When you hear the world Captain Marvel your first association is probably the famous Marvel superhero that was featured in their comics and most recently in several movies. Back in the mid-80s, when Michael Jordan first entered the NBA, he wasn't known as Air Jordan. Commentators and later fans called Jordan Captain Marvel because even though he was a young player, he was already more dominant than 90 percent of players in the NBA during that time.
Every time Jordan would do something spectacular during the game, and usually by dunking the ball, the commentators would say he turned into Captain Marvel because Jordan was making plays that people never have seen before. However, Jordan wasn't happy about it and said at that time this implied he was better than the already existing super stars like Magic and Bird.
This made Jordan a target every single night, and all the players were going after him which was also one of the main reasons he became who he is right now. In an interview with Ahmad Rashad, Jordan remembers those times when people also knew him under the name Captain Marvel.
"It just didn't seem right because captain sounded like I am at the top of the league and I consider myself the bottom at that time. I'm walking into the arena playing against Magic Johnson, Larry Bird and you call out Captain Marvel which means you are putting a big dot in my back. So I said no, you need to come back with something else."
After his notorious slam dunk contests, Michael was started to be recognized in the media, among fans and NBA analysts as Air Jordan. The brand evolved in the past 35 years in one of the most prestigious sports brands in the world, worth millions and millions of dollars. It's safe to say Michael Jordan immediately had a good hunch about not using Captain Marvel as his nickname.