Michael Jordan:
The New American Hero

America has adopted Michael Jordan as its hero of the '90s. He represents the total package of a modern hero--he plays the black street game of basketball better than anyone in history while at the same time Nike has made him the biggest marketing phenomenon of modern times. By straddling these two worlds, Jordan connects two different facets of America--black, inner-city basketball culture and the corporate-controlled, white-dominated business world. In doing this he has become the most complex and dynamic hero in American history as well as a complete cultural icon.

As an All-Star Guard for the NBA Champion Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan has become the greatest basketball player of our time. He has an all-around game second to none--slam dunks, jump shots, stingy defense and even some expert trash talking. He has brought a perfect version of the black game of street basketball to the court in the NBA. In the process he has inspired an entire new generation of black players.
Michael Jordan is not only a basketball player, but an excellent executive and a perfect cultivator of his own image. These skills allow him to go beyond being just a basketball hero and enable him to become a well-rounded, complex and powerful American icon. The business side of Jordan allows him to serve as a crucial and powerful link between the black inner-city culture and the white corporate world.
Jordan plays the game of basketball--a game that has become an African-American cultural object of the inner-city streets. His representation of this fluid, graceful game allows him to tap this segment of society and create a complex image that connects with inner-city and corporate America alike. The game of basketball is just as important to Jordan's status as a hero as he is himself. Without basketball he would be nothing.

Main Jordan: The Player Jordan: The Executive Basketball:
The Black Street Game
Web Resources & Bibliography