Happy Birthday, Michael Jordan: Celebrating MJ's 53rd With His Seven Greatest NBA Moments

We're here to celebrate the man, the myth, the legend -- Michael Jordan. The Charlotte Hornets owner turns 53 today, 13 years removed from his last game as an active player.

Jordan's legacy hasn't faded with time, though. In fact, the newest generation of NBA superstars have only enhanced His Airness' impact on the league, as the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have both worked off of MJ's blueprint and battled his shadow while creating legacies of their own. Nobody did it better than Jordan, and nobody likely will.

In honor of the former Chicago Bulls centerpiece's birthday, we thought now would be a fantastic time to take a trip back in time and relive the seven most iconic moments of his career.

7. 1988 Dunk Contest

In front of a raucous home crowd at Chicago Stadium, MJ provided a moment for bedroom posters around the world -- soaring from the free-throw line with mouth agape to help seal a 1988 Slam Dunk Contest win. More Bulls awesomeness inside the Chat Sports iPhone and Android apps!

6. "The Switch"

Just watch it. Jordan defied gravity and logic with this switch-hands layup in Game 2 of the 1991 NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers. Chicago went on to win the first of six titles, all with Jordan at the on-court helm.

5. 63 Against The Celtics

Jordan's 63 points against the Celtics on April 20, 1986 was the most scored by any player in a postseason game -- a record which still stands three decades later. The performance prompted Larry Bird to exclaim "God was disguised as Michael Jordan" in incredulation.

4. Father's Day 

Jordan retired from basketball after the 1992-93 season after his father was murdered to take a shot at pro baseball -- a dream they had both shared when MJ was growing up. When Jordan came back to the NBA, he was inspired by a new reserve of passion which spilled out when he finished off his fourth title in 1996 on Father's Day in Seattle.

3. "The Shot"

This is where Michael Jordan's legacy as a clutch shooter began. MJ faked Cleveland's Craig Ehlo out of his shorts, draining a buzzer beater over him in Game 5 of the teams' 1989 first-round series. One of the most enduring iconic moments in a pro career full of them.

2. 6th Title Clincher

Jordan's legendary 6th title sealer in the 1998 NBA Finals is a moment etched in NBA lore -- a deft move to get space from Utah's Bryon Russell followed by a dagger shot with seconds left. It was a fitting end to his second three-peat and final season with the Bulls.

1. Flu Game

This may be a controversial choice over our #2 option, but the "Flu Game" only gets more legendary as the days and years go on. It was an epic, almost mythical showcase of will when a clearly dehydrated MJ battled a 103-degree fever to drop 38 on the Jazz in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.

Go back and watch the game in its entirety if you can. It's both inspiring and nerve-wracking, even almost two decades later.

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