. Maybe have a engine that what ever the players stamina is that’s how much he’s sweating. So if a guy has low stamina then he will be sweating a little bit every time he runs up and down the court while a guy with high stamina won’t start sweating maybe until his third time up and down the court. Add the all star weekend but include the skills challenge which would be so fun. Like 2k the ability to create your own shoes. Last but not least people with Kinect or web cam should be able to be themselves in a games.

  2. says

    It’s really so cray when you break down his career the way that you did. Would have liked to see more memorable fights and “trash-talking” moments. MJ was really such a jerk! #MJ #GOAT #STILL #A #JERK #WINNER


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