Michael Jordan remains one of the most recognizable professional athletes in sports history. The former Chicago Bulls great‘s incredible career is revered by many believing he’s the greatest NBA player. That alone led the former Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong II, to construct a shrine dedicated to Jordan.
Michael Jordan’s illustrious NBA career
Over the last few decades, Michael Jordan holds the prestigious honor of being recognized by many as arguably the greatest NBA player.
Jordan’s illustrious 15-year career saw him establish himself as one of the best talents in all of sports. His resume speaks for itself with six NBA titles, six NBA Finals MVP awards, five regular-season MVP awards, a Defensive Player of the Year award, 14 All-Star selections, 10 All-NBA First Team honors, and nine NBA All-Defensive First-Team selections.
Jordan was more than a nearly impeccable scorer beyond his league-record 10 scoring titles and finishing third on the all-time scoring list. He stepped it up when it mattered most in the playoffs averaging an NBA record of 33.4 points per contest, which he averaged north of 30 points on 12 occasions.
Jordan has eight 50-point performances in the postseason and never played in a Game 7 in the NBA Finals. His 30.1 points per game are also the all-time mark, which adds another layer to his legacy. Jordan’s excellence on the court also saw one notable international public figure become a massive fan of his.
Kim Jong II built a Michael Jordan shrine
Michael Jordan’s tremendous success on the basketball court helped him earn admiration from fans across the globe.
Jordan’s far-reaching popularity also garnered the adoration from Kim Jong II, the former Supreme Leader of North Korea. The former Chicago Bulls great had such a strong impression on Kim throughout the 1990s that he built a shrine dedicated to him.
It came about after former United States Secretary of State Madeline Albright brought him a basketball autographed by Jordan back in 2000. The ball currently sits in North Korea’s Museum of International Understanding alongside a crocodile handbag from Fidel Castro and a rifle from Vladimir Putin.
Kim initially extended an invitation to Michael Jordan to make the trip to North Korea to play basketball. However, Jordan declined and chose to go this route instead. Kim also possessed a video library of nearly every Bulls game that featured Jordan.
Over the years, his son Kim Jong Un expressed tremendous admiration for the sport. All that led him to cultivate a strong friendship with Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman. Jong Un also attempted to meet Jordan through his relationship with Rodman, but the six-time NBA champion declined that request.
Legacy remains far reaching beyond borders
The fact that Michael Jordan drew strong admiration from the likes of Kim Jong II shows how far-reaching his popularity is across the globe.
Although his NBA career ended nearly two decades ago, Jordan is still regarded in high esteem by fans and professional athletes alike. He is the gold standard for success beyond the game of basketball that many strive to achieve.
Jordan’s impact goes well beyond his craft as he’s influenced several generations of talent that follow him. He forever changed the game of basketball while playing a pivotal part in helping make it the globally popular sport it has become.
Jordan’s legacy has cemented him as one of the most influential professional athletes in the world of sports.