LeBron James

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Posted by sonny 03/15/2009 @ 02:07

Tags : lebron james, basketball players, basketball, sports

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Hey, Brian: Brian Windhorst answers your Cleveland Cavaliers questions - The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com
by Brian Windhorst/Plain Dealer Reporter Joshua Gunter/The Plain DealerWhile the best of friends, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade may well experience markedly different summers in how their teams attempt to convince them to avoid the free agent summer of...
LeBron James' puppet commercial a slam dunk - Boston Herald
By Patrick McManamon / Akron Beacon Journal LeBron James' new Nike commercial debuted this past week, and word-of-mouth reviews give it high praise. James gave an impish grin at the thought of watching himself as a puppet....
LeBron scores 27 as Cavs win 84-74, sweep Hawks - The Associated Press
ATLANTA (AP) — LeBron James didn't come close to matching his performance in Game 3. He did enough to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to another playoff sweep — and get in a few jabs at the Atlanta fans. James scored 27 points and had the last word with a...
Seventh games evoke special memories in all sports - Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Waiting for them in the conference finals are LeBron James and the Cavaliers and Carmelo Anthony and the Nuggets. Wouldn't it be nice to see both the Lakers and Celtics go home, and give us a chance at a new champion? If it happens, only Houston from...
The Best In The Game? - ESPN
Let's keep it simple obviously it comes down to the month long highlight reel Kobe Bryant and of course The King, Lebron James. How could you say any different, it's in the statistics. The only concern i have with Kobe is, has he committed to team ball...
lebron James: An Unstoppable Force - Bleacher Report
Legend Rick Barry was quoted in his observation of lebron: Zinger from the Bay: In anticipation of James' annual stop in the Bay Area on Friday, Golden State Warriors great Rick Barry is greeting the Cavs' star with a zinger....
how do u Compare LebronJames(23) and KobeBryant(24) to Michael ... - NBA.com
I CAN'T FIND IT TO LEBRON'S PERFORMANCE, bcoz lebron drives to the basket and dunks with strength and power as if he likes to knock down his defender. There is no chance for Lebron to be the next Jordan. Lebron James uses his power and strength and...
LeBron James Is Vague About NBA Future After Winning First MVP - Bloomberg
By Mason Levinson May 5 (Bloomberg) -- With National Basketball Association teams jostling their rosters to possibly sign LeBron James next year, the newly named league Most Valuable Player's free-agency plans remain unclear....
Forget The Cleveland Cavaliers, The Orlando Magic Will Make The Finals - Bleacher Report
Throughout the 08'-09' NBA season, the Orlando Magic were secretly hiding behind the publicity and hype of LeBron James and his Cavaliers, and The Big Three and their Boston Celtics. Both teams were expected to finish in first and second place during...
Gems can be found in 2nd round - Detroit Free Press
The draft tends to focus on lottery picks that can yield franchise players such as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. But the second round is ripe for talent that comes at a lower cost. Players fall to the second round because of perceived knocks in their...

LeBron James

Lebron james 2008z.jpg

LeBron Raymone James (born December 30, 1984 in Akron, Ohio) is an American professional basketball player for the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA. A three-time Mr. Ohio in high school, "King James," was highly promoted in the national media as a future NBA superstar while still a sophomore at St. Vincent - St. Mary's. At just 18, he was selected with the number one pick in the 2003 NBA draft by the Cavaliers and signed a US$90 million shoe contract with Nike before his professional debut. Listed as a small forward but often classified as a point forward due to his ability to run the offense like a point guard, James has set numerous youngest player records since joining the League. He was named the NBA Rookie of the Year in 2003-2004, and has been both All-NBA and an All-Star every season since 2005.

The focal point of the Cleveland offense, James has led the team to consecutive playoff appearances in 2006, 2007, and 2008; in 2007, the Cavaliers advanced to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1992 and the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history. Runner-up in the 2006 NBA Most Valuable Player Award balloting, James is also a member of the United States men's national basketball team, winning the bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and a gold at the 2008 Olympics.

James attended St. Vincent - St. Mary High School in Akron, Ohio, where he became a starter during his freshman year for the Fighting Irish. He averaged 21 points and 6.2 rebounds, and led the team to a 23–1 record en route to the Division III state title. Keith Dambrot, now head coach at the University of Akron, was the head coach at St. Vincent - St. Mary. Coach Dambrot started working with James doing $1 clinics at a local recreation center. In his sophomore year, James averaged 25.2 points, 7.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 3.8 steals. He led the team to a 26–1 record and a Division III state title for the second straight season. He was the first sophomore to be named Ohio's "Mr. Basketball" and also became the first sophomore player ever selected to the USA Today All-USA First Team.

In James' junior year his stats improved again. He averaged 29.0 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 3.3 steals and was again named Mr. Basketball of Ohio. He also earned a spot on the All-USA First Team, and was named the 2001–2002 boys' basketball Gatorade National Player of the Year. It was at this time that his nickname "King James" would become a household staple in Ohio. James appeared in SLAM Magazine, which began his nationwide exposure. However, the St. Vincent - St. Mary basketball team did not defend its state title when increased enrollment forced the team to move up to the more challenging Division II (Ohio high school basketball has four divisions based on annual enrollment figures) and lost to Roger Bacon High School (Cincinnati). James attempted to declare for the NBA Draft after the season ended, petitioning for an adjustment to the NBA's draft eligibility rules which at the time required prospective players to have at least completed high school. The petition was unsuccessful, but it ensured him an unprecedented level of nation-wide attention as he entered his senior year. By then, James had already appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated and ESPN The Magazine. His popularity forced his team to move their practices from the school gym to the nearby James A. Rhodes Arena at the University of Akron. NBA stars such as Shaquille O'Neal attended the games, and a few of James' high school games were even televised nationally on ESPN2 and regionally on pay-per-view.

Gloria James created a firestorm of controversy when a bank took her son's future earning power into consideration, resulting in an approval of a loan used to buy an $80,000 Hummer H2 for her son's 18th birthday. The event prompted an investigation by the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). Under the OHSAA guidelines, no amateur may accept any gift valued over $100 as a reward for athletic performance. When James later accepted two throwback jerseys of Wes Unseld and Gale Sayers worth $845 from NEXT, an urban clothing store in Shaker Square, in exchange for his posing for pictures to be displayed on the store's walls, OHSAA stripped him of his eligibility. James appealed and a judge blocked the ruling, reducing the penalty to a two-game suspension and allowing him to play the remainder of the season. However, James's team was forced to forfeit one of their wins as a result. That forfeit loss was the team's only official loss that season.

Despite the distractions, the Irish won a third state title, with James averaging 31.6 points, 9.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 3.4 steals on the season. James was named to the All-USA First Team for an unprecedented third time, and was selected as Mr. Basketball of Ohio. He earned MVP honors at the McDonald's All-American Game, the EA Sports Roundball Classic, and the Jordan Capital Classic. Although it was a foregone conclusion, by participating in more than two high school all-star events, James officially lost his NCAA eligibility. James finished his high school career with 2,657 points, 892 rebounds and 523 assists.

James was selected by the Cleveland Cavaliers with the first overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. Facing the Sacramento Kings in his first NBA game, James recorded 25 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 4 steals and shot 60% from the floor. After the game during the press conference, James was asked who he wanted to be like the most and his answer was Jason Kidd. James had admired Kidd since he took the floor in 1994 and dedicated his first triple double to him. James praised Kidd by saying he was the best point guard alive today, and his passing abilities were second to none. After recording a season-high 41 points against the New Jersey Nets, James became the youngest player in league history to score at least 40 points in a game. He averaged 20.9 points, 5.9 assists, and 5.5 rebounds per game for the season, and was named 2003-04 NBA Rookie of the Year; becoming the first Cavalier and youngest NBA player to ever receive the award. He joined Oscar Robertson and Michael Jordan as the only three players in NBA history to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists per game in their rookie season. The Cavaliers improved by 18 wins and concluded the regular season with a 35–47 record, but failed to make the playoffs.

In the 2004–05 season, James was selected to his first NBA All-Star Game and recorded 13 points, 6 assists, and 8 rebounds, as the Eastern All-Stars defeated the Western All-Stars 125–115. During the season, James became the youngest player in league history to record a triple-double, score 50 points in a game, and make the All-NBA Team. He averaged 27.2 points, 7.2 assists, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.2 steals per game. However, the Cavaliers failed to reach the playoffs again and finished with a 42–40 regular season record.

In the 2005–06 season, James was elected to his second straight All-Star Game appearance and led the Eastern All-Stars to a 122–120 victory, with 29 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 assists. He became the youngest All-Star MVP at 21 years, 51 days. He was named NBA Player of the Week for an unprecedented three consecutive weeks and concluded the season with five honors. He scored 35 or more points in nine consecutive games and joined Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant as the only players since 1970 to accomplish the feat. For the season, James averaged 31.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game, and became the youngest player in NBA history to average at least 30 points. He also became the fourth player in NBA history to average more than 30 points, 7 rebounds and 6 assists in a single season. The Cavaliers made the playoffs for the first time since 1998, and improved from a record of 17–65 in 2002–03 to 50–32 in 2005–06.

Following the regular season, James was named as one of the top candidates for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Although he finished second to Steve Nash of the Phoenix Suns in MVP voting, he was awarded co-MVP honors with Nash by The Sporting News; an award given by the publication that is based on the voting of thirty NBA general managers.

James made his playoff debut against the Washington Wizards in 2006. He recorded a triple-double with 32 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, as the Cavaliers defeated the Wizards 97–86. He joined Johnny McCarthy and Magic Johnson as the only players in NBA history to register a triple-double in their playoff debut. For the series, James averaged 35.7 points, as the Cavaliers defeated the Wizards in six games. In the process, however, James set a new record for turnovers in a 6-game series, with 34. In the second round of the playoffs, James and the Cavaliers lost in seven games to the defending Eastern Conference champion and divisional rival Detroit Pistons. James averaged 30.8 points, 8.1 rebounds, and 5.8 assists in the playoffs.

At the end of the season, James negotiated a three-year contract extension, with a player option for a fourth year. The contract is worth US$60 million and begins at the start of the 2007–08 season. Although it is for fewer years and less money than the maximum he could sign, it allows him the option of seeking a new contract worth more money as an unrestricted free agent following the 2010 season.

James was elected to his third consecutive All-Star game appearance during the 2006–07 season. He played a game high 32 minutes and finished with 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. In the regular season, the Cavaliers tied the previous season's record with 50 wins and clinched the second seed of the Eastern Conference on the last day of the season. For the season, James averaged 27.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 6.0 assists, and 1.6 steals per game. He joined Oscar Robertson as the only players in NBA history to average 27 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists for three consecutive years.

In the first round of the 2007 NBA Playoffs, James led the Cavaliers to their first sweep in franchise history over the Washington Wizards in four games. It was also the first time the franchise had won consecutive road playoff games. For the series, James averaged 27.8 points, 7.5 assists, and 8.5 rebounds. In the second round of the playoffs, James led the Cavaliers to a 4–2 series victory over the New Jersey Nets. He averaged 25.0 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 8.6 assists in the series, as the Cavaliers advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time in 15 years.

In the 2007 NBA Finals, James averaged 22.0 points, 7.0 rebounds and 6.8 assists, as the Cavaliers were swept by the San Antonio Spurs in four games. For the postseason, James averaged 25.1 points, 8.0 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game. He set a franchise record for double-doubles in a playoff season with eight and became the first Cavalier and the first non-guard in NBA history to have at least seven assists in eight consecutive playoff games.

In the 2007–08 season, James continued his dominant play, earning his fourth consecutive All-Star Game appearance and once again positioning himself as one of the frontrunners for the NBA Most Valuable Player award. He won the 2008 All-Star Game MVP with 27 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals as the Eastern Conference All-Stars defeated their Western counterparts, 134–128.

On February 19, 2008, James recorded his fifth triple double of the 2007–08 season by putting up 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists against the Houston Rockets. It was the 15th triple double of his career. He is the third youngest player to post 15 triple doubles, behind Oscar Robertson and Magic Johnson. He scored his 6th triple double of the season and 16th of his career against the Indiana Pacers the very next game. It was the second time during the season that he had a triple double in back-to-back games. The last player to accomplish that feat was Magic Johnson in 1988. James finished the season with seven triple doubles, breaking his personal and team records for triple doubles in a season and 17 career triple doubles broke his team record as well.

On February 27, 2008, against the Boston Celtics, James became the youngest person to score 10,000 points in his career at 23 years and 59 days, achieving the feat in style with a slam-dunk over 11-time All-Star Kevin Garnett, eclipsing the old mark by more than a year. James did so in 368 games, the ninth fastest in league history. On March 5, 2008, James scored 50 points with 8 rebounds and 10 assists on the New York Knicks, becoming only the third player since the ABA-NBA merger to record a 50-point 10-assist game. On March 21, 2008, James scored 29 points against the Toronto Raptors, taking him past Brad Daugherty's all-time Cavaliers scoring record of 10,389 points. Daugherty achieved this record over the course of 548 games, while James took only 380 games to score 10,414 points.

