What were Michael Jordan’s nicknames? Taking a closer look

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Michael Jordan has some of the coolest nicknames given to a basketball player.

Michael Jordan was the face of the NBA for nearly his entire career in pro basketball. Along the way, he has earned several nicknames that have become almost as iconic as the player himself.

Jordan is still considered by many to be the best player to ever lace up a pair of sneakers. It’s only apt and expected that basketball fans try to capture his essence through the fond nicknames that he’s been associated with.

Here’s a list of some of the names attributed to the legendary Chicago Bulls player.

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#1 Michael Jordan is most popularly known as MJ

There’s no surprise that the nickname he is best known for comes from his initials. He is called MJ or just Mike by the people closest to him.

#2 Air Jordan

Jordan’s former agent David Falk gets the credit for coming up with an iconic handle for the upcoming rookie.

The former North Carolina star desperately wanted to sign for Adidas. Jordan’s parents, however, wanted him to listen to Nike’s pitch. Falk also asked MJ not to dismiss what Phil Knight’s people had to offer.

Jordan eventually gave in and signed with the company most known for its running shoes. Nike agreed to give the basketball star a shoe line of his own.

Nike didn’t want to do the obvious and name it the Michael Jordan line. Falk suggested Air Jordan and it has stuck since.

#3 His Airness

“His Airness” was coined by basketball fans who couldn’t get enough of Jordan’s aerial showmanship. Jordan was a multiple slam dunk champion and his in-game slams were the stuff of legends.

Sometimes, basketball fans watch Jordan simply for the sake of seeing his incredible above-the-rim highlights.

#4 Black Cat

Before Michael Jordan went to play college hoops in North Carolina, he was already called “Black Cat” by some of his peers.

The moniker was used by Tinker Hatfield for the Air Jordan 13. Hatfield likened Jordan’s feline grace, power and ferocity to the said creature.

Michael Jordan was reportedly so impressed and touched by the “Black Cat” version that the basketball star had trouble keeping tears away.

#5 Black Jesus

Opponents and fans who have been left in awe of Jordan’s basketball exploits have called him “Black Jesus.”

Based on popular stories, it was former Indiana Pacers great Reggie Miller who revealed how the name started.

Miller narrated a story about a game heading into his rookie season when he talked trash to Michael Jordan. “His Airness” put on a scintillating display after Miller ran his mouth off and told the youngster not to talk trash to “Black Jesus.”

Reggie Miller remembered that incident and never talked trash to Jordan again in his entire career.

#6 Captain Marvel

A nickname that isn’t so popular now was quite the hit in Jordan’s early years in the NBA. MJ made the All-Star team in his rookie season and was better than perhaps 90% of the players in the league at that time.

Before he became “His Airness,” fans fondly called him “Captain Marvel.”

#7 Magic Jordan

Like “Black Cat,” the moniker “Magic Jordan” had its roots in Michael Jordan’s childhood years. The Chicago Bulls legend was so in awe of LA Lakers great Magic Johnson that he wanted to be called “Magic” as well.

Jordan’s first car had the luxury plate “Magic Jordan,” which showed how much he enjoyed the nickname.

Michael Jordan's other nicknames:


Mr. June

Sir Altitude


The Jumpman

His Royal Airness

Mr. Clutch

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