Minorities in comics and animation: Michael Jordan

This week’s (slightly belated) entry takes a look at someone who *isn’t* a cartoon, but appeared as one (and alongside some) anyway: Michael Jordan, the sport of basketball’s most famous player.

Thanks to his legendary run with the Chicago Bulls, Jordan wound up appearing in tons of commercials, merchandise, and so forth. One example is the short-lived cartoon “ProStars,” an NBC series that aired during the fall of 1991 for 13 episodes. The series featured Jordan, Wayne Gretzky (hockey’s most famous player) and then-current football/baseball star (yes, both sports) Bo Jackson (star of a then-popular series of ads for Nike, “Bo Knows“). The three formed a quasi-Justice League of Athletes (a “JLA”?), and fought various generic criminals.

Another series of commercials (made after Jordan had become even more famous) were the various “Hare Jordan” ads for Nike in the mid-90s, featuring Jordan teamed up with Bugs Bunny.

The “Hare Jordan” ads and Jordan’s fame both led, of course, to Jordan’s most famous animated role, the 1996 film “Space Jam”. I’ve previously written my thoughts about “Space Jam,” as the film’s been recently re-released on DVD.

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