Multiplatform Initiative Celebrates Career and Legacy of NBA Legend
Beginning Monday, Feb. 4, ESPN will run a two-week tribute honoring NBA legend Michael Jordan leading up to his 50th birthday on Sunday, Feb. 17. The multiplatform initiative includes 23 #MJ50 vignettes in SportsCenter remembering Jordan’s legacy, a robust slate of Jordan’s greatest performances on ESPN Classic and SportsCenter’s Top 50 Jordan highlights with fan participation determining the Top Ten.
NBA Commissioner David Stern, All-Stars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul, Basketball Hall of Famer Bobby Knight and Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist COMMON are some of the notable figures adding their voices to the project across ESPN platforms.
23 Ways to Celebrate Michael Jordan’s 50th Birthday:
News and Information Programming
1. Current NBA stars LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Chris Paul discuss Jordan’s impact on the game in exclusive SportsCenter vignettes.
2. NBA Commissioner David Stern sits down with Jeremy Schaap for an interview about Jordan’s legacy.
3. Stern also taped a vignette on Jordan’s contributions to the NBA.
4. Hip hop artist, actor and Chicago native COMMON voices special vignettes for SportsCenter.
5. Bob Knight, who coached Jordan and Team USA to Gold in 1984, reflects on Jordan’s contributions in a unique vignette.
6. The Top 50 Michael Jordan highlights will run on SportsCenter on Sunday, Feb. 17, Jordan’s birthday, with the final Top Ten determined by fan voting on ESPN.com.
7. A special vignette will focus on Jordan’s Hall of Fame speech from 2009.
8. A segment exploring how Jordan still transcends basketball through his sneakers and the everlasting Jordan brand is scheduled for February 10.
9. SportsCenter compiles Jordan’s most memorable comments as part of a Jordan in His Own Words segment.
10. Another SportsCenter vignette examines Jordan’s Greatest Moments from North Carolina to Charlotte, including NBA dominance, retirements and comebacks.
11. Jordan’s minor league baseball experience will be explored in another SportsCenter vignette.
12. SportsNation on February 15 will recap Jordan’s best moments – not only in basketball, but in baseball, golf, pop culture and advertising. A surprise musical guest will also help celebrate the occasion.
13. The KIA NBA Countdown crew – Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jalen Rose, Michael Wilbon and Bill Simmons – discuss Jordan’s legacy on February 16.
14. The Chicago Bulls take on the Utah Jazz on Friday, Feb. 8, at 10:30 p.m. ET with Mark Jones and Jon Barry providing commentary.
ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com
15. ESPN.com’s Wright Thompson pens a feature examining Jordan’s past and future.
16. ESPNChicago listeners will vote on Jordan’s Top 50 moments.
17. The Jordan greatest moments vignettes and repurposed on-air and on-line content will be featured on ESPNChicago.
18. Chicago native Michael Wilbon studies Jordan’s impact on the Windy Cindy in an essay for ESPN.com on February 11.
19. ESPN sports business reporter Darren Rovell explores the growth of the Jordan brand over nearly three decades on February 12.
20. ESPN The Magazine’s Music issue, which hits newsstands on Feb. 8, features a one-page graphic plotting Jordan’s career, from the tongue-wag to Space Jam.
21. ESPN Classic will present four days and 70 hours of Jordan programming including the best 23 games of his career.
22. ESPN Classic will televise Jordan-themed original programming and the award-winning 30 for 30 series including: Firestone Chats: Michael Jordan; Top 5 Reasons You Can’t Blame the Trail Blazers for Drafting Sam Bowie over Jordan; Up Close Classics: Michael Jordan; SEC Storied: Going Big; and 30 For 30: Jordan Rides The Bus.
23. Among Jordan’s career highlights airing on ESPN Classic are Chicago Bulls regular season, Eastern Conference Finals and the NBA Finals throughout Jordan’s career; select NBA All-Star Games and Slam Dunk Contests; North Carolina Tar Heels games from 1983-84; the 1984 ACC Tournament and the 1987 Collegiate Legends Classic Alumni Game.