All told, James had propelled Cleveland to a 45–37 record, good for second place in the Central Division and the 4th seed in the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Prior to Cleveland's first-round series versus the Washington Wizards, Wizards guard Deshawn Stevenson said James was "overrated".. The Cavaliers would go on and win the series in 6 games (4–2), setting up a meeting with the Boston Celtics. The series was decided by the seventh game in Boston. James and opponent Paul Pierce each scored 40+ points, but the Cavaliers could not get a victory, thus losing the series (4–3).

On February 14, 2009 at the All Star Game in Phoenix, when asked by Cheryl Miller whether he will participate in the 2010 Slam Dunk Contest, he said that he's going to be part of it, following the path of mercurial superstars Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

LeBron James scored 55 points in a win over the Milwaukee Bucks on February 20, 2009.

After his rookie season, James played on the 2004 U.S. Olympic basketball team in Athens, where the United States won the bronze medal in men's basketball. It was the first time a U.S. Olympic team with NBA players failed to win the gold medal. Limited to 14.6 minutes per game, James averaged just 5.8 points and 2.6 rebounds per game. James also competed in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan and averaged 13.9 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 4.1 assists per game. However, the team finished with an 8–1 record, and was again awarded the bronze medal. James was named as one of three captains for the 2006 USA Men's World Championship team, alongside Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade. After failing to win the 2006 World Championships, the team competed at the 2007 Tournament of Americas Olympic qualifiers to qualify for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. During the gold medal game against Spain, James recorded 31 points, the most by an American in an Olympic qualifier, as the United States captured gold medal honors. He averaged 18.1 points (on tournament-high field-goal percentage (76%) and three-point percentage (62.2%), 4.7 assists, 3.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 22.2 minutes per game.

James, along with the rest of Team USA reclaimed the gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, defeating Spain 118 to 107. He finished the gold medal game with 14 points along with 6 rebounds and 3 assists as the USA went unbeaten, avenging their gold medal drought dating back to the 2000 Olympics.

James has established himself as a legitimate triple-double threat and has averaged 27.3 points, 6.6 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game for his career. As of the 2007–08 season, he has recorded 17 triple-doubles in his career, with 14 in the regular season and 3 in the postseason. On offense, James utilizes his quickness, size, and strength to get past defenders. James is known for his exceptional upper body strength. When penetrating to the basket, James exhibits superb body control, adjusting his shot in mid-air according to the defense, allowing him to absorb contact and finish at the basket. He is also proficient at finishing around the rim with both hands. In the 2005–06 season, he led the league in completed traditional three point plays. He is a solid rebounder who regularly ranks among the league leaders in rebounds for the small forward position. His overall skill sets and on-court play has led to many comparisons to NBA legends Oscar Robertson, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan.

Although James exhibits exceptional offensive ability, he has yet to be featured on the NBA All-Defensive Team and has struggled with his free throw shooting — he averaged a subpar .698 free throw percentage in the 2006-07 season.

James has two children with his high school sweetheart, Savannah Brinson. The first, LeBron James Jr., was born on October 6, 2004 and the second, Bryce Maximus James, on June 14, 2007.

During his sophomore year at St. Vincent - St. Mary High School, he was named first-team all-state as a wide receiver in football, and in his junior year, he led his team to the state semifinals.

James has endorsement contracts with Nike, Sprite, Glacéau, Bubblicious, and Upper Deck. With Nike, James has released six signature shoe styles, and four additional shoes (20-5-5, Soldier, Soldier 2, Ambassador). He has acted in a series of commercials called "The LeBrons".

James, with comedian Jimmy Kimmel, co-hosted the 2007 ESPY Awards. James himself was nominated for three ESPYs: Best Male Athlete, Best NBA Player (winner), and Best Record Breaking Performance. The Record Breaking performance was when he scored 48 points in Game 5 of the 2007 NBA Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons, including 29 of the last 30 points and all of the team's 25 points in overtime. In other comedic pursuits, James hosted the 33rd season premiere of Saturday Night Live. The show's creator Lorne Michaels praised him for his versatility.

In December 2007, James was ranked at #1 in the Forbes Top 20 Earners Under 25 with annual earnings of $27 million.

James has received criticism from Cleveland fans and critics for attending Cleveland Indians games against the New York Yankees dressed in a Yankees hat. James said, "As individuals I want every Indian to succeed. I love all these fans for coming out and supporting us. But team-wise I want the Yankees to win." Despite residing in Ohio for all of his childhood, James added that he grew up as a Yankees fan, a Dallas Cowboys fan for the NFL and a Chicago Bulls fan for the NBA. In January 2008, Nike released of the Air Zoom V LeBron shoe, which featured a Yankees-type motif and was made available only in New York City.

In March 2008, James became the first black man to appear on the cover of Vogue magazine, posing with Gisele Bündchen. He also was just the third man to appear on the cover of Vogue, after Richard Gere and George Clooney. Some considered the cover offensive, describing the positioning of James and Bündchen as a reference to classic imagery of the movie monster King Kong.

In June 2008, James donated $20,000 to a committee to elect Barack Obama.

In August 2008, a source close to James said he would strongly consider playing in Europe for Olympiacos if given a $50-million annual salary. However, James later said he may sign a contract extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the conclusion of the 2008-2009 NBA season.

On October 29, 2008, James gathered almost 20,000 people at the Quicken Loans Arena for a viewing of Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's 30-minute American Stories, American Solutions television advertisement. It was shown on a large screen above the stage, where Jay-Z later held a free concert.

James and Ice Cube have paired up to pitch a one-hour special to ABC based on James' life. James will also act as executive producer if the show is greenlighted.

Avant-garde guitarist Buckethead honoured James' 24th birthday with two new songs on his website called "LeBron" and "LeBron's Hammer" both later released on the 2009 album Slaughterhouse on the Prairie. One of his earlier songs, "King James" from Crime Slunk Scene (2006), is also dedicated to James.

Following the release of teaser ads on TV and the internet featuring James from behind making an announcement to a crowded room (supposedly full of media) that he will "follow his first love", a State Farm ad aired on Sunday January 18 in which James fantasizes about playing for the NFL's Cleveland Browns.

James appeared on the cover of the February 2009 edition of GQ magazine.

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Michael Jordan

Michael Jordan and Dean Smith at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill game honoring the 1957 and 1982 men's basketball teams.

Michael Jeffrey Jordan (born February 17, 1963) is a retired American professional basketball player and active businessman. His biography on the National Basketball Association (NBA) website states, "By acclamation, Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time." Jordan was one of the most effectively marketed athletes of his generation and was instrumental in popularizing the NBA around the world in the 1980s and 1990s.

After a stand-out career at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Jordan joined the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1984. He quickly emerged as one of the stars of the league, entertaining crowds with his prolific scoring. His leaping ability, illustrated by performing slam dunks from the free throw line at Slam Dunk Contests, earned him the nicknames "Air Jordan" and "His Airness." He also gained a reputation as one of the best defensive players in basketball. In 1991, he won his first NBA championship with the Bulls, and followed that achievement with titles in 1992 and 1993, securing a "three-peat." Though Jordan abruptly retired from basketball at the beginning of the 1993-94 NBA season to pursue a career in baseball, he rejoined the Bulls in 1995 and led them to three additional championships (1996, 1997, and 1998) as well as an NBA-record 72 regular-season wins in the 1995–96 season. Jordan retired for a second time in 1999, but he returned for two more NBA seasons in 2001 as a member of the Washington Wizards.

Jordan's individual accolades and accomplishments include five MVP awards, ten All-NBA First Team designations, nine All-Defensive First Team honors, fourteen NBA All-Star Game appearances and three All-Star MVP, ten scoring titles, three steals titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, and the 1988 NBA Defensive Player of the Year Award. He holds the NBA record for highest career regular season scoring average with 30.12 points per game, as well as averaging a record 33.4 points per game in the playoffs. In 1999, he was named the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century by ESPN, and was second to Babe Ruth on the Associated Press's list of athletes of the century. He is currently a finalist to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Jordan is also noted for his product endorsements. He fueled the success of Nike's Air Jordan sneakers, which were introduced in 1985 and remain popular today. Jordan also starred in the 1996 feature film Space Jam. He is currently a part-owner and Managing Member of Basketball Operations of the Charlotte Bobcats in North Carolina.

Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Deloris (née Peoples), who worked in banking, James R. Jordan, Sr., an equipment supervisor. His family moved to Wilmington, North Carolina, when he was a toddler. Jordan attended Emsley A. Laney High School in Wilmington, where he anchored his athletic career by playing baseball, football, and basketball. He tried out for the varsity basketball team during his sophomore year, but at 5'11" (1.80 m), he was deemed too short to play at that level and was cut from the team. The following summer, however, he grew four inches (10 cm) and trained rigorously. Upon earning a spot on the varsity roster, Jordan averaged about 20 points per game over his final two seasons of high school play. As a senior, he was selected to the McDonald's All-American Team after averaging a triple-double: 29.2 points, 11.6 rebounds, and 10.1 assists.

In 1981, Jordan earned a basketball scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in cultural geography. As a freshman in coach Dean Smith's team-oriented system, he was named ACC Freshman of the Year after he averaged 13.4 points per game (ppg) on 53.4% shooting (field goal percentage). He made the game-winning jump shot in the 1982 NCAA Championship game against Georgetown, which was led by future NBA rival Patrick Ewing. Jordan later described this shot as the major turning point in his basketball career. During his three seasons at North Carolina, he averaged 17.7 ppg on 54.0% shooting, and added 5.0 rebounds per game (rpg). After winning the Naismith and the Wooden College Player of the Year awards in 1984, Jordan left North Carolina one year before his scheduled graduation to enter the 1984 NBA Draft. The Chicago Bulls selected Jordan with the third overall pick, after Hakeem Olajuwon (Houston Rockets) and Sam Bowie (Portland Trail Blazers). Jordan returned to North Carolina to complete his degree in 1986.

During his first season in the NBA, Jordan averaged 28.2 ppg on 51.5% shooting. He quickly became a fan favorite even in opposing arenas, and appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the heading "A Star is Born" just over a month into his professional career. Jordan was also voted in as an All-Star starter by the fans in his rookie season. Controversy arose before the All-Star game when word surfaced that several veteran players, led by Isiah Thomas, were upset by the amount of attention Jordan was receiving. This led to a so called "freeze-out" on Jordan, where players refused to pass him the ball throughout the game. The controversy left Jordan relatively unaffected when he returned to regular season play, and he would go on to be voted Rookie of the Year. The Bulls finished the season 38–44, and lost in the first round of the playoffs in four games to the Milwaukee Bucks.

Jordan's second season was cut short by a broken foot which caused him to miss 64 games. Despite Jordan's injury and a 30–52 record, the Bulls made the playoffs. Jordan recovered in time to participate in the playoffs and performed well upon his return. Against a 1985–86 Boston Celtics team that is often considered one of the greatest in NBA history, Jordan set the still-unbroken record for points in a playoff game with 63 in Game 2. The Celtics, however, managed to sweep the series.

Jordan had recovered completely by the 1986–87 season, and had one of the most prolific scoring seasons in NBA history. He became the only player other than Wilt Chamberlain to score 3,000 points in a season, averaging a league high 37.1 points on 48.2% shooting. In addition, Jordan demonstrated his defensive prowess, as he became the first player in NBA history to record 200 steals and 100 blocks in a season. Despite Jordan's success, Magic Johnson won the league's Most Valuable Player Award. The Bulls reached 40 wins, and advanced to the playoffs for the third consecutive year. However, they were again swept by the Celtics.

Jordan led the league in scoring again in the 1987–88 season, averaging 35.0 ppg on 53.5% shooting and won his first league MVP award. He was also named the Defensive Player of the Year—a rarity for a guard—as he had averaged 1.6 blocks and a league high 3.16 steals per game. The Bulls finished 50–32, and made it out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in Jordan's career, as they defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers in five games. However, the Bulls then lost in five games to the more experienced Detroit Pistons, who were led by Isiah Thomas and a group of physical players known as the "Bad Boys".

In the 1988–89 season, Jordan again led the league in scoring, averaging 32.5 ppg on 53.8% shooting from the field, along with 8 rpg and 8 assists per game (apg). The Bulls finished with a 47–35 record, and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers and New York Knicks along the way. The Cavaliers series included a career highlight for Jordan when he hit a series winning shot over Craig Ehlo in the closing moments of the deciding fifth game of the series. However, the Pistons again defeated the Bulls, this time in six games, by utilizing their "Jordan Rules" method of guarding Jordan, which consisted of double and triple teaming him every time he touched the ball.

The Bulls entered the 1989–90 season as a team on the rise, with their core group of Jordan and young improving players like Scottie Pippen and Horace Grant, and under the guidance of new coach Phil Jackson. Jordan averaged a league leading 33.6 ppg on 52.6% shooting, to go with 6.9 rpg and 6.3 apg in leading the Bulls to a 55–27 record. They again advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals beating the Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers en route. However, despite pushing the series to seven games, the Bulls lost to the Pistons for the third consecutive season.

