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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 15:19 GMT
Salute Michael Jordan at 40
Michal Jordan has been at the very top for years
Basketball star Michael Jordan celebrates his 40th birthday on Monday and the great man is still slamming them in.

Send your tributes.

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Mentioned in the same breath as Muhammad Ali and Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan is one of America's best-loved sportsmen - and is possibly its most talented.

If Larry Bird and Magic Johnson resurrected basketball during the 1980s, it was MJ who slam-dunked the NBA into world recognition during the following decade.

'His Airness' has set countless NBA scoring records, picking up six regular-season Most Valuable Player awards en route to winning as many championships.

This year was his 14th All-Star selection and the other participating players paid fitting tribute by demanding that he should start.

How highly do you rate Jordan?

Have your say

There have been some fantastic athletes in recent times; Carl Lewis, Daley Thompson, Miguel Indurain. But none of them come close to MJ. The games against the Jazz in '97 and '98 are the best examples of what a human can do at its peak.

Surely no one can exceed those performances. An inspiration to all sportsman. For me no other athlete living or dead comes close to the abilities of Jordan.
Matthew West, United Kingdom

Michael Jordan is maybe the greatest basketball player ever and possibly the greatest sportsman in terms of domination in his sport.

But he will never have the global impact that Muhammad Ali enjoys. Ali is the greatest sportsman who ever lived. His fame and impact is way ahead of Jordan's, using this logic second would be Pele.

Basketball may be a popular sport around the world but it's not a patch on soccer, the only true world game.
Amjad Khan, England

Pele. Gretzky. Ruth. Jordan. The most completely unstoppable offensive forces in the history of team sport.
Grant, United States of America

Jordan still strides like a colossus in his comprehensive understanding of the game and his unique and dynamic skill.

Jordan is simply the most exciting athlete I have ever seen

Welby, Australia

The sport and many fans of the game will surely miss him whenever he chooses to take a final bow. He has really touched innumerable lives both on and off the pitch, which is the way a true ambassador should act. Many more years in the service of humanity.
Oluwa, Nigeria

Happy Birthday Mike!! The greatest competitor in the history of sports... the unparalleled desire to achieve his goals and to win!
Michael Lazarou, Cyprus

After Magic and Bird retired, 'Michael' almost single-handedly carried world basketball to new heights of popularity. No player has been as popular globally (soccer and cricket don't count because the US don't play them), as unstoppable or as influential on his team's performance.

As an icon, cricket's Bradman may compare, although Bradman only contributed when he batted. Jordan did it all game, every game.

When Jordan retired from the Bulls, I barely watched a basketball game afterwards - many would say the same. Unfortunately, Jordan's sublime level of skill ruined basketball as a spectacle when he passed his peak.

Jordan is simply the most exciting athlete I have ever seen. A lithe 6ft 6in man who could catch, handle and throw a ball better than most, who moved like a ballet dancer, and most importantly, Air Jordan could fly. The mere term of 'champion' does him no justice.
Welby, Australia

Happy birthday Michael Jordan. Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player I have ever seen.
Shahen Fernando, U.S.A.

Not often do you get to say "living legend". Michael is a sportsman that everyone round the world aspires to be like.

I follow the Bulls and have done since I got bitten by the basketball bug in the mid 80s. I remember MJ joining the team and literally serving notice that championships were coming to Chicago.

When he retired the first time it was shattering for the team, and for basketball. Then came the rumour of his return, and the ovation that followed when he did was absolutely electric.

MJ, Jordan or simply Michael, however you refer to him, legend will be in that sentence somewhere.
Glen Banyard, UK

Some say Pele was the greatest footballer ever, some Maradona, but when it comes to basketball there is no question MJ blows away all opposition.

A joy to watch and a true competitor. Also the inspiration for some off the coolest trainers I ever had the privilege to wear. In my opinion the best sportsman ever, ever, EVER!!
Jamie, Scotland

As much as he has done for basketball, his influence in people's lives off the court is what I remember him for. He was a huge inspiration during my youth and for that I am deeply thankful. I only regret never being able to see him play in person.
Peter Rees, New Zealand

I saw MJ play live in Atlanta. Although we expected more from him, we did get to see the spirit that he has for the game. Kobe is the next BIG thing. Keep watchin!!
Pearl Zdrok Odido, USA

He will still be the best when he is 50 or 60

Rob, Sweden

With the Philippines best loved game is Basketball so with Michael Jordan as the best loved player. The whole family from parents down to grandchildren are all for Michael Jordan. Three of my brothers are Guard Forward - Michael Jordan is the idol. What a legacy left to the world especially his humble attitude. A JOYOUS BIRTHDAY TO YOU, MIKE!
Lorna, HK-Phil

Michael has and always will be a true legend in the game. He has inspired many people including me. I was also lucky enough to meet him and got an autograph which was very special. He is the nicest guy imaginable.
James Cleveland, England

MJ is the greatest ever in the sense that, not just as a basketball player, but as a genuine professional athlete with firm determinations. He will still be the best when he is 50 or 60.
Rob, Sweden

MJ is phenomenal in all aspects and the greatest sportsman I have ever witnessed. His competitive and technical abilities will never be matched in the history of basketball.

I became a convert to basketball all because of MJ. In one sentence, he's responsible for the astronomical rise in the popularity of the game world wide.

Long life MJ! Happy birthday to the master and pro!!
Fred Hamssen, England

MJ the man who introduced basketball to the international audience

Jerry, USA

This man is a living legend. He is a legend of legends. When I started watching basketball 10 years ago, Jordan, had just about reached his peek, yet, unlike most pros, he has stayed at his peak for a long time
Pete, Oxford, UK

MJ the man who introduced basketball to the international audience, should end his career displaying his talents to the international audience - 2004 in Athens.
Jerry, USA

I only have one genuine sporting idol, and that is Michael Jordan. Why? Because beyond all the dunks and fancy moves, he gave 100% EVERY GAME, EVERY SEASON for 15 years!! He never had a bad game, NOT ONE!

Think of all the other supposed superstars and try and say that. MJ is simply without question the fiercest and proudest sports competitor on the face of this earth. And forget 20 years; people will be talking about MJ in a hundred, even a thousand years!

I thank God I was born in his generation to witness the magic.
Kevin Wall, Brazil

One word 'phenomenon'.
Moahood Adepoju, UK

So good he has a brand of trainers named after him!

Robert, UK

Jordan was the sole reason I started to watch basketball. It was his spectacular gravity defying performance against the Pistons during the 89 play-offs that swayed me.

I had never seen anything quite like that. He is responsible for the immense popularity that the NBA enjoys worldwide. And he is quite possibly the world's greatest sportsman ever. Its no surprise then that the NBA popularity has started to sag since the bulls stopped running. I for one have begun to lose interest.
Willz Odipo, Kenya

So good he has a brand of trainers named after him! Seriously the greatest basketball player of all time and there may be never a player in my life time who will make such impact.
Robert, UK

He's definitely the greatest basketball ever if not the greatest sportsman ever.

Even the 14th All-Star selection and the other participating players demanded that this 40 year-old guy should start the game. That's the greatest tribute ever.
Ibrahim Bakri Ahmad, Malaysia

The true master of his game. There may never be another to match his outstanding ability in Basketball. To still be the best at 40 is an outstanding achievement.
Andrew, England

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BBC Sport Online pays tribute to Michael Jordan, the man who brought basketball to the world.

Career in focus

Be like Mike

Photo gallery

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