Michael Jordan was once among the 3 most popular in the world and almost 20 years after his retirement, the man is still a big name.
There are a handful of people on the planet whose legacy will live on as long as there is life. When you think of the athletes in this conversation line, the two names that come to mind for most people would be Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.
Both North American legends have done so much for their sport that no individual could do for theirs. While there is no doubt that Ali revolutionized boxing like never before, there is no denying that it was already a popular sport around the world.
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But the sport of basketball would forever be indebted to “His Airness” for its tremendous contribution to the game’s increased fame outside the United States since its debut in 1984.
Beginning in 1984, Jordan became the center of many people’s sporting lives, and by the time the 90s approached, he was one of the most famous people on the planet.
Michael Jordan was among the 3 most popular personalities on the planet alongside Princess Di and the Pope.
Between 1991 and 1998, Jordan, Phil Jackson and the Bulls won an astonishing 6 NBA titles in 8 years, something that hasn’t happened in the modern era since Bill Russell’s Celtics did it in the 60s .
But thanks to better broadcasting thanks to advancements in technology, Jordan captured the world’s attention every time he snagged for the Bulls in Chicago.
The 1992 Olympics also played a major role in lifting the popularity of basketball to new heights. With Jordan at the top of the list, Team USA that year featured the biggest names in basketball and to this day remains one of the greatest teams in the history of any sport.
The 1992 USA team was different… 8 games. 8 wins. 0 waiting times. Average winning margin: 43.8 points 👀
—ClutchPointsNBA (@ClutchPointsNBA) August 8, 2021
In 1996, in preparation for the launch of “Space Jam”, Warner Brothers commissioned research to determine Jordan’s reach of fame. According to an ESPN articlethe study found that the three most famous people on the planet at the time were Princess Diana, Jordan and the Pope.
—Abdul Qadir Muhammad (@AbdulQMuhammad) November 15, 2017
And to this day, the name is synonymous with the sport even after fierce challenges from Kobe Bryant and LeBron James over the years.
17 years after his retirement, MJ has proven he is still the undisputed king of the basketball world
After the 1997-98 season, which we are fortunate to witness through ‘The Last Dance’, Phil Jackson knew what an impact Mike had in about 14 years. “I know I will be forgotten as soon as this is over. We all will. Except for Michael. Michael will be remembered forever.
The legendary Bulls coach was on hand. When the documentary was released in April 2020, ESPN’s prime-time ratings were up from the previous year, at a time when there were almost no live sporting events. due to the pandemic.
Seventeen years after Jordan played his last game on the basketball court, the 6x champion drew 5.6 million viewers per episode over the 5 weeks of the documentary and drew nearly 13 million viewers per episode to Requirement. Netflix has garnered around 24 million views outside the United States for the same.
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If that wasn’t enough, his game-worn shoes sell for millions and his game heels sell for hundreds of thousands, are proof that Jordan is still the household name in basketball and one of the best athletes to ever set foot on a field.