In the 1990–91 season, Jordan won his second MVP award after averaging 31.5 ppg on 53.9% shooting, 6.0 rpg, and 5.5 apg for the regular season. The Bulls finished in first place in their division for the first time in 16 years and set a franchise record with 61 wins in the regular season. With Scottie Pippen developing into an All-Star, the Bulls elevated their play. The Bulls defeated the New York Knicks and the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening two rounds of the playoffs. They advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals where their rival, the Detroit Pistons, awaited them. However, this time when the Pistons employed their "Jordan Rules" defense of doubling and triple teaming Jordan, he picked them apart with passing. Finally, the Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons in a surprising sweep. In an unusual ending to the fourth and final game, Isiah Thomas led his team off the court before the final minute had concluded. Most of the Pistons went directly to their locker room instead of shaking hands with the Bulls.

The Bulls compiled an outstanding 15-2 record during the playoffs, and advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in franchise history, where they beat the Los Angeles Lakers four games to one. Perhaps the best known moment of the series came in Game 2 when, attempting a dunk, Jordan avoided a potential Sam Perkins block by switching the ball from his right hand to his left in mid-air to lay the shot in. The play was the last in a sequence of 13 consecutive field goals made by Jordan. In his first Finals appearance, Jordan posted per game averages of 31.2 points on 56% shooting from the field, 11.4 assists, 6.6 rebounds, 2.8 steals and 1.4 blocks. Jordan won his first NBA Finals MVP award by a unanimous decision, and he cried while holding the NBA Finals trophy.

Jordan and the Bulls continued their dominance in the 1991–92 season, establishing a 67–15 record, topping their franchise record from 1990–91. Jordan won his second consecutive MVP award with a 30.1/6.4/6.1 season on 52% shooting. After winning a physical 7-game series over the burgeoning New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs and finishing off the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Conference Finals in 6 games, the Bulls met Clyde Drexler and the Portland Trail Blazers in the Finals. The media, hoping to recreate a Magic-Bird rivalry, highlighted the similarities between "Air" Jordan and Clyde "The Glide" during the pre-Finals hype. In the first game, Jordan scored a Finals-record 35 points in the first half, including a record-setting six three-point field goals. After the sixth three-pointer, he jogged down the court shrugging as he looked courtside. Marv Albert, who broadcast the game, later stated that it was as if Jordan was saying, "I can't believe I'm doing this." The Bulls went on to win Game 1, and defeat the Blazers in six games. Jordan was named Finals MVP for the second year in a row and finished the series averaging 35.8 ppg, 4.8 rpg, and 6.5 apg, while shooting 53% from the floor.

In 1992–93, despite a 32.6/6.7/5.5 campaign, Jordan's streak of consecutive MVP seasons ended as he lost the award to his friend Charles Barkley. Fittingly, Jordan and the Bulls met Barkley and his Phoenix Suns in the 1993 NBA Finals. The Bulls captured their third consecutive NBA championship on a game-winning shot by John Paxson and a last-second block by Horace Grant, but Jordan was once again Chicago's catalyst. He averaged a Finals-record 41.0 ppg during the six-game series, and became the first player in NBA history to win three straight Finals MVP awards. He scored more than 30 points in every game of the series, including 40 or more points in 4 consecutive games. With his third Finals triumph, Jordan capped off a seven-year run where he attained seven scoring titles and three championships, but there were signs that Jordan was tiring of his massive celebrity and all of the non-basketball hassles in his life.

On October 6, 1993, Jordan announced his retirement, citing a loss of desire to play the game. Jordan later stated that the murder of his father earlier in the year shaped his decision. James R. Jordan, Sr. was murdered on July 23, 1993, at a highway rest area in Lumberton, North Carolina, by two teenagers, Daniel Green and Larry Martin Demery. The assailants were traced from calls they made on James Jordan's cellular phone, caught, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison. Jordan was close to his father; as a child he had imitated his father's proclivity to stick out his tongue while absorbed in work. He later adopted it as his own signature, displaying it each time he drove to the basket. In 1996 he founded a Chicago area Boys & Girls Club and dedicated it to his father.

Those close to Jordan claimed that he had been considering retirement as early as the summer of 1992, and that the added exhaustion due to the Dream Team run in the 1992 Olympics solidified Jordan's feelings about the game and his ever-growing celebrity status. Jordan's announcement sent shock waves throughout the NBA and appeared on the front pages of newspapers around the world.

Jordan then further surprised the sports world by signing a minor league baseball contract with the Chicago White Sox. He reported to spring training and was assigned to the team's minor league system on March 31, 1994. Jordan has stated this decision was made to pursue the dream of his late father, who had always envisioned his son as a major league baseball player. The White Sox were another team owned by Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf, who continued to honor Jordan's basketball contract during the years he played baseball. He had a brief professional baseball career for the Birmingham Barons, a Chicago White Sox farm team, batting .202 with 3 HR, 51 RBI, 30 SB, and 11 errors. He also appeared for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the 1994 Arizona Fall League.

In the 1993–94 season, the Jordan-less Bulls notched a 55–27 record, and lost to the New York Knicks in the second round of the playoffs. But the 1994–95 version of the Bulls was a shell of the championship squad of just two years earlier. Struggling at mid-season to ensure a spot in the playoffs, Chicago needed a lift. The lift came in early 1995, when Jordan decided to return to the NBA for the Bulls.

On March 18, 1995, Jordan announced his return to the NBA through a two-word press release: "I'm back." The next day, Jordan donned jersey number 45 (his number with the Barons), as his familiar 23 had been retired in his honor following his first retirement. He took to the court with the Bulls to face the Indiana Pacers in Indianapolis, scoring 19 points. The game had the highest Nielsen rating of a regular season NBA game since 1975.

Although he had not played in an NBA game in a year and a half, Jordan played well upon his return, making a game-winning jump shot against Atlanta in his fourth game back and scoring 55 points in a game against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden on March 28, 1995. Boosted by Jordan's comeback, the Bulls made the playoffs and advanced to the Eastern Conference Semi-finals against the Orlando Magic. At the end of the first game of the series, though, Orlando's Nick Anderson would strip Jordan from behind, leading to the game-winning basket for the Magic; he would later comment that Jordan "didn't look like the old Michael Jordan", after which Jordan returned to wearing his old number (23). Jordan averaged 31 points per game in that series, but Orlando prevailed in six games.

Freshly motivated by the playoff defeat, Jordan trained aggressively for the 1995–96 season. Strengthened by the addition of rebound specialist Dennis Rodman, the Bulls dominated the league, starting the season 41–3, and eventually finishing with the best regular season record in NBA history: 72–10. Jordan led the league in scoring with 30.4 ppg, and won the league's regular season and All-Star Game MVP awards. In the playoffs, the Bulls lost only three games in four series, defeating the Seattle SuperSonics in the NBA Finals to win the championship. Jordan was named Finals MVP for a record fourth time, surpassing Magic Johnson's three Finals MVP awards. He also achieved only the second sweep of the MVP Awards in the All-Star Game, regular season and NBA Finals, duplicating Willis Reed's feat during the 1969-70 NBA season. Because this was Jordan's first championship since his father's death, and it was won on Father's Day, Jordan reacted very emotionally upon winning the title, including a memorable scene of him sobbing on the locker room floor with the game ball.

In the 1996–97 season the Bulls started out 69–11, but narrowly missed out on a second consecutive 70-win season by losing their final two games to finish 69–13. However, this year Jordan was beaten for the NBA MVP Award by Karl Malone. The team again advanced to the Finals, where they faced Malone and the Utah Jazz team. The series against the Jazz featured two of the more memorable clutch moments of Jordan's career. He won Game 1 for the Bulls with a buzzer-beating jump shot. In Game 5, with the series tied 2–2, Jordan played despite being feverish and dehydrated from a stomach virus. In what is known as the "flu game", Jordan scored 38 points including the game-deciding three-pointer with less than a minute remaining. The Bulls won 90-88 and went on to win the series in six games. For the fifth time in as many Finals appearances, Jordan received the Finals MVP award. During the 1997 NBA All-Star Game, Jordan posted the only triple double in All-Star Game history in a victorious effort, however he did not receive the MVP award.

Jordan and the Bulls compiled a 62–20 record in the 1997–98 season. Jordan led the league with 28.7 points per game, securing his fifth regular-season MVP award, plus honors for All-NBA First Team, First Defensive Team and the All-Star Game MVP. The Bulls captured the Eastern Conference Championship for a third straight season, including surviving a grueling seven-game series with Reggie Miller's Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Finals; it was the first time Jordan had played in a Game 7 since the 1992 series with the Knicks. After prevailing, they moved on for a rematch with the Jazz in the Finals.

The Bulls returned to Utah for Game 6 on June 14, 1998 leading the series 3–2. Jordan executed a series of plays, considered to be one of the greatest clutch performances in NBA Finals history. With the Bulls trailing 86–83 with 40 seconds remaining, coach Jackson called a timeout. When play resumed, Jordan received the inbound pass, drove to the basket, and hit a layup over several Jazz defenders. The Jazz brought the ball upcourt and passed the ball to forward Karl Malone, who was set up in the low post and was being guarded by Rodman. Malone jostled with Rodman and caught the pass, but Jordan cut behind him and swatted the ball out of his hands for a steal. Jordan then slowly dribbled upcourt and paused at the top of the key, eyeing his defender, Jazz guard Bryon Russell. With fewer than 10 seconds remaining, Jordan started to dribble right, then crossed over to his left, possibly pushing off Russell, although the officials did not call a foul. Jordan then released a shot that would be rebroadcast innumerable times in years to come. As the shot found the net, announcer Bob Costas shouted "Chicago with the lead!" After a desperation three-point shot by John Stockton missed, Jordan and the Bulls claimed their sixth NBA championship, and secured a second three-peat. Once again, Jordan was voted the Finals MVP, having led all scorers by averaging 33.5 points per game, including 45 in the deciding Game 6. Jordan's six Finals MVPs is a record; Shaquille O'Neal, Magic Johnson, and Tim Duncan are tied for second place with three apiece. The 1998 Finals holds the highest television rating of any Finals series in history, and Game 6 holds the highest television rating of any game in NBA history.

With Phil Jackson's contract expiring, the pending departures of Scottie Pippen (who stated his desire to be traded during the season) and Dennis Rodman (who would sign with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent) looming, and being in the latter stages of an owner-induced lockout of NBA players, Jordan retired for the second time on January 13, 1999.

On January 19, 2000, Jordan returned to the NBA not as a player, but as part owner and President of Basketball Operations for the Washington Wizards. His responsibilities with the club were to be comprehensive, as he was in charge of all aspects of the team, including personnel decisions. Opinions of Jordan as a basketball executive were mixed. He managed to purge the team of several highly paid, unpopular players (such as forward Juwan Howard and point guard Rod Strickland), but used the first pick in the 2001 NBA Draft to select high schooler Kwame Brown, who did not live up to expectations and was traded away after four seasons.

Despite his January 1999 claim that he was "99.9% certain" that he would never play another NBA game, in the summer of 2001 Jordan expressed interest in making another comeback, this time with his new team. Inspired by the NHL comeback of his friend Mario Lemieux the previous winter, Jordan spent much of the spring and summer of 2001 in training, holding several invitation-only camps for NBA players in Chicago. In addition, Jordan hired his old Chicago Bulls head coach, Doug Collins, as Washington's coach for the upcoming season, a decision that many saw as foreshadowing another Jordan return.

On September 25, 2001 Jordan announced his return to professional play with the Wizards, indicating his intention to donate his salary as a player to a relief effort for the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. In an injury-plagued 2001–02 season, he led the team in scoring (22.90 ppg), assists (5.2 apg), and steals (1.42 spg). However, torn cartilage in his right knee ended Jordan's season after only 60 games, the fewest he had played in a regular season since a broken foot cut short his season in 1985–86.

Playing in his 14th and final NBA All-Star Game in 2003, Jordan passed Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the all-time leading scorer in All-Star game history. That year, Jordan was the only Washington player to play in all 82 games, starting in 67 of them. He averaged 20.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. He also shot 45% from the field, and 82% from the free throw line. Even though he turned 40 during the season, he scored 20 or more points 42 times, 30 or more points nine times, and 40 or more points three times. On February 21, 2003, Jordan became the first 40-year-old to tally 43 points in an NBA game. During his stint with the Wizards, all of Jordan's home games at the MCI Center were sold out, and the Wizards were the second most-watched team in the NBA, averaging 20,172 fans a game at home and 19,311 on the road. However, neither of Jordan's final two seasons resulted in a playoff appearance for the Wizards, and Jordan was often unsatisfied with the play of those around him. At several points he openly criticized his teammates to the media, citing their lack of focus and intensity, notably that of number one draft pick Kwame Brown.

With the recognition that 2002–03 would be Jordan's final season, tributes were paid to him throughout the NBA. In his final game at his old home court, the United Center in Chicago, Jordan received a four-minute standing ovation. The Miami Heat retired the number 23 jersey on April 11, 2003, even though Jordan had never played for the team. At the 2003 All-Star Game, Jordan was offered a starting spot from Tracy McGrady and Allen Iverson, but refused both; in the end, however, he accepted the spot of Vince Carter, who decided to give it up under great public pressure.

Jordan's final NBA game was on April 16, 2003 in Philadelphia. After scoring only 13 points in the game, Jordan went to the bench with 4 minutes and 13 seconds remaining in the third quarter and with his team trailing the Philadelphia 76ers, 75-56. Just after the start of the fourth quarter, the First Union Center crowd began chanting "We want Mike!". After much encouragement from coach Doug Collins, Jordan finally rose from the bench and re-entered the game for Larry Hughes with 2:35 remaining. At 1:45, Jordan was intentionally fouled by the 76ers' Eric Snow, and stepped to the line to make both free throws. After the second foul shot, the 76ers in-bounded the ball to rookie John Salmons, who in turn was intentionally fouled by Bobby Simmons one second later, stopping time so that Jordan could return to the bench. Jordan received a three-minute standing ovation from his teammates, his opponents, and a crowd of 21,257 fans.

Jordan played on two Olympic gold medal-winning American basketball teams. As a college player he participated, and won the gold, in the 1984 Summer Olympics. Jordan led the team in scoring averaging 17.1 ppg for the tournament. In the 1992 Summer Olympics he was a member of the star-studded squad that included Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and David Robinson and was dubbed the "Dream Team". Playing limited minutes due to the frequent blowouts, Jordan averaged 12.7 ppg, finishing fourth on the team in scoring. The team cruised to the gold medal, restoring the United States to the top of the basketball world. Jordan, Patrick Ewing, and fellow Dream Team member Chris Mullin are the only American men's basketball players to win Olympic gold as amateurs (all in 1984) and professionals.

After his third retirement, Jordan assumed that he would be able to return to his front office position of Director of Basketball Operations with the Wizards. However, his previous tenure in the Wizards' front office had produced the aforementioned mixed results and may have also influenced the trade of Richard "Rip" Hamilton for Jerry Stackhouse (although Jordan was not technically Director of Basketball Operations in 2002). On May 7, 2003, Wizards owner Abe Pollin fired Jordan as Washington's President of Basketball Operations. Jordan later stated that he felt betrayed, and that if he knew he would be fired upon retiring he never would have come back to play for the Wizards.

Jordan kept busy over the next few years by staying in shape, playing golf in celebrity charity tournaments, spending time with his family in Chicago, promoting his Jordan Brand clothing line, and riding motorcycles. Since 2004, Jordan has owned a professional closed-course motorcycle roadracing team that competes in the premier Superbike class sanctioned by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA). Jordan and his then-wife Juanita pledged $5 million to Chicago's Hales Franciscan High School in 2006, and the Jordan Brand has made donations to Habitat for Humanity and a Louisiana branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. On June 15, 2006, Jordan became a part-owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and was named "Managing Member of Basketball Operations." He has the largest individual holding in the team after majority owner Robert L. Johnson. Despite Jordan's previous success as an endorser, he has made an effort not to be included in Charlotte's marketing campaigns.

Jordan was a shooting guard who was also capable of playing small forward (the position he would primarily play during his second comeback with the Washington Wizards). Jordan was known throughout his career for being a strong clutch performer. He decided numerous games with last-second plays (e.g., The Shot) and performed at a high level even under adverse circumstances (e.g., Flu Game). His competitiveness was visible in his prolific trash-talk and well-known work ethic.

Jordan had a versatile offensive game. He was capable of aggressively driving to the basket and drawing fouls from his opponents at a high rate; his 8,772 free throw attempts are the ninth highest total of all time. As his career progressed, Jordan also developed the ability to post up his opponents and score with his trademark fadeaway jumpshot, using his leaping ability to "fade away" from block attempts. According to Hubie Brown, this move alone made him nearly unstoppable. Despite media criticism as a "selfish" player early in his career, Jordan's 5.3 assists per game also indicate his willingness to defer to his teammates. In later years, the NBA shortened its three-point line to 22 feet (from 23 feet, 9 inches), which coupled with Jordan's extended shooting range to make him a long-range threat as well -- his 3-point stroke developed from a low 9 / 52 rate (.173) in his rookie year into a stellar 111 / 260 (.427) shooter in the 1995–96 season. For a guard, Jordan was also a good rebounder (6.2 per game).

In 1988, he was honored with the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year Award and became the first NBA player to win both the Defensive Player of the Year and MVP awards in a career (since equaled by Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson, and Kevin Garnett; Olajuwon is the only player other than Jordan to win both during the same season). In addition he set records for blocked shots by a guard, and combined this with his ball-thieving ability to become a standout defensive player. His 2,514 steals are the second highest total of all-time behind John Stockton, while his steals per game average is third all-time. Jerry West often stated that he was more impressed with Jordan's defensive contributions than his offensive ones.

Jordan led the NBA in scoring in 10 seasons (NBA record) and tied Wilt Chamberlain's record of seven consecutive scoring titles. He was also a fixture on the NBA All-Defensive First Team, making the roster nine times (NBA record). Jordan also holds the top career and playoff scoring averages of 30.1 and 33.4 points per game, respectively. By 1998, the season of his Finals-winning shot against the Jazz, he was well known throughout the league as a clutch performer. In the regular season, Jordan was the Bulls' primary threat in the final seconds of a close game and in the playoffs, Jordan would always demand the ball at crunch time. Jordan's total of 5,987 points in the playoffs is the highest in NBA history. He retired with 32,292 points, placing him third on the NBA's all-time scoring list behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Karl Malone.

With five regular-season MVPs (tied for second place with Bill Russell; only Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has won more, six), six Finals MVPs (NBA record), and three All-Star MVPs, Jordan is the most decorated player ever to play in the NBA. Jordan finished among the top three in regular-season MVP voting a record 10 times, and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996.

Many of Jordan's contemporaries label Jordan as the greatest basketball player of all time. An ESPN survey of journalists, athletes and other sports figures ranked Jordan the greatest North American athlete of the 20th century, above icons such as Babe Ruth and Muhammad Ali. Jordan placed second to Babe Ruth in the Associated Press's list of 20th century athletes. In addition, the Associated Press voted him as the basketball player of the 20th century. Jordan has also appeared on the front cover of Sports Illustrated a record 49 times. In the September 1996 issue of Sport, which was the publication's 50th anniversary issue, Jordan was named the greatest athlete of the past 50 years.

Jordan's athletic leaping ability, highlighted in his back-to-back slam dunk contest championships in 1987 and 1988, is credited by many with having influenced a generation of young players. Several current NBA All-Stars have stated that they considered Jordan their role model while growing up, including LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. In addition, commentators have dubbed a number of next-generation players "the next Michael Jordan" upon their entry to the NBA, including Anfernee "Penny" Hardaway, Grant Hill, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Vince Carter, and Dwyane Wade. Although Jordan was a well-rounded player, his "Air Jordan" image is also often credited with inadvertently decreasing the jump shooting skills, defense, and fundamentals of young players, a fact which Jordan himself has lamented.

Although Jordan has done much to increase the status of the game, some of his impact on the game's popularity in America appears to be fleeting. Television ratings in particular increased only during his time in the league and have subsequently lowered each time he left the game.

Jordan is the fourth of five children. He has two older brothers, Larry Jordan and James R. Jordan, Jr., one older sister, Deloris, and a younger sister, Roslyn. Jordan's brother James retired in 2006 as the Command Sergeant Major of the 35th Signal Brigade of the XVIII Airborne Corps in the U.S. Army.

He married Juanita Vanoy in September 1989, and they have two sons, Jeffrey Michael and Marcus James, and a daughter, Jasmine. Jordan and Juanita filed for divorce on January 4, 2002, citing irreconcilable differences, but reconciled shortly thereafter. They again filed for divorce and were granted a final decree of dissolution of marriage on December 29, 2006, commenting that the decision was made "mutually and amicably".

It is reported that Juanita received a $168 million settlement, making it the largest celebrity divorce settlement in history on public record.

On July 21, 2006, a Cook County, Illinois judge determined that Jordan did not owe a former lover, Karla Knafel, $5 million. Jordan had allegedly paid Knafel $250,000 to keep their relationship a secret. Knafel claimed Jordan promised her that amount for remaining silent and agreeing not to file a paternity suit after Knafel learned she was pregnant in 1991. A DNA test showed Jordan was not the father of the child.

As of 2007, Jordan lives in Highland Park, Illinois, and both of his sons attended Loyola Academy, a private Roman Catholic high school located in Wilmette, Illinois. Jeffrey graduated as a member of the 2007 graduating class and played his first collegiate basketball game on November 11, 2007, for the University of Illinois. Marcus transferred to Whitney Young High School after his sophomore year and is set to graduate in 2009.

Jordan is one of the most marketed sports figures in history. 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. Jordan has had a long relationship with Gatorade, appearing in over 20 commercials for the company since 1991, including the "Like Mike" commercials in which a song was sung by children wishing to be like Jordan.

Nike created a signature shoe for him, called the Air Jordan. One of Jordan's more popular commercials for the shoe involved Spike Lee playing the part of Mars Blackmon. In the commercials Lee, as Blackmon, attempted to find the source of Jordan's abilities and became convinced that "it's gotta be the shoes". The hype and demand for the shoes even brought on a spate of "shoe-jackings" where people were robbed of their sneakers at gunpoint. Subsequently Nike spun off the Jordan line into its own division named the "Jordan Brand". The company features an impressive list of athletes and celebrities as endorsers. The brand has also sponsored college sports programs such as those of North Carolina, Cincinnati, Cal, St. John's, Georgetown, and North Carolina A&T.

Jordan also has been connected with the Looney Tunes cartoon characters. A Nike commercial shown during the 1993 Super Bowl XXVII featured Jordan and Bugs Bunny playing basketball against a group of Martian characters. The Super Bowl commercial inspired the 1996 live action/animated movie Space Jam, which starred Jordan and Bugs in a fictional story set during his first retirement. They have subsequently appeared together in several commercials for MCI.

Jordan's year income from the endorsements is estimated to be over forty million dollars. In addition, when Jordan's power at the ticket gates was at its highest point the Bulls regularly sold out every game they played in, whether home or away. Due to this, Jordan set records in player salary by signing annual contracts worth in excess of $30 million US dollars per season.

An academic study found that Jordan’s first NBA comeback resulted in an increase in the market capitalization of his client firms of more than $1 billion.

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2007 NBA Finals

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The 2007 NBA Finals was the championship series of the 2006-07 National Basketball Association season, and was the conclusion of the 2007 NBA Playoffs. The best-of-seven series was played between the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs and the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. This was Cleveland's first trip to the NBA Finals in their franchise history and San Antonio's fourth. The Spurs swept the Cavaliers 4-0. Tony Parker was named the series' MVP. The series was televised on ABC under the ESPN on ABC branding.

The previous season saw the San Antonio Spurs drop a heartbreaking seventh game at home to the rival Dallas Mavericks in the second round. As the new season began, the Spurs saw the Mavericks rolling through their regular season, on their way to a franchise best 67 win campaign. Meanwhile, the Spurs struggled through their season through January. With the main focus lying on Dallas, and the Phoenix Suns, the Spurs found themselves flying under the radar. However, the Spurs used a late season surge en route to a 58-24 regular season record, good enough for third seed in the Western Conference.

In the playoffs, the Spurs met the Denver Nuggets and their duo of Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony. Although the Nuggets took Game One, the Spurs rallied off 4 straight wins to take the series in five games. As San Antonio prepared to face off against the second seed Phoenix Suns, the top ranked Dallas Mavericks suffered a stunning first round exit at the hand of the Golden State Warriors. With the Mavs gone, the stakes of the Suns-Spurs series shot up dramatically, and the result was a closely competitive and controversial series.

The Suns, due to their better season record, had homecourt advantage, but that would not last past Game One. In a hotly contested battle of Western Conference heavyweights, each team tried to deliver a knockout blow to the other. The Spurs finally landed it, but by accident. With the game in the balance Tony Parker and Steve Nash collided head-to-head. A large gash opened along Nash's nose and though the medical staff tried admirably, they could not stop the bleeding and he was forced to sit the final 45 seconds and watch as the Spurs won game one 111-106. Game Two saw the Suns rebound and blow out the Spurs to a 101-81 beating. After this game, Suns center Amare Stoudemire labeled the Spurs a dirty team. Game Three switched back to San Antonio and saw a return of the physical play, resulting in Manu Ginobili receiving a bruised and bloodied eye and Nash being kneed in the groin by Bruce Bowen. But Tim Duncan would not be denied and led the Spurs to a 108-101 victory.

Games Four and Five were the most controversial of the series. The Spurs, after being comfortably in control of Game Four, saw their 11-point fourth quarter lead dwindle away, to a 2-point Suns lead. With 18 seconds left Robert Horry bodychecked Steve Nash (who was already running quickly and almost off-balance) into the scorers table. Nash's teammates jumped to his defense; during the ensuing altercation, Stoudemire and Boris Diaw left the bench heading toward the altercation. Their action violated NBA rules, resulting in the decision by league commissioner David Stern to suspend both players for Game Five (Horry was also suspended two games for his flagrant foul against Nash). In Game Five, played in Phoenix, the short-handed Suns jumped out early and enjoyed a 16 point lead on the Spurs, but in a reversal of Game Four, this time the Spurs came back in the final seconds and won the game 88-85, giving San Antonio a 3-2 series lead.

The Spurs won Game Six of the series 114-106 in San Antonio, sending them to their fifth Western Conference Finals since 1999.

San Antonio went on to beat the Utah Jazz in five games to advance to the franchise's fourth NBA Finals.

In the replay of last year's playoff with the Cavs holding homecourt advantage against Washington Wizards, the Cavs took care of the Wizards in a four game sweep after the season ending injuries of both Gilbert Arenas and Caron Butler. In the second round of the playoffs the Cavs faced off against the New Jersey Nets. Again the Cavs had homecourt and battled with the Nets through 6 games before becoming victorious in the series. The Cavs for only the third time in franchise history were moving on to the Conference Finals, and this time they were facing a familiar foe. The Detroit Pistons, the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference, with their homecourt advantage, were waiting for the Cavs. This was the same Detroit team that knocked the Cavs out of the second round last year. The expectations were high after a long 7 game series the previous year and these two teams would not disappoint.

The first two games were close and saw Cleveland fall by identical 79-76 scores. Down 0-2 in the series, the spotlight shifted back to Cleveland and LeBron James. Another hard fought set ensued, with the Cavs taking the two games at home 88-82 and 91-87 respectively. Game 5 switched back to Detroit and produced one of the greatest moments in NBA history.

With 6:14 to go in regulation and his team clinging to a one point 79-78 lead, LeBron James took over. He scored 11 of the final 12 points to end regulation tied 91-91. In the 1st overtime, LeBron scored all 9 of the Cavaliers points ending this period tied 100-100. In the 2nd overtime, LeBron again scored all 9 of the teams points to win game five 109-107. Thus, in the last 16:14 of play, LeBron scored the Cavaliers' last 25 points and 29 of the last 30 points.

The Cavaliers beat the Pistons at home in Game 6 in the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the franchise's first ever trip to NBA Finals. Cleveland became the third team in NBA history to win a best-of-seven Conference Final after going down 0-2 in a series.

The Finals are played using a 2-3-2 site format, where the first two and last two games are held at the team with home court advantage. The NBA, after experimenting in the early years, restored this original format for the Finals in 1985. As of yet, the other playoff series are still running on a 2-2-1-1-1 site format.

The best-of-seven series began on June 7, 2007, with the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs playing the Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers. Because the San Antonio Spurs had a better regular season win-loss record, they had home court advantage.

Coverage was produced by ESPN and televised on ABC in the United States, TSN in Canada, Sky Sports in the United Kingdom, Canal+ in France, Premiere in Germany, and more than 100 other broadcasters in over 200 countries.

Play-by-play announcer Mike Breen, analysts Mark Jackson & former Rockets head-coach Jeff Van Gundy, and courtside reporters Michele Tafoya & Stuart Scott provided commentary and analysis for the North American market.

Another song featured in the 2007 NBA Finals series, "It Ends Tonight" by The All-American Rejects, was aired at the end of the pre-game promo for Game Four.

According to ESPN, the NBA Finals series was a television bust in the United States. San Antonio's four-game sweep of Cleveland finished with a record-low 6.2 television rating and 11 share on ABC, Nielsen Media Research said on June 15, 2007.

That was down 27 percent from the 8.5/15 for Miami's six-game victory over Dallas from the previous year and 5 percent under the previous low, a 6.5/12 for San Antonio's six-game win over New Jersey in 2003. The NBA Finals averaged 9.3 million viewers this year.

San Antonio's series-winning 83-82 victory on Thursday night got a 6.5/12, down 17 percent from the 7.8/14 for Game 4 in 2006.

The ratings of the 2007 NBA Finals surpassed that of the 2003 NBA Finals as the lowest-rated series in NBA Finals history. It is suggested that these poor ratings have been attributed to numerous things, such as the fact that Cleveland and San Antonio are generally smaller markets in comparison to Los Angeles, Dallas, Miami and Detroit, cities that recently had their NBA teams in the Finals.

Additionally, many critics believe the Spurs outmatched the Cavaliers and made the series into a low scoring, defensive battle. The series was to bill LeBron James at the highest point in his career. He did account for a vast majority of the Cavaliers' performance in the playoffs, however, he struggled throughout the Finals against the Spurs' superb defense.

Additionally, ESPN on ABC's coverage of the Finals placed far more emphasis on the legacy of the game. More was seemingly directed towards league stars Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird, three players responsible for the league's success in the 1980s and 1990s. In addition, there was increased emphasis celebrity and cross-network promotion, much of which centered on Eva Longoria, star of ABC's Desperate Housewives and then-fiancee of Spurs' Point Guard Tony Parker was featured at times during the games.

LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers entered the 2007 Finals as newcomers. Game 1 was the first NBA Finals appearance in franchise history, and the first for each of its players (other than reserve point guard Eric Snow). However, the San Antonio Spurs had been to the Finals in three of the past eight seasons, winning a championship each time. With solid performances by Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili, the Spurs won the series opener in convincing fashion, limiting LeBron James to 14 points on 4-16 shooting.

The Spurs took a stranglehold on momentum in Game 2. The Spurs big three overwhelmed the Cavs and the Spurs led by as many as 29 points in the third quarter. They absolutely dominated game during first 3 quarters and played show-time basketball. A furious 25-6 rally by Cleveland in the final quarter wasn't enough as the Spurs took a 2-0 lead in the series.

Rookie Daniel Gibson started Game 3 in place of the injured Larry Hughes but scored a series-low 2 points on 1-10 shooting. As a team the Cavs shot only .367 but out-rebounded the Spurs 48-41. Zydrunas Ilgauskas had a 2006-07 season high 18 rebounds. On the game's final play, LeBron James missed a potential game-tying 29 foot 3-pointer (which he contested as a foul on Bruce Bowen).

Game 3 was the lowest-scoring Finals game since 1955, with Tim Duncan of the Spurs having his lowest scoring game in his NBA Finals career, with 14 points.

San Antonio started out strong through the first three quarters, leading by as many as 11. Cleveland would stage a rally near the end of the third quarter and the first five minutes of the fourth, scoring 14 consecutive points to take its first second-half lead of the series. However, the Spurs would stage a 12-3 rally of their own to retake the lead and win the series in a 4-0 sweep.

Twelve-year veteran Michael Finley was awarded the NBA championship game ball.

In October 2007, Detroit Pistons power forward Rasheed Wallace commented on the loss, stating that the Cavaliers didn't beat the Pistons, but rather that the Pistons lost because they fell prey to the NBA wanting the Cavaliers in the finals. Wallace stated that the NBA was becoming "fake", like World Wrestling Entertainment. NBA Commissioner David Stern addressed the comments, calling them "disrespectful." He rebuked Wallace for such statements, but did not issue a fine against the Pistons forward.

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New Jersey Nets

New Jersey Nets logo

The New Jersey Nets are a professional basketball team in the National Basketball Association that plays in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division. They are currently based in East Rutherford, New Jersey, and play their home games at the Izod Center. The team is planning to relocate to the Brooklyn borough of New York City, but legal issues have complicated the move.

The franchise was established in 1967 as part of the American Basketball Association, with trucking magnate Arthur Brown as the owner. Brown had operated several AAU teams in and around New York City, and was viewed as an ideal pick to run the league's New York franchise. The team was originally known as the New York Americans, and Brown intended for it to play at the 69th Regiment Armory on Manhattan's east side, but pressure from the New York Knicks forced the Armory to back out three months before opening day.

Brown found it difficult to find a suitable venue in New York City. Some were booked solid, and others had owners who didn't want to anger the Knicks by opening their doors to a rival team. Scrambling for a venue, the team settled on the Armory in Teaneck, New Jersey, and changed its squad name to the New Jersey Americans, though its franchise name remained the New York Americans.

The Americans did fairly well in their first season, tying the Kentucky Colonels for the last playoff spot in the Eastern Division. However, the Armory was booked, forcing the Americans to scramble for a last-minute replacement.

They found one in the Long Island Arena in Commack, New York. However, when the Americans and Colonels arrived, they found a bizarre scene. The floor had several missing boards and bolts, and was unstable in several areas (one player claimed to have seen one side of the floor come up when he stepped on another). There was no padding on the backboards or basket supports, and one basket appeared to be higher than the other. There was also a large amount of condensation from a hockey game the previous night. After the Colonels refused to play, league commissioner George Mikan forfeited the game to the Colonels.

For the second year, the team opted to stay on Long Island, where it changed its name to the New York Nets. The team was renamed to "Nets" to rhyme with the names of two other professional sports teams that played in the New York metropolitan area at the time: Major League Baseball's New York Mets and the American Football League's New York Jets. "Nets" was also a nickname that related to basketball in general, since it is part of the hoop.

The team finished last in its first New York season and drew a paltry 1,108 a game – about half of what it had drawn a year earlier. They posted a hideous 17—61 record, and shuffled 23 different players on and off the roster. Brown sold the team to clothing manufacturer Roy Boe after that season. Boe got busy right away during the 1969 off season. After failing in their pursuit for UCLA star Lew Alcindor, who was drafted and then signed by the National Basketball Association's Milwaukee Bucks, the team acquired Rick Barry from the Virginia Squires and the Island Garden in West Hempstead became their new home. The Nets finished in third place and in the playoffs in 1969–70, and attendance went up threefold to 3,504. After two years at the Island Garden, the team moved to the new Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale for the 1971–72 season.

In 1972, two years after the acquisition of Barry, the Nets advanced to the ABA finals. However, they could not overcome the Indiana Pacers and lost the series four games to two. Barry left after that postseason, sending the Nets into rebuilding mode. The 1972–73 season was one of disappointment, as the Nets only won 30 games.

The 1973–74 season saw the Nets finally put all the pieces together. The key event of the season though would come in the 1973 offseason, however, as the Nets acquired Julius Erving from the Virginia Squires. With Erving, who was affectionately known as "Dr. J", the Nets ended the season with a franchise record 55 victories. After Erving was voted the ABA's MVP, the Nets advanced in the playoffs and won their first title, defeating the Utah Stars in the 1974 ABA Finals.

The success continued into the 1974–75 season as they topped the previous season's win record by winning 58 games — a record that still stands to this day. The Nets, though, were eliminated four games to one, by the Spirits of St. Louis in the first round of the 1975 ABA playoffs.

The Nets continued their winning ways in the 1975–76 season — the final season for the ABA, with Erving leading them to a successful 55-win season; he also was named MVP again that year. After a grueling series with the Denver Nuggets, the Nets won the last ABA championship series in league history in six games, giving the Nets their second championship in three years.

The summer of 1976 saw the ABA-NBA merger finally take place. As part of the merger agreement, four teams from the ABA — the Nets, Nuggets, Pacers and San Antonio Spurs — joined the NBA. The Nets and Nuggets had actually applied to join the NBA in 1975, but were turned away. Prior to their first NBA season, the Nets traded two draft picks to the Kansas City Kings for guard Nate Archibald. The Nets appeared to be poised to pick up where they left off in the ABA.

However, they got a rude surprise when the NBA forced them to pay $4.8 million to the Knicks for "invading" the Knicks' NBA territory. Coming on the heels of the $3 million that the team had to pay for joining the NBA, this left Boe short of cash, and he was forced to renege on a promised pay raise for Erving. Erving refused to play for the Nets under these conditions, leaving Boe no choice but to sell Erving to the Philadelphia 76ers for $3 million. Without Erving, the Nets wrote off the season as a lost cause. However, they lost all semblance of respectability when Archibald broke his foot in January. The team finished at 22—60, the worst record in the league. The team did set one record of sorts; in February 1977, they became the first NBA team ever to have an all-left-handed starting lineup, with Tim Bassett, Al Skinner, Bubbles Hawkins, Dave Wohl, and Kim Hughes.

Prior to the 1977–78 season, Boe moved the franchise back to New Jersey, renaming the team the New Jersey Nets. While the team awaited the completion of a new arena at the Meadowlands Sports Complex, they played four seasons at the Rutgers Athletic Center (later renamed the Louis Brown Athletic Center) on the Kilmer Campus (now "Livingston" Campus) of Rutgers University in Piscataway, NJ. In 1978, Boe sold the team to a group of seven local businessmen (led by Joe Taub and Alan N. Cohen) who became known as the "Secaucus Seven". The first four years in New Jersey were disappointing, as the Nets suffered through four consecutive losing seasons.

The team moved into the Brendan Byrne Arena (known as the Continental Airlines Arena in 1996, and renamed the Izod Center in October 2007) in 1981 and experienced modest success with four consecutive winning seasons. In 1982–83, while coached by Larry Brown, the Nets were having their best season since joining the NBA. However, Brown accepted the head coaching job at the University of Kansas during the last month of the season and was suspended for the rest of the season. The Nets would never recover from the coaching change and would lose in the first round of the playoffs to their Hudson River rival New York Knicks.

In the 1983–84 season, the Nets fielded what was believed to be their best team since joining the league. Led by Darryl Dawkins, Buck Williams, Otis Birdsong, and Micheal Ray Richardson, the team won their first NBA playoff series, defeating the defending champion 76ers in the first round of the 1984 playoffs before falling to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals in six games.

