His Airness. The Great One. The greatest basketball player of all time.
All these names are synonymous with one man and one man only, Michael Jordan.
Following the success Jordan had with the Bulls, he has become the symbol of what the NBA is today. He is unanimously regarded as the best player of all time, and it will stay like that perhaps forever.
Because of these seven reasons, Michael Jordan will never be surpassed.
You can tell a lot about a person by his or her style. So, when someone is wearing a pair of Jordans, one can only think one thing: greatness.
Jordan's brand has become the symbol of being the best, and why would it not?
The shoes are still the most popular amongst basketball players and every day fans. Even though there are shoes that current stars like LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Derrick Rose wear, people still want to wear the shoe with the Jumpman logo.
When a release of a retro pair of Jordans come out, there are lines like those for an iPhone. They sell out quickly, and it is because of what those shoes represented.
Michael Jordan is considered the best, just as his shoes are to this very day.
The citizens of Chicago were not the only fans of Michael Jordan.
Jordan became a worldwide icon. His performance on the court, and the way he carried himself off the court, made the NBA a global market.
He became a brand, and that brand grew the NBA.
If it were not for Jordan, players like Kobe Bryant and LeBron James may not carry the popularity they do today outside the U.S.
The MLB and the NFL have never made as much of an impact on the world as the NBA. If it was not for Jordan, they may all be on the same playing level.
NBA fans may be worldwide now, but no one could ever repeat expanding the audience like Jordan did.
Michael Jordan shocked and disheartened the basketball community when he retired early after three NBA championships and turned to baseball.
For an athlete to take off an entire season from the NBA to play baseball, one would wonder how they would translate when coming back to the sport.
When Jordan came back from his baseball stint, it seemed like he didn't miss a day.
With Jordan's return, the Bulls went on to win another NBA championship during his first full season back—their fourth in seven years. Jordan picked things up where he left them, as if nothing happened.
This just showed how great Jordan was. If another athlete missed an entire season to play another sport, one would assume that they would struggle. Jordan made disbelievers into believers.
Many people still wonder to this day that if Jordan didn't take that baseball stint, perhaps the Bulls would have won more than six championships.
The song says it all. We all just want to be like Michael Jordan when we play basketball.
Jordan's success became commercial success, where he was the face of Nike, Gatorade and McDonald's, just to name a few.
Jordan still has that impact on the industry and it has even translated to video games.
NBA 2K11 sold so well with Jordan on the cover, it is doing it again. Yes, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird are available, too, but hey, they just want be like Mike.
Jordan became synonymous with being the best, and the song said it all.
The best way to be like Mike, though, is to...
The only true way to be like Mike is to wear the legendary No. 23.
If you are watching any sport and you see the No. 23, you know that is likely to be the team's best player.
The number has become known for greatness. The best player on your local high school basketball team probably wears 23. LeBron James wore 23 (until he recently changed it to six). Kobe wears 24, trying to one-up 23.
Nothing, though, means more than 23.
Not only is the number retired with the Bulls, but it also is retired with the Miami Heat. Not many players have their number retired by a team they didn't even play for.
Putting on the 23 is putting yourself in position to fulfill big shoes. If you are going to wear greatness, you better be ready to display it.
Arguably the player most compared player to Jordan is Los Angeles Lakers' shooting guard Kobe Bryant.
I mean, why not? They both won championships under the same coach and both were regarded as the deadliest player in the league when they were at their prime.
Bryant did succeed on court. He won five championships, three with Shaquille O'Neal and two alone, but he still just did not reach Jordan. Those championships came in a three-peat and a two-peat, but still they were not enough. Even if Bryant did three-peat again, it still would not have been enough.
Bryant has only won one MVP award, where Jordan won five, proving how much better Jordan really was. Sure, there is a lot of competition now for who the best player in the league is, but Jordan won that award with the likes of Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Reggie Miller and Karl Malone.
It is not like the talent was rubbish.
I think LeBron James is gifted, but at this point in time Bryant is the closest to having reached the Jordan potential, but in the end most agree that Bryant just really didn't even come near to what Jordan was.
It begs the question of whether anyone can reach this level, as there are just so many other aspects than just playing ability.
Perhaps the thing that shows just how great Jordan was was a team effort.
During the 1995-96 season, the Chicago Bulls lost 10 games.
Think about that. Out of 82 games, to only lose 10.
This was obviously a team effort, but Jordan was at the forefront, and without his play the Bulls would not have achieved this.
The Bulls proved their regular-season record by capturing their fourth title, a first in the second three-peat.
Jordan averaged 30.5 points per game to propel the Bulls into perhaps one of the most unbreakable records in the history of the NBA. The only one that truly stands in its way is Wilt Chamberlin's 100-point game.
The record just symbolizes how great Jordan was and how great he made the Chicago Bulls and the relevance of the NBA.
Enjoy this article? Check out these other Bulls stories: