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Michael Jordan celebrates his 51st birthday

michael_jordanHappy 51st birthday Michael Jeffrey Jordan! Jordan, former high-flying Chicago Bulls shooting guard known as Air Jordan, considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all-time; six-time NBA champion, six-time NBA Finals MVP, and five-time NBA MVP. Though he didn’t make the varsity squad as a sophomore at Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, N.C., because he was only 5-foot-11, he is “By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time” as noted in his biography on the National Basketball Association website.

He has been a major spokesman for such brands as Nike, Coca-Cola, Chevrolet, Gatorade, McDonald’s, Ball Park Franks, Rayovac, Wheaties, Hanes, and MCI. Leading Gatorade to launch a marketing campaign with the slogan “Like Mike”. In June 2010, Jordan was ranked by Forbes magazine as the 20th most powerful celebrity in the world with $55 million earned between June 2009 and June 2010. According to the Forbes article, Jordan Brand generates $1 billion in sales for Nike.

His father was tragically murdered in July 1993 causing Jordan to enter his first retirement from basketball in October. He has a longstanding friendship with Charles Barkley. The Bulls defeated Barkley and the Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA finals. Check out Jordan’s best dunks in the gallery. –Joi Pearson