Injuries plagued the team during the 1984–85 season, but the Nets still managed to win 42 games before being eliminated from the playoffs by the Detroit Pistons in three games. The Nets would not qualify for the playoffs for the next seven seasons (1991–92) and would not have a winning record for eight (1992—93).

During the early 1990s the Nets began to improve behind a core of young players, as New Jersey drafted Derrick Coleman and Kenny Anderson and acquired Drazen Petrovic in a trade with the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite a losing record during the 1991–92 season, the Nets qualified for the playoffs, losing to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the first round, three games to one.

The team improved significantly in 1992–93, led by the trio of Coleman, Petrovic and Anderson, and former head coach, Chuck Daly. However, injuries to both Anderson and Petrovic toward the end of the season sent the team into a 1—10 slump to end the regular season. The Nets finished the season at 43—39 and were seeded sixth in the Eastern Conference and faced the Cavaliers again in the first round. With Anderson recovered from a broken hand and Petrovic playing on an injured knee, the Nets lost a tough five-game series. However, the optimism of a team jelling was destroyed on June 7, when Petrovic was killed in an automobile accident in Germany at the age of 28.

Despite the devastating loss of Petrovic, the Nets managed to win 45 games during the 1993–94 season. Anderson and Coleman made their only All-Star appearances this season. The Nets ended up losing to the New York Knicks the first round of the 1994 NBA Playoffs, three games to one. Daly resigned as head coach after the season and was replaced by Butch Beard.

The team struggled through the rest of the decade. During the mid-1990s the NBA's main image problem was that of the selfish, immature athlete and if one wanted to see a team that embodied that image, all one had to do was look at the Nets. In 1995, Coleman was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated as the poster child of the selfish NBA player, but with Anderson, Benoit Benjamin, Dwayne Schintzius and Chris Morris also on the roster, there were plenty of candidates for SI to choose from. The team's image was so poor that in an effort to shed its losing image, management considered renaming the team "Swamp Dragons" or the "Fire Dragons" in 1994, but rejected the idea. In both the 1994–95 and 1995–96 seasons, the Nets finished with identical 30—52 records.

In an effort to start anew, Coleman and Anderson were both traded during the 1995–96 season and John Calipari replaced Beard as head coach at the end of the season. Kerry Kittles was selected in the 1996 NBA Draft and midway through the 1996–97 season, the team traded for Sam Cassell. After a 26—56 win-loss season, the Nets made a major draft-day trade in June 1997, acquiring Keith Van Horn, Lucious Harris and two other players for Tim Thomas. The only player from the early 1990s that the Nets retained was Jayson Williams, who was developing into a rebounding specialist.

The 1997–98 season was a lone bright spot for the Nets in the late 1990s. The team played well under Calipari, winning 43 games and qualifying for the playoffs on the last day of the season. Power forward Jayson Williams was selected as a reserve in the 1998 NBA All-Star Game. The Nets were seeded eighth in the Eastern Conference and lost to the Chicago Bulls in the 1998 playoffs in three straight games. The Nets played well and came close to taking the first two games.

The "Secaucus Seven" sold the team in 1998 to local real estate developers, who the next year signed an agreement with New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner to form YankeeNets, a holding company that would own the two teams along with increasing leverage in future broadcast contracts by negotiating together. After getting offers from numerous broadcast partners, including what was their current rights holder Cablevision, YankeeNets decided to launch a new regional sports television called YES Network.

The 1998–99 season was delayed for three months due to an owners' lockout of the players. When the abbreviated 50-game season began, the Nets were a fashionable choice by experts as a surprise team. However, Cassell was injured in the first game and the team started poorly. With the Nets underachieving at 3–15, the Nets traded Cassell to the Bucks, while the Nets acquired Stephon Marbury from the Minnesota Timberwolves. After two more losses, Calipari was fired as head coach with the team at 3—17. The team never recovered from its poor start to finish at 16–34. With the Nets already eliminated from playoff contention in April, Marbury collided with Williams in a game against the Atlanta Hawks — Williams broke his tibia and would never play in the NBA again.

From 1990 to 1997 the Nets played on a parquet-designed floor similar to the Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic and the Minnesota Timberwolves during their home games at the Continental Airlines Arena.

In 2000, the Nets hired as the team president Rod Thorn, a longtime NBA executive best known for drafting Michael Jordan while he was the Bulls' general manager. Immediately, he began to assemble the components of the most talented team since the ABA champions of the mid-1970s. He started by hiring Byron Scott as coach. With the first pick in the 2000 Draft, the Nets selected Kenyon Martin from the University of Cincinnati. Stephon Marbury & Keith Van Horn had become stars in New Jersey. Marbury made the All-NBA 3rd Team in 2000 and his very first All-Star Game in 2001. But despite his individual efforts, constant injuries hindered the team's chemistry & the Nets failed to the playoffs in each of Marbury seasons as a starter. On the night of the 2001 Draft, they traded the rights to their first round selection (Eddie Griffin) to the Houston Rockets for Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong, and selected Brian Scalabrine in the second round. The trade was widely considered a smart move by the Nets as they needed to get younger and clear out much of the dead weight that was on the bench, as the Nets had the lowest scoring and oldest bench in the league.

Just one day after the 2001 Draft, Jones made his boldest move. He traded all-star Marbury & role player Johnny Newman to the Phoenix Suns for All-Star/All-NBA point guard Jason Kidd and center Chris Dudley (who the Nets later released). The move gave the team something it had been lacking for practically its entire NBA existence, a floor leader who also made his teammates better. The Nets also signed former 76ers center Todd MacCulloch, who at the time was considered to be a rising center in the league. That season, the Nets had their best season in their NBA history & in the process became one of the most exciting teams in the league. The team won its first Atlantic Division title, finishing the regular season at 52–30 and were seeded first in Eastern Conference and faced Indiana in the first round of the 2002 NBA Playoffs.

After losing the first game at home, the Nets then went on to win the next two games, before losing game four on the road. In front of a sellout crowd, the Nets played one of the more memorable games in NBA Playoff history in game five. The Nets led by nine points with five minutes remaining in regulation, however Reggie Miller made a 35-foot three-pointer at the buzzer to send the game into overtime. After Miller sent the game into double-overtime with a driving dunk, the Nets pulled away for a 120–109 victory. It is the only game in NBA history to end every quarter—the first quarter, first half, third quarter, second half, and first overtime—tied.

In the Eastern Conference Semi-finals, they defeated the Charlotte Hornets four games to one to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship for the first time facing the Boston Celtics. This series is remembered for Kidd having his left eye swollen shut diving for a loose ball in game, he received 32 stitches. After winning game one versus the Celtics, the Nets lost game two at home. In game three, the Nets led by 21 points going into the final period, but a tremendous Celtic comeback gave the Celtics a 94–90 victory and a 2–1 series lead. In game four played on Memorial Day afternoon in Boston, the Nets led most of the way but once again the Celtics found a way to tie the game with a minute remaining. However, in this game the Nets made enough plays at the end of the game to win it — Harris made two free throws with 6.6 seconds left and when Paul Pierce missed two free throws that would have tied the game with 1 second left, the series was tied at two games each. In game five, the Nets went on a 20–1 run early in the fourth period to coast to a 103–92 victory and a 3–2 lead in the series. In game 6, the Nets trailed by 10 at halftime, but rallied in the second half to take the lead. Van Horn's three pointer off a Kittles pass with 50 seconds left in the game clinched the Nets their first Eastern Conference Championship, four games to two.

In the 2002 NBA Finals, the Nets were swept by Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. New Jersey was the third straight victim to fall to the L.A. dynasty, who had dominated both Indiana and Philadelphia. Kidd and company were just too inexperienced and ill-equipped to deal with the Lakers.

Before the 2002–03 season, the Nets traded Van Horn and MacCulloch to obtain Dikembe Mutombo from the 76ers. The move to improve the team did not work out as Mutombo sat out most of the season with a wrist injury, but received little time in the playoffs due to differences with coach Byron Scott. Despite Mutombo's absence, the Nets finished with a 49–33 record and repeated as Atlantic Division champs. Kidd in the process had his best season ever & contributions from Kenyon Martin, Richard Jefferson, & Sixth Man of The Year Runner-Up Lucious Harris soften the load. In the 2003 NBA Playoffs, the Nets won their second consecutive Eastern Conference championship. They defeated the Milwaukee Bucks in the first round of the playoffs four games to two, then swept the Celtics and Detroit Pistons in consecutive series to advance to the 2003 NBA Finals, this time facing the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs. They split the first four games in the series. At the same time, the Nets' home court hosted the New Jersey Devils third Stanley Cup celebration in 9 years, following their 3-0 win over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. However the Nets played erratically in a Game 5 loss at home to go down in the series three games to two. In Game 6, the Nets led the Spurs by 10 points on the road with 10 minutes remaining, but the Spurs went on a 19–0 run to take the title in six games. The loss in Game 6 meant New Jersey was denied from having both an NBA and an NHL title in the same year. Nonetheless, the Nets run through the Finals, coupled with the Devils winning the Stanley Cup, made the run part of a great chapter in New Jersey sports history.

Following the 2003 Finals, Kidd became a free agent and the Spurs pursued signing him away from the Nets. However, Kidd re-signed with the Nets, stating that he had "unfinished business" in New Jersey. Another factor in Kidd's decision was the signing of free-agent Alonzo Mourning. But Mourning's tenure with the Nets would be disastrous, as he missed most of the 2003–04 season due to a kidney ailment.

During the 2003–04 season, New Jersey performed poorly early in the season, and in late December head coach Byron Scott was fired. Lawrence Frank became the interim head coach on January 26, 2004, succeeding Scott, after serving as an assistant coach with the team since the 2000–01 season.

However, the Nets rebounded from this early season lull, and again won the Atlantic Division title, and swept their crosstown rival Knicks in the first round. However, their run of conference championships was halted in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals by the eventual NBA champion Detroit Pistons. After the teams split the first four games, each one large routs at home, the Nets took Game 5 in Detroit in triple-overtime, only to fall short in Game 6 in New Jersey. The Pistons won Game 7 in a rout and took the series 4 games to 3. Jason Kidd, playing on an injured knee that eventually required surgery after the season, was held scoreless in Game 7.

After the season, The Nets were forced to revamp the team. They traded Kerry Kittles and Kenyon Martin, to the Clippers and Nuggets respectively & released Rodney Rogers & long time Net Lucious Harris, because new owner Bruce Ratner was unwilling to pay the remainder of their contracts. They received only draft picks in return for two key players in the team's recent success. Unbeknownst to New Jersey however, was the fact that Kittles went under the knife for the fifth time to correct his knee, and Martin would need microfracture surgery in both knees. The 2004–05 season looked gloomy at first for the Nets. Their star Kidd was recovering from his own microfracture surgery and the young Richard Jefferson was handed the reins for New Jersey. The team got off to a 2–11 start, and even with Jason Kidd returning from injury, the outlook was bleak. However, the Nets made a major deal by obtaining disgruntled star Vince Carter from the Toronto Raptors in exchange for Mourning, who was released by the Raptors (and subsequently rejoined the Miami Heat), Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and draft picks. Mourning himself had become disgruntled, saying the Nets "betrayed" him and that New Jersey's progress to that point was not what he "signed up for". This move made the Nets major players again, as they featured one of the top 1-2-3's in the league with Kidd, Carter, and Jefferson respectively. However, it was short lived, as Jefferson was injured in a game against the Detroit Pistons, and would require season ending surgery.

However, this would not doom the Nets entirely. Teamed with Kidd, a rejuvenated Vince Carter rallied the team from being more than 10 games out of the playoffs to gain the final seed in the Eastern Conference with a win in the last game of the season. However, the Nets could not overcome O'Neal again even with Jefferson back from his injury and were swept by the Heat in the First Round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs.

During the offseason of 2005, the Nets actively pursued a starting-quality power forward through free agency. They had drafted Antoine Wright, a 6' 7" swingman because all the talented power forwards were taken in the draft, and still needed to fill the void left by Kenyon Martin.

Eventually settling on Shareef Abdur-Rahim, they actively courted him and gained his approval even though they could only offer him the mid-level exception. In order to get him a larger, more lucrative contract, the Nets pursued a sign-and-trade with Portland. There, negotiations hit a snag because Portland demanded a first-round draft pick, which the Nets adamantly refused to part with. Eventually, the Nets agreed to give Portland a protected first-round pick and their trade exception acquired from the Kerry Kittles trade. This allowed the Nets to keep their mid-level exception for signing other players. However, Thorn decided to void the Abdur-Rahim trade when he failed his physical examination because of a pre-existing knee injury. Abdur-Rahim would vehemently deny any injury and said he felt like "damaged goods". He would need surgery at the end of the '07 season. To fill Abdur-Rahim's slot on the roster, the Nets acquired Marc Jackson from the Sixers.

