Many experts say he is the greatest basketball player of all time, while all would surely agree that he is the most iconic.
Michael Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s and in the process established himself as a genuine global superstar.
On the Hall of Famer's 50th birthday, we take a look back on one of the most illustrious careers in the history of sport.
1963: Born on February 17 in Brooklyn, New York.
1981: Selected to McDonald's All-American Game after stellar senior season for Emsley A Laney High School in North Carlolina. He scores 30 points in the game but is not given the MVP award.
Enrolls at the University of North Carolina on a basketball scholarship. Is named ACC Freshman of the Year as the Tar Heels win the NCAA National Championship, with Jordan sinking the crucial shot.
1984 - April: Wins both the Naismith and John R Wooden award as the best college player of the year.
June: Leaves North Carolina one year early to declare for the NBA Draft, where the Bulls select him with the third overall pick after Hakeem Olajuwon and Sam Bowie.
August: Is part of the USA's gold-medal winning basketball team at the Los Angeles Olympics.
1985: Finishes rookie season with 28.2 points per game. Is selected to the NBA All-Star game and wins the Rookie of the Year prize.
1986: Misses most of the season with a foot injury but returns for the play-offs, where he sets the single-game post-season record of 63 points in losing effort against the Boston Celtics.
1987: Leads the NBA in scoring with 37.1ppg. Becomes only the second player in history to score 3,000 points in a season. Bulls lose in the play-offs to the Celtics again.
1988 - February: Wins Slam Dunk Contest for second year in a row, besting Dominique Wilkins with a famous leap from the free-throw line.
May: Leads the league in scoring and wins first MVP award and only Defensive Player of the Year award. The Bulls fall in the play-offs again, this time to the Detroit Pistons.
1989: Wins scoring title for third straight year. Hits 'The Shot' against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the play-offs but Chicago are beaten in the Eastern Conference finals by the Pistons, whose double- and triple-team defence on him were known as 'Jordan Rules'.
1990: New head coach Phil Jackson leads the Bulls to the Eastern Conference finals again, but they lose to the Pistons for a third straight year. Jordan wins NBA scoring title again.
1991: Wins second regular season MVP award and leads the lead in scoring for fifth straight season. Bulls finally beat the Pistons to win the Eastern Conference Finals and then beat Lakers to win NBA crown. Jordan wins NBA Finals MVP award.
1992 - June: Once again Jordan leads the league in scoring, wins the regular season MVP award and the NBA Finals MVP award. Scores a record 35 points in the first half of Game 1 of the NBA Finals as the Bulls win the title again.
August: Is part of the USA's gold-medal winning 'Dream Team' at the Barcelona Olympics.
1993 - June: Wins NBA Finals MVP award for third straight year and scoring title for a seventh year in a row. Details of his gambling activities emerge during the play-off run but he still leads the Bulls to a third straight championship.
October: Shocks the sporting world by announcing his retirement from basketball.
1994: Spends the year playing minor league baseball, attracting sell-out crowds wherever he travels with the Birmingham Barons.
1995: Announces his return to the NBA with the Bulls and turns the team's season around. Chicago lose in the play-offs to the Orlando Magic.
1996: Leads the Bulls to the best regular-season in NBA history at 72-10. Bulls go on to take the NBA title as Jordan wins the Finals MVP award for a record fourth time. Jordan also wins the regular-season MVP award for a fourth time. Leads the league in scoring for a record eighth time.
1997: Wins the NBA Finals MVP award and scoring title again. The Bulls face the Utah Jazz in the Finals, with Jordan making a buzzer-beater in Game 1 and playing through flu symptoms in Game 5.
1998: Wins regular-season MVP award for the fifth and final time and scoring title for the 10th and final time. Bulls face the Jazz again in the NBA Finals, with Jordan making a famous shot to clinch a second 'three-peat' for the Bulls.
1999: With the NBA in the middle of a lockout, Jordan announces his retirement for a second time.
2000: Becomes part-owner and president of basketball operations at the Washington Wizards.
2001: Announces his return as a player for the Wizards.
2002: Leads the team in scoring but Washington fail to make the play-offs.
2003 - April: Retires for the third and final time and is given a standing ovation in his last game, against the 76ers in Philadelphia. Washington again fail to make the play-offs.
May: Is not allowed to return to his position as president of basketball operations with the Wizards, effectively being fired by the team.
2009: Is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, making a controversial acceptance speech.
2010: Becomes owner of the NBA's Charlotte Bobcats, located in his native state of North Carolina.