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Michael Jordan's first nickname in the NBA was one from a popular superhero comics

Michael Jordan a.k.a. Captain Marvel was the first nickname he was given by the fans and NBA analysts
Michael Jordan's first nickname when he got to the NBA was one from a really popular superhero comics

Michael Jordan

When you hear Captain Marvel, your first association is probably the famous Marvel superhero 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.

Captain Marvel before Air Jordan

Whenever Jordan did something spectacular during the game, which usually would happen when he was dunking the ball, the commentators would say he turned into Captain Marvel because Jordan was making plays that people had never seen before. However, Jordan wasn't happy about it and said that implied he was better than the already existing superstars like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. 

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That made Jordan a target every night, and all the players were going after him, which was also one of the main reasons he became who he is. 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 started to get recognized in the media, among fans and NBA analysts, as Air Jordan. The brand evolved in the past 35 years into one of the most prestigious sports brands in the world, worth millions and millions of dollars. Michael Jordan immediately had a good hunch about not using Captain Marvel as his nickname.

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