They used part of the remaining mid-level exception to re-sign Clifford Robinson for two years in response to Brian Scalabrine's departure. A back-up to Kidd was also sought and they actively courted free agents such as Keyon Dooling before turning their attention to talented, but aggravating (at times) Jeff McInnis, whom they eventually signed and was a non-factor in the Nets Season due to injury and eventually was traded.

The Nets started the 2005–06 season slowly, struggling to a 9–12 record in their first 21 games. However, behind strong play by Carter, Kidd & Jefferson the team won their next 10 games (their final 8 games in December and first two games in January) to surge to top of the division. After the winning streak, the Nets returned to their earlier mediocre play (winning only 13 of their next 29 games), but starting on March 12 the Nets won their next 14 games in a row — the longest winning streak in the NBA this season and matching the franchise record set in 2004. The streak ended on April 8, 2006 when the Nets loss to the Cavaliers 108–102 at home. They set a team record with 20 road victories this season.

The Nets finished the 2005–06 regular season with a 49–33 record. They clinched their 4th Atlantic Division championship in the last five seasons and the 3rd seed the Eastern Conference playoffs, playing the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs. It seemed they had returned to their elite status of a few years back. They defeated the Pacers and advanced to the second round where they played the Heat, in a rematch of 2005's first round Eastern Conference loss. On May 16, 2006, the Nets lost the best-of-seven series 4–1 to the Heat. Nets fans were left to wonder what might have been as Cliff Robinson, one of the team's key defenders against Shaq, was suspended following Game 1 of that series for failing a drug test.

Highlights of the season include the naming of Vince Carter to the All-Star Team in 2006. Originally named as a reserve, an injury to Jermaine O'Neal elevated Carter to a starting position. Kidd, meanwhile, was named to the NBA All-Defensive team at the end of the season.

The 2006–07 NBA season fared poorly for the Nets but finished on a bright note, as they suffered a barrage of injuries starting in the preseason to mid December. Many experts predicted they would win the Atlantic easily (Charles Barkley went as far as to say the Nets would win the Eastern Conference), but the season did not turn out as hoped. The Nets finished the regular season at .500 (41–41) and lost the Atlantic Division title to the surprising Toronto Raptors. The early-season loss of Nenad Krstić to a freak knee injury and the two-month absence of Richard Jefferson caused by an ankle injury caused the Nets to stumble mid-season. However, Jefferson went back into action on March 9 against Houston and helped the Nets regain a winning momentum, allowing them to win 10 of their last 13 games. Among the highlights of the regular season were the naming of Kidd and Carter to the '07 East All-Star team and Kidd's selection to the 2007 All-Defensive 2nd Team. New Jersey finished with the 6th seed in the East and faced the 3rd seeded Toronto Raptors, feeding their newly developed rivalry. The Nets beat the Raptors in six games thanks in part to the fourth quarter heroics of Richard Jefferson on both ends of the floor lifting them to a one-point victory. Many sportswriters viewed picked the Nets to beat Cleveland, and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Their playoff run ended, however, in the following round as they fell to LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers 4–2 in the best-of-seven series. Since their runs at the NBA title, New Jersey has been eliminated by three of the last four Eastern Conference champs, two of whom went on to win the title. In the 2007 NBA Draft, the Nets used the 17th pick to pick "troubled" Boston College player Sean Williams.

For the 2007–2008 season, many were excited for the upcoming season, but it resulted in what many Nets fans considered the most disappointing season of the decade. Early injuries to Vince Carter and Nenad Krstić disrupted the Nets season from the get-go. With little bright notes, the season was a complete mess: a 9-game losing streak for the Nets, the Jason Kidd "headache", trading their franchise player, and not making it to the post season for the first time in 7 years. However, there were a few bright notes, like young guys Josh Boone and Sean Williams becoming major contributors and Marcus Williams showing progress. Richard Jefferson ranked in top 10 scoring leaders of the season, at #9. And Vince Carter emerged as the leader of the Nets and was one of only 3 players (Kobe Bryant and Lebron James the other 2) to average at least 20 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists a game. The popular assumption is that with an off-season together they will be back in the post season, but team president Rod Thorn has already promised changes would be made, and Coach Lawrence Frank vowed that as long as he's at the helm "A season like this will never happen again".

The following offseason proved to be very busy for the Nets as well. On June 26, 2008, Richard Jefferson was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons. Jefferson's departure, along with that of Jason Kidd earlier that year, marked the beginning of a new era in the Garden State. On the 2008 NBA Draft night, with the 10th pick the Nets selected Stanford center Brook Lopez. With the 21st pick the Nets selected the UC Berkeley forward Ryan Anderson. With the 40th pick the team selected Chris Douglas-Roberts, out of the University of Memphis. On July 2, the Nets signed draftees Brook Lopez and Ryan Anderson. On July 9, they signed remaining draftee Chris Douglas-Roberts.. The Nets filled out their now youthful roster by signing veterans Eduardo Najera & Jarvis Hayes, & trading for fiery Orlando point guard Keyon Dooling, a player they coveted for years. The Nets started off the 2008-2009 season on a positive note, but with the sprained ankle injury to point guard Devin Harris, they lost 3 straight games to the Pacers and to Miami. Upon his return, the Nets went on to win against the Atlanta Hawks twice, the 2nd team in the Eastern Conference with a 7-1 record. After splitting the next four games, Harris then led his team to a three game road winning streak, beating the Sacramento Kings in overtime, thrashing the Utah Jazz, and capping off the trip with a win against the Phoenix Suns. Harris has guided the Nets to a 9-7 record while averaging 25.3 points per game (fourth in the league) and has made himself a leading candidate for the NBA Most Improved Player Award. The Nets finished the first half of their season 19-22. The Nets are tied for 10th place with the New York Knicks.

In 2004, after failing to secure a deal for a new arena in Newark, New Jersey, YankeeNets sold the franchise to a group headed by real estate developer Bruce Ratner for $300 million, beating out a group led by Charles Kushner and Jon Corzine. While Kushner and Corzine wanted to keep the Nets in New Jersey, Ratner planned to move the team back to New York. In 2005 the Nets announced plans to locate the team in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn. One of the members of the ownership group is rap mogul and Brooklyn native Jay-Z. The team would be renamed Brooklyn Nets (current working title), "New York Nets," or have a new name attached to its Brooklyn location.

The Barclays Center is the center of an extensive redevelopment project called the Atlantic Yards being built by Ratner's real estate development company. The site of the arena is nearby to the site that Walter O'Malley wanted to use for a new stadium for the Brooklyn Dodgers in the early 1950s. The plan was rejected and resulted in the team's relocation to Los Angeles in 1958. The Nets would be the first major professional sports team to play their games in Brooklyn since the departure of the Dodgers. The arena is in the final planning stages. The Nets originally planned to move across the Hudson River for the beginning of the 2009–10 season. However, on January 3, 2008 the team announced that it would not start to play at the Barclays Center until 2010 at the earliest. It is unknown whether the team will move during the middle of the 2009–10 season or wait for the beginning of the next season (2010–11). In September 2006, the team and the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority announced an extension of their lease to keep the team in the Meadowlands until 2013, with a provision to leave as early as 2009 if the Brooklyn arena is completed.

In December 2008, construction on the Brooklyn Atlantic Yards project, which would include the Nets’ $950 million Barclays Center, was scheduled to go forward, according to a Forest City Enterprises executive. Forest City chief executive Charles Ratner said the developers could afford to delay construction of the project in 2009 if the economy continued to struggle. If the Nets achieve their revised goal of a 2011 move to Brooklyn, arena construction likely would have to start by sometime in the spring of 2009, assuming a court battle over environmental review of the site has concluded.

The television home of the Nets is currently the YES Network, which the Nets joined after the merger of the operations of the Yankees and Nets (under the corporation banner YankeeNets). The Nets have stayed on YES despite the dissolution of YankeeNets and Bruce Ratner's purchase of the team. Prior to that the Nets' TV home was Fox Sports Net New York and SportsChannel New York.

The team's local broadcast partner is WWOR-TV, and games have aired on WLNY in the past as well.

The current flagship radio station of the Nets is WFAN, who took over the radio rights to the Nets after losing their basketball contract with the Knicks (who moved to WEPN). Prior to that, Nets games aired on WNEW-AM, WQEW, and WOR.

Marv Albert and Ian Eagle share television duties for the Nets (Albert calls a majority of the games; Eagle subs when Albert is not available due to other commitments). Chris Carrino is the radio voice for the Nets. Mike Fratello and Jim Spanarkel also share the YES color analyst duties (Fratello on the majority of the games; Spanarkel on games when Fratello is on TNT), with Tim Capstraw providing analysis on the radio.

Other broadcasters who have worked for the Nets include Howard David, Bob Papa, Bill Raftery, Kelly Tripucka, Albert King, Mike O'Koren, WFAN update man John Minko and Mark Jackson.

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Dwyane Wade

Dwyane wade 2008.jpg

Dwyane Tyrone Wade, Jr. (born January 17, 1982) is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the Miami Heat in the National Basketball Association (NBA). His nicknames include "Flash" and "D-Wade". Wade was named 2006 Sportsman of the Year by Sports Illustrated. Despite the unorthodox spelling, Wade's first name is pronounced as Dwayne; often in print media, it is misspelled as such. Wade has established himself as one of the most well-known and popular players in the league. He had the top selling jersey in the NBA for nearly two years, as he led the NBA in jersey sales from the 2005 NBA playoffs, until the mid-point of the 2006-07 NBA season.

After entering the league with little fanfare as the fifth pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Wade has become one of the most accomplished young players in the NBA today. Having made the All-Rookie team in his first season and the All-Star team the following five seasons, Wade led the Miami Heat to their first NBA Championship in franchise history in his third pro campaign. He was named the 2006 NBA Finals MVP as he led the Heat to a 4–2 series win over the Dallas Mavericks. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Wade led the United States Men's Basketball team, commonly known as the Redeem Team, in scoring, as they captured gold medal honors in Beijing, China.

Dwyane Wade was born in the South Side of Chicago, Illinois to Dwyane Sr. and Jolinda. He cites one of his older sisters, Tragil, as the individual most responsible for his childhood upbringing and for steering him in the proper direction. His parents divorced and he lived with his father and stepmother in Robbins, Illinois during his childhood. As a child growing up in the Chicago area Wade idolized former Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan, and has said he patterns his game after him.

Wade attended Harold L. Richards High School in Oak Lawn. He did not see a lot of playing time his sophomore year as his stepbrother, Demetris McDaniel, was the star of the team. Wade grew four inches in the summer before his junior year and proceeded to average 20.7 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. Wade then averaged 27.0 points and 11.0 rebounds his senior year, and led his team to a 24–5 record. They advanced to the title game of the Class AA Eisenhower Sectional, during the season he set school records for points (676) and steals (106) in a season. He finished seventh in the Illinois Mr. Basketball voting.

Wade was recruited by only three schools (Marquette University, Illinois State, and DePaul University) as a result of academic problems.

Wade played college basketball for Marquette University in Milwaukee. In Wade's freshman year at Marquette he did not play because of academic problems. When Wade became eligible his sophomore year (2001–2002) he led the Golden Eagles in scoring with 17.8 ppg, led the conference in steals at 2.47 per game and also contributed averages of 6.6 rebounds per game and 3.4 assists per game. Marquette finished with a 26–7 record, the school's best record since the 1993–94 season. In 2002–03, Wade led Marquette in scoring again with 21.5 ppg, and Marquette won the school's first and only Conference USA championship with a 27–6 record. Wade then led the Golden Eagles to the Final Four, the school's first appearance in the Final Four since winning the 1977 national championship. After the season Wade was named First Team All-America by the Associated Press, becoming the first Marquette player since 1978 to do so.

The game that propelled Wade into the national spotlight came in the 2003 Midwest Regional Final in the NCAA Tournament in Minneapolis. Against heavily favored, top-ranked and top-seeded Kentucky Wildcats, Wade recorded a triple-double with 29 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. His triple double was just the third ever in NCAA Tournament history. Wade's accomplishment helped lead Marquette over the Wildcats 83–69 and into the Final Four, and Wade was named MVP of the Midwest Regional. Marquette finished the season ranked #6 in the AP poll, the school's highest ranking since the 1976–77 season. Wade's strong play in the tournament caused his draft stock to increase significantly. As a result, he elected to enter the 2003 NBA draft and forgo his senior year at Marquette.

On February 3, 2007, nearly three and a half years after his final collegiate game, Marquette retired Wade's jersey at halftime of their game against Providence. Although Marquette requires student-athletes to graduate prior to receiving jersey retirement honors, the University has made special exception for Wade based on his accomplishments since leaving Marquette.

