Michael Jordan (USA)
Hall of Fame
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2015 Class of FIBA Hall of Fame: Michael Jordan

MIES (2015 FIBA Hall of Fame) - On Friday 17 July, FIBA announced the 2015 Class of Inductees of the FIBA Hall of Fame. In the lead-up to the Induction Ceremony taking place on 19 September in Lille, France, we profile the inductees.

Perseverance, dedication, commitment, focus and talent. Michael Jordan had each in abundance.

From his days learning the game under the late Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina (UNC) to his legendary run with the Chicago Bulls, Jordan had no equals.

It was like that, too, when he competed in international basketball.

'His Airness' had starring roles with the gold-medal winning United States Olympic squads in 1984 and 1992.

While he made some headlines at his first Summer Games in Los Angeles - not long after announcing his decision to forego his senior year at UNC at the behest of Smith and turn professional - Jordan, coming off his second NBA Championship triumph with the Bulls, helped spark a new interest and love for basketball around the world as a member of the Dream Team at the 1992 Games in Barcelona.

Twenty-three years on and Jordan still has fond memories of that USA side.

"My best pick-up game I've ever played was the games and the practices with the [1992] Dream Team," he said in August.

Jordan's time in the NBA is unforgettable.

He played in the big games and was so good that other superstars were in awe.

Larry Bird was among them.

After missing the majority of his second season while recovering from a broken bone in his foot, Jordan returned in time to lead the Bulls into the play-offs and in Game 2 of their opening-round series with the Boston Celtics at the Boston Garden, he erupted for a play-off record 63 points.

Though Chicago lost that game after two overtimes, 135-131, Jordan had made a huge impression.

"I didn't think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done to us," Celtics great Bird said at the time.

"He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. 

"I think it's just God disguised as Michael Jordan."

Many of the sport's legends have hailed Jordan as the best player in NBA history.

That includes Los Angeles Lakers icon Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, who said in a tweet in 2011 that "Michael is the greatest ever - point blank." 

The list of individual accolades for Jordan is endless.

In 1984, he was named as the top player in American college basketball.

In 1988, Jordan was the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year and took home the first of five regular season MVP awards. Nine times in his career, he was NBA All-Defensive First Team.

He was the NBA Finals MVP a total of six times.

Ten times, Jordan made All-NBA First Team.

What was it that made him so special for all those years on the hardwood? Failure made him stronger.

When he was knocked to the canvas, Jordan got back up and threw harder punches.

When championships eluded him, he worked harder, obsessed with being the best.

"I've failed over, and over and over again in my life," he once said, "and that is why I succeed."

Jordan was amazing as an individual player, yet he also understood that in basketball, the most important ingredient to success was teamwork.

"Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships," he said.

Jordan is no longer the man who dazzles on the court.

He nevertheless remains active in basketball.

Since 17 March 2010, he has been the owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

When the NBA Board of Governors unanimously approved his purchase of the team, he became the first former player ever to become the majority owner of an NBA team.

It's his days as a basketball player that everyone will remember Jordan for.

His go-ahead jump shot with 16 seconds left lifted North Carolina past Georgetown in the 1982 NCAA title game and forever endeared him to Tar Heel fans, while his unworldly dunks, incredible shot-making and championship drive with the Bulls captivated NBA fans all over.

Phil Jackson, the coach of Jordan's title-winning sides in Chicago, was asked about Jordan in an interview several years ago with Esquire Magazine.

"The thing that strikes you about a person of that ilk is the amazing amount of energy and personal pride that they take in their performance," he said. 

"They have a sense of confidence that goes beyond a sense of failure - somehow, the fear of failure can't inhibit their ability to perform. 

"Michael befits that as great as any athlete I've ever seen. 

"He met every level of expectation."

Michael Jordan informed FIBA he deeply regrets not being able to attend the 2015 FIBA Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and having to miss out on the opportunity to join his fellow inductees because of previous commitments.