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Collection Highlight: The Jordan Touch

14 March 2023

By 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum Curatorial Team

The 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum (QOSM)’s Hall of Athletes showcases a jersey worn by undisputed basketball royalty, Michael Jordan.

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A sport, business and culture phenomenon all in one, ‘His Airness’ Michael Jordan was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1963 and was set to change the face of basketball forever.

Often called ‘Air Jordan’ for his gravity-defying jumps, Jordan was initially drafted by the Chicago Bulls in 1984. That same year, he won the first of his two Olympic gold medals for the USA.

His career soared in the 1990s, and as a 6-time NBA champion and 5-time NBA Most Valuable Player, he is often credited with popularising basketball worldwide.

Although Jordan wore a couple of different jersey numbers early in his career, he soon became synonymous with 23, which was so heavily attached to his presence on court that even the Miami Heat, a team he never played for, retired the number in 2003.

This jersey, featuring the classic Chicago Bulls red, white and black, is on display at QOSM’s Hall of Athletes, and was worn by Jordan during the 1989-90 NBA competition season.

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Game-worn shirt used by Michael Jordan while playing with the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Championship Season 1989-90. Jordan's name is synonymous with the Chicago Bulls, a club he transformed from average to world-class in the 1990s. This greatly boosted civic pride in Chicago.

Jordan’s career forayed into both business and entertainment, with an immensely successful shoe and athletic line plus a Hollywood film in his back pocket, respectively.

Space Jam (1996) a live-action animated film features beloved Warner Bros Looney Tunes characters, most pointedly smart-mouthed hare Bugs Bunny in a starring role opposite Jordan. Jordan’s ‘Dream Team’ mates Charles Barkley and Larry Bird also starred.

Even today, two decades after his final retirement, Michael Jordan is still respected as one of the greatest basketball players the world has ever seen. Further to his sporting achievements, he is a recognised philanthropist, most recently – upon turning 60 in February of 2023 – the Jordan Brand donated 2.3 million US dollars in grants to multiple nonprofits across the United States, in a nod to his no. 23 jersey.

Plan your visit today to see other items belonging to Michael Jordan and other notable sporting names at QOSM’s complete Hall of Athletes.