Selected 5th overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Miami Heat, Wade quickly emerged as a productive player on a relatively young Miami Heat team and averaged 16.2 points on 46.5% shooting to go along with averages of 4.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game in his rookie season. Wade is one of only four Marquette University players to be drafted in the first round, and his draft selection is the highest in school history. After a slow 5–15 start, the Heat would gradually improve to finish 42–40 and make the playoffs. He further distinguished himself with outstanding performances in the playoffs, particularly against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. In the end, however, Wade's successful rookie season was somewhat overshadowed by the hype surrounding fellow rookies Carmelo Anthony and, in particular, LeBron James. Wade did earn unanimous selection to the 2004 NBA All-Rookie Team, and also finished third in rookie of the year voting (behind James and Anthony). He was ranked in the top five among rookies in several major statistical categories, including second in field goal percentage, second in steals, third in scoring, fourth in assists, and fourth in minutes played. In the playoffs Wade hit a game winning shot in Game 1 of the Heat's first round series against the New Orleans Hornets. The Heat won the series 4–3 and advanced to the second round to face the top-seeded and best record team in the NBA Indiana Pacers in a very entertaining series that almost pushed the 61 win Pacers to the edge, though Miami would eventually lose the series in six games. He became the fourth rookie since the shot clock era began to lead his team in scoring and assist average in the postseason.

Before the 2004–05 season Shaquille O'Neal was traded from the Los Angeles Lakers to the Heat. Compared to the previous year, the Wade and O'Neal-led Heat improved by 17 games, from a 42–40 record in the 2003–04 season, to an Eastern Conference-best 59–23 record in the 2004–05 season. He was selected as a reserve by the coaches around the league in the 2005 All-Star Game. He scored 14 points in 24 minutes of play.

In the first round of the 2005 NBA Playoffs, Wade averaged 26.3 points, 8.8 assists, and 6.0 rebounds at 50% field-goal shooting, as the Heat swept the New Jersey Nets. Wade performed extremely well in the second round as well by averaging 31 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists, as the Heat swept the Washington Wizards. The Heat would go on to lose against the defending champion Detroit Pistons in 7 games during the Eastern Conference Finals. Wade scored 42 and 36 points in Games 2 and 3 respectively, despite playing with sinusitis, the flu,and a knee strain. He also suffered a strained rib muscle in Game 5 of the Conference Finals that kept him out of Game 6, and limited him in Game 7. The Heat lost the series 4–3 after giving up a 3–2 lead, and a lead in the final three minutes of Game 7.

By the 2005–06 season Wade had developed into one of the most prominent players in the NBA, Wade was elected to his second All-Star Game. In the 2006 NBA All-Star Game, Wade made the game winning put-back off of the Philadelphia 76ers' Allen Iverson's missed shot, to lead the East to a 122–120 victory over the West. He scored 20 points on 9/11 field goals in 30 minutes of play. He finished the 2005–06 regular season averaging 27.2 points, 6.7 assists, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.95 steals per game.

Against the Chicago Bulls in the first round of the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Wade shook off a few injuries that scared Heat fans, including a severely bruised hip in Game 5. Returning late in the half, Wade resurrected his team by scoring 15 of his 28 points while suffering from intense pain, leading the Heat to the much-needed 3–2 series lead. After this, Wade successfully led his team to the 2006 NBA Finals, despite suffering from flu-like symptoms in game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Detroit Pistons. He put up a double-double with 14 points and 10 assists in that game, including an 8-point flurry to close out the third quarter that put the game out of reach.

In his first trip to the NBA Finals, in which Miami faced off against the Dallas Mavericks, Wade had some especially memorable moments. His performance in games three, four, and five, in which he scored 42, 36, and 43 points, respectively, helped bring the Heat back from a 0–2 deficit to lead the series at 3 games to 2. In Game 3 Wade tied his career playoff high with 42 points and grabbed a career high 13 rebounds. 15 of his 42 points came in the fourth quarter, in which the Heat erased a 13 point deficit over the final 6:34 with a 22–7 run which included a go-ahead jumper by NBA veteran Gary Payton that sealed the win. The Heat went on to win Game 6 behind Wade's 36 points, taking the series 4–2, and Wade was presented with the Finals MVP trophy. He became the fifth youngest player in NBA history to capture NBA Finals MVP honors and recorded the third highest scoring average by a player in his first NBA Finals with 34.7 points per game. His PER in the NBA finals was ranked by ESPN's John Hollinger as the greatest performance in NBA Finals history.

In the 2006–07 season, Wade missed a total of 31 games due to injury. He was elected to his third straight All-Star Game and received All-NBA honors. He became the first guard to earn All-NBA honors after missing at least 31 games in a season since Pete Maravich of the Utah Jazz earned Second Team honors during the 1977–78 season. Despite Wade's play, the Heat struggled early in the season with injuries and were 20–25 on February 1, 2007. But with Shaquille O'Neal healthy and Pat Riley returning to the bench after undergoing hip and knee surgeries, the Heat seemed poised to surge into the second half of the season. However, during a game against the Houston Rockets on February 21, 2007, while attempting to steal the ball from Shane Battier, Wade dislocated his left shoulder and was assisted off the court in a wheelchair. After the injury he was left with the decision to either rehabilitate the shoulder or undergo season-ending surgery. Wade later announced that he would put off the surgery and rehabilitate his shoulder with the intention of rejoining the team in time for the playoffs. After missing 23 games to recover from the injury, Wade returned to the active roster in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats. Sporting a black sleeve to help protect his dislocated left shoulder, Wade played 27 minutes and recorded 12 points and 8 assists, in a 111–103 overtime loss. For the season, Wade averaged 27.4 points, 7.5 assists, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.1 steals per game shooting 50% from the field, and finished the season as the NBA's leader in PER (Player rating).

In the playoffs, Wade averaged 23.5 points, 6.3 assists, and 4.8 rebounds per game, as the Heat were swept in the first round by the Chicago Bulls. Following the playoffs, Wade underwent a pair of successful surgeries to repair his dislocated left shoulder and left knee. The knee ailment, commonly called "jumper's knee," prevented Wade from joining USA Basketball in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament over the summer.

After missing the Tournament of Americas Olympic Qualifiers over the summer, Miami's eight pre-season games and first seven regular season games to recover from off-season left knee and left shoulder surgeries, Wade made his first appearance of the 2007–08 season on November 14, 2007. Battling pain in his left knee throughout the season, Wade was elected to his fourth consecutive All-Star Game appearance. However, with the Heat holding the worst record in the NBA and Wade still experiencing problems in his left knee, Heat coach Pat Riley announced Wade would miss the final 21 games of the season to undergo OssaTron treatment on his left knee. Wade averaged 24.6 points, 6.9 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 1.7 steals per game for the season.

After undergoing months of rehabilitation on his left knee and helping the U.S. Olympic team win a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics, in which he led the team in scoring, Wade returned to the starting lineup, stating, "I'm ready to go." During the season, Wade became the second player in NBA history to tally at least 40 points, 10 assists and five blocked shots in a game since Alvan Adams did so in the 1976–77 season. With a healthy Wade leading the league in scoring and the Heat making a push for a playoff position, Wade was elected to his fifth consecutive All-Star game appearance.

Following the All-Star game, Wade recorded a career high 50 points on 56.6% shooting and added 5 rebounds and 5 assists in a blow-out loss against the Orlando Magic. Wade became the fourth player in NBA history to score at least 50 points and lose by at least 20 in a game. The following game, Wade recorded a career-high 16 assists and added 31 points and 7 rebounds in a 103–91 win against the Detroit Pistons. Wade became the second player to record 15 or more assists after scoring at least 50 points since Wilt Chamberlain did so in 1968. Two games later, Wade tied a franchise record with 24 points in the fourth quarter, as he led the Heat back from a 15 point deficit in the final nine minutes of the quarter to secure a 120–115 win over the New York Knicks. For the game, Wade recorded 46 points on 55% field goal shooting, 10 assists, 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Wade followed the performance with a second-consecutive 40-point game against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Playing against his Eastern Conference rival and good friend, LeBron James, Wade registered 41 points on 53% shooting, 9 assists, 7 steals, 7 rebounds and one block as the Heat lost 107–100. The following game, in former teammate Shaquille O'Neal's return to Miami since being traded, Wade tied a career high with 16 assists and added 35 points on 62% shooting, 6 rebounds, a steal and a block, as the Heat defeated the Phoenix Suns 135–129. Wade became the only player in Heat history to have multiple games with at least 30 points and 15 assists. Less than one week later, Dwyane Wade had arguably the best game of his life winning a double overtime thriller against his home town by sinking a three at the buzzer. He finished with a remarkable 48 points, 12 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks.. Only several games later in a triple overtime game against the Utah Jazz, Wade scored 50 points and added 10 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks.

Wade was a member of the 2004 US Olympics team with fellow NBA All-Stars LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. The team competed in the 2006 FIBA World Championship in Japan, in which Wade averaged 19.3 points per game. The team won a bronze medal, which disappointed many USA fans who had hoped for a return to the days of the original "Dream Team".

Wade was named to the USA Men's Basketball National Team from 2006–2008. He was named co-captain of the 2006 team, along with James and Anthony. In 2007, due to injury, Wade was unable to compete at the Tournament of Americas Olympic Qualifiers, where the United States compiled a 10–0 record and qualified for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China.

At the 2008 Olympics, the United States went unbeaten and earned gold medal honors, defeating the 2006 World Champion Spain in the final. Wade led the team in scoring throughout the tournament and tallied a game high 27 points in 27 minutes on 75% field goal shooting and added 4 steals, 2 assists and 2 rebounds in the game. For the tournament, he averaged a team high 16 points in 18 minutes on 67% field goal shooting, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2.3 steals, as the United States lived up to their Redeem Team moniker and captured gold medal honors for the first time since 2000.

Wade plays the shooting guard position, but is also capable of playing point guard. On offense, he has established himself as one of the quickest and most difficult players to guard in the NBA. Wade is able to get to the free throw line consistently; he ranked first in free-throw attempts per 48 minutes in 2004–05 and again in the 2006–07 season. He has proven himself an unselfish player, averaging 6.7 assists per game throughout his career. After winning the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award in 2006, Wade developed a reputation as one of the premier clutch players in the NBA. David Thorpe, an athletic trainer who runs a training center for NBA players in the offseason, also cites Wade's developing post up game as one of his strengths. "Watching Wade operate on the left block is literally like watching old footage of MJ (Michael Jordan)," comments Thorpe. Thorpe goes on to say that Wade's best moves from the post are his turnaround jump shot, double pivot, and what Thorpe terms as a "freeze fake", a pump fake Wade uses to get his opponent to jump, so that he can then drive around him to the basket. The main weakness cited in Wade's ability is his lack of three-point range; he has averaged .280 on three-point field goal attempts for his career. He is best known for his ability to convert difficult lay-ups, even after hard mid-air collisions with larger defenders. As crowd pleasing as his high-flying style of basketball may be, some have expressed concerns over the dangers of playing in this manner, as Wade has already hurt his knees and wrists after mid-air collisions with larger players. Wade is also known for his defensive prowess , particularly his ability to block shots.

Wade married his high school sweetheart Siohvaughn Funches but filed for a divorce in 2007. He has two sons, Zaire Blessing Dwyane Wade (February 4, 2002) and Zion Malachi Airamis Wade (May 29, 2007). In February 2009, Wade sued his estranged wife and two of her lawyers over accusations that he had given her a sexually transmitted disease through an extramarital affair and for alleging that he had abandoned his children.

Wade's nicknames include D-Wade and Flash, which was given to him by former teammate Shaquille O'Neal who would sing, "He's the greatest in the Universe," in reference to the Queen song of the same name from the 1980 film Flash Gordon. Wade is also a devout Christian and chose the number 3 because it represents the Holy Trinity. He tithes 10% of his salary to a church in Chicago.

The Heat's 2005 NBA Playoff run and Wade's performances with Shaquille O'Neal hampered by injury, led to an explosion of media attention and rapid increase in Wade's popularity. During those playoffs, Wade's jersey became the top selling jersey in the league and remained so for nearly two years. After the Heat's success and Wade's memorable performances during the 2006 NBA Playoffs, Wade was further elevated into the public's eye and appeared on several talk shows, including Late Show with David Letterman and Live with Regis and Kelly.

Wade has been featured in a number of magazine articles and publications. In 2005, he was featured on People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, and in 2006 he was named the NBA's best dressed player by GQ Magazine. In 2007, Esquire named him to their 4th annual Best Dressed Men in the World list for the second straight year.

Wade has endorsement deals with companies such as Gatorade, Lincoln, Staples, Sean John, T-Mobile, and Topps. He has his own line of shoes with Converse named "The Wade" and a series of Sidekick phones known as the D-Wade Edition with T-Mobile.

Wade is well known for his philanthropic involvement in various organizations. In 2003, he founded the The Wade's World Foundation, which provides support to community-based organizations that promote education, health, and social skills for children in at-risk situations. He hosts a variety of community outreach programs in Chicago and South Flordia. In 2008, he announced his partnership with former teammate Alonzo Mourning's charitable foundation and co-hosted ZO's Summer Groove, an annual summer event.

In May 2008, Wade purchased a church for his mother, a Baptist pastor in Chicago. Wade's mother, Jolinda, is a former drug user but has since abandoned that lifestyle and devoted her life to spreading the word of God. She is currently the co-pastor at the Temple of Praise, a ministry she conceived while still incarcerated.

On December 24, 2008, Wade purchased a new home for a South Florida woman whose nephew accidentally burned down the family home. In addition, Wade donated some furnishings, clothing, and gifts to the family for the holiday.

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Source : Wikipedia