Michael “Air” Jordan, considered by many to be the greatest basketball player of all time, turns 53 on Feb. 17. Jordan’s claim to fame came in the NBA, playing more than 10 years with the Chicago Bulls and becoming a six-time NBA champion, six-time NBA Finals MVP, 14-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA All-Star Game MVP, among countless other accolades.
1) How many Olympic Games did Michael Jordan participate in?
2) Who coached Michael Jordan in his two Olympic appearances?
3) How many points per game did Jordan average in his Olympic career?
4) How many games did Jordan lose during his Olympic career?
5) What pair of Air Jordans did Michael Jordan wear at the Barcelona 1992 Olympics?
6) What number did Jordan wear in the Olympics?
7) What is the highest number of points Jordan scored in a single Olympic games?
8) How many double-doubles did Jordan have in his Olympic career?
9) Did Jordan score more points during the Los Angeles 1984 or Barcelona 1992 Games?
1. 2 – As a college junior at the University of North Carolina, Jordan made his Olympic debut at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, where he led Team USA to the gold medal.
The 1988 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team was made of of the country’s top college players, so Jordan wouldn’t reappear at the Olympics until 1992, when the fabled “Dream Team” came together for the Barcelona Games. The ‘92 team was the first time the U.S. used professional athletes for basketball in the Olympics. To this day, the 1992 team is considered one of the best basketball teams ever assembled. It beat its opponents by an average of 44 points per game in Barcelona en route to the gold medal.
2. Knight and Daly – Jordan is most closely associated with former Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson, but Jackson didn’t coach Jordan in the Olympics. That honor went to two other legendary coaches: former Indiana University head coach Bob Knight (1984) and former Detroit Pistons coach Chuck Daly (1992).
3. 16 – In the NBA, Jordan was known for putting up gaudy scoring numbers. In the Olympics, however, Jordan’s scoring dipped, perhaps due to being surround by so many talented teammates. In his Olympic career, Jordan averaged 16 PPG over 16 total games. In ’84 he averaged 17.1 points per game. In ’92, he averaged 14.9.
4. 0 – The 1984 and 1992 teams went 16-0 (each was 8-0) during his Olympic run.
5. Air Jordan 7 – In Barcelona, Jordan wore the 7, which was designed by Tinker Hatfield. The sneaker did away with the standard air unit in the heel. It was available in five different colors, including an Olympic-inspired version.
6. 9 – Jordan is best known for No. 23, the number he wore for the majority of his career with the Bulls. But in both of his Olympic appearances, Jordan rocked No. 9. While there is no known reason for Jordan wearing No. 9, Olympic jerseys are only numbered 4-15.
7. 24 – Jordan’s highest points total came at the ‘84 Games in group play against Spain. He scored 24 points in Team USA’s rout of Spain, 101-68.
8. 1 – To the surprise of many, Jordan only put together one double-double performance during his Olympic career. It came in ’92 in group play against Germany. Jordan had 15 points and 12 assists, as Team USA beat the Germans 111-68.
9. Los Angeles 1984 – Jordan scored more points in ’84 than he did in ’92. In ’84, Jordan put a total of 137 points on the board, compared to 119 in ’92.