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Jordan: Basketball's best ever!
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Michael Jordan is an icon to millions

Martin Henlan on why Michael Jordan will forever be a sporting icon

Well he's finally retired!

What Michael Jordan has accomplished is beyond the wildest dreams of the most outrageous Hollywood scriptwriter. To coin a cliché, 'you couldn't make it up.'

First of all he should have been Brazilian. Only those South American footballing Gods are known by one name and even then it's something distinctive. Pele, Zico and Ronaldo are fine examples.

He's so good that he's known the world over as Michael or sometimes just plain old Mike?

His signature ad campaign had the slogan "if I could be like Mike!" That just wouldn't work for any other sporting icon.

"If I could be like Dave" still needs Beckham at the end to make it meaningful, and still doesn't have the same ring.

Yet another slam dunk for Jordan
Jordan seemed to 'hang' in the air for ever!
Everyone in basketball has a favourite Mike moment. For some it's a game he played, while others remember a championship he won.

For me it's a play. I still get chills when I think of that move. To describe it is useless, but if you've seen him play there will be a moment that stands out for you too.

We all have our own little piece of Jordan history that moved us and almost brought us to tears.

People the world over, some of whom have never seen basketball, have taken to wearing Chicago Bulls number 23 jerseys.

Why? Because Jordan epitomised what sport is all about. The ultimate competitor, he improved his game every year.

More importantly, he has grown in stature as an ambassador not only to the game of basketball but to the spirit of competition.

On the court he did everything.

Imagine David Beckham keeping goal in a cup final while scoring a hat-trick, or Michael Schumacher adding his own fuel during pit stops and still taking the chequered flag two minutes ahead of the field.

Few sports stars have as many fans as Jordan
Jordan's adoring fans cheer on their man
That comes close to what Mike did for his team. His dunks were spectacular to say the least. He did things with a basketball that were surely special effects.

Hang time took on a real meaning once you witnessed him soaring through and over defences to score another unbelievable basket. He has quite simply changed the game forever.

Today's players are simply out to emulate what he could do. The incredible thing about him is that he only wanted to win.

And win he did. Six NBA championships, two Olympic gold medals and that College National Championship are just the team accolades he achieved.

Now he's retiring, for good this time. I already miss him, but in my head and my heart I will always have 'my play'.

And if my son wants to play basketball and turns to me for advice, I will of course tell him to try and be like Mike.

Michael Jordan facts
Jordan was born on 17 February, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York
Jordan is 6ft 6in and wears size 13 "Air Jordan" trainers
He almost always wore the number 23 shirt, which he started wearing at high school because his brother had his first-choice number 45
He briefly wore the number 45 shirt on his 1995 comeback and once number 12 after his regular shirt was stolen

Martin Henlan facts
Henlan is in his twelfth professional season as a basketball player
He has won Commonwealth gold and silver medals for England
Domestically, he has won every trophy available on at least three occasions

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