Through the Years

A look at some of the key dates during the playing career of Michael Jordan:

* SUMMER, 1980: Jordan is invited to the Five-Star basketball camp in Pittsburgh, a gathering of some of the top high school players in the country. But he is not asked for the first week, reserved for top prospects only. Organizers feared the youngster from Wilmington, N.C., would be overmatched.

* FALL, 1981. Begins college career at North Carolina.

* MARCH 29, 1982. His 16-footer with 15 seconds to play lifts Tar Heels to a 63-62 victory over Georgetown for the NCAA title.

* JUNE 19, 1984. After Houston drafts Akeem Olajuwon (now Hakeem) and Portland takes Sam Bowie, the Chicago Bulls use the third pick on Jordan.

* AUG. 10, 1984. Scores 20 points as the United States beats Spain, 96-65, at the Forum for Olympic gold medal.

* SEPT. 12, 1984. Signs first professional contract.

* APRIL 20, 1986. Scores 63 points in a double-overtime playoff game against the Boston Celtics, an NBA postseason scoring record. It is also the first of 33 times he will score 50 points or more.

* SEPT. 19, 1988. Signs eight-year, $25-million contract. "It's something you take as a compliment," he says. "I'm happy. I think it makes me work harder and earn what I'm getting paid, not that I wasn't earning it already."

* MAY 7, 1989. Last-second, hanging 17-foot straight-away jumper over Craig Ehlo beats Cleveland, 101-100, in the fifth and deciding game of the first-round playoff series.

* MARCH 28, 1990. Scores career-high 69 points in overtime game against Cleveland, the fourth time he has broken the 60-point barrier. He would later do it a fifth time. In 50 minutes, he also has 18 rebounds, six assists and four steals.

* JUNE 12, 1990. Bulls defeat Lakers at the Forum to win their first championship.

* SEPTEMBER, 1991. Named to the Dream Team that will play in the 1992 Olympics at Barcelona.

* OCTOBER, 1991. Declines to attend a White House ceremony with President Bush honoring the Bulls for their first NBA title, choosing to spend time with his family and play golf. "No way am I going to go," he says. "No one asked me if the date was convenient. It's OK if the other guys go, but the White House is just like any other house. It's just cleaner." Later that month, Jordan testifies that a $57,000 check to James (Slim) Bouler was for a gambling debt.

* FEBRUARY, 1992. Bail bondsman Eddie Dow is shot to death in front of his home. Investigations into his estate turn up three checks from Jordan made out to Dow totaling $108,000. Dow's attorney and brother say the checks were for gambling debts. Jordan denies knowledge of the checks.

* JUNE 3, 1992. Sets championship-series record with 35 points in one half and ties another record with six three-point baskets in all in Game 1 victory over Portland.

* JUNE 14, 1992. Bulls beat Trail Blazers to win second consecutive NBA title. Jordan becomes first player ever to be voted most valuable player in back-to-back finals.

* AUG. 8, 1992. Scores 22 points as United States beats Croatia, 117-85, for his second Olympic gold medal.

* FEB. 21, 1993. Starts for the Eastern Conference All-Stars for ninth consecutive year.

* APRIL 25, 1993. Ends regular season with seventh consecutive scoring title.

* MAY 17, 1993. Fall-away jumper from the right perimeter before the buzzer beats the Cavaliers, 103-101, in Game 4 of the playoffs and earns Bulls a sweep.

* MAY 24, 1993. Makes late-night trip to Atlantic City before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals at New York. He reportedly loses $5,000. He denies it was that much.

* JUNE, 1993. Book written by San Diego entertainment executive Richard Esquinas is released. Esquinas says Jordan built a $1.252-million debt on golf bets during a 10-day period in 1991. Jordan later admits to the wagering, but denies losing that much.

* JUNE 20, 1993. In what might be his last game, he scores 33 points on 13-of-26 shooting and has eight rebounds, seven assists, one steal and three fouls in 44 minutes. That carries the Bulls to 99-98 victory over Phoenix in Game 6 for their third consecutive title. He is again voted finals MVP.

* AUG. 13, 1993. Body of man found shot to death in South Carolina identified as James Jordan, Michael's father.

* OCT. 5, 1993. Throws out ceremonial first ball before Game 1 of the American League playoffs at Comiskey Park. Leaves in the sixth inning after word of his impending retirement spreads.

* OCT. 6, 1993. Announces retirement at a news conference at Bulls' practice facility in Deerfield, Ill.

Research compiled by Kelly Burgess of The Times sports staff.

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