Michael B. Jordan and Michael J. Jordan are two of the most famous and successful people in their respective fields. The former is an award-winning actor who has starred in critically acclaimed films such as Fruitvale Station, Creed, and Black Panther. The latter is a legendary basketball player who is widely regarded as the greatest of all time, winning six NBA championships and numerous individual accolades with the Chicago Bulls.
But are they related by blood or by name? The answer is no. Despite sharing the same surname and middle initial, Michael B. Jordan and Michael J. Jordan are not related in any way. They have different parents, different backgrounds, and different origins of their names.
How Michael B. Jordan Got His Name
Michael B. Jordan was born on February 9, 1987, in Santa Ana, California, to Donna and Michael A. Jordan. His middle name, Bakari, means “noble promise” in Swahili. He is not named after the basketball star, but rather after his father, who shares the same first and last name.
However, growing up with such a famous name was not easy for the young actor. He faced constant comparisons and jokes from his peers and teachers, who often asked him if he could play basketball or if he was related to the sports icon. He also had trouble getting auditions and roles because of the confusion and saturation of his name in the entertainment industry.
To avoid being mistaken for the other Michael Jordan, he decided to use his middle initial as part of his professional name. He told Men’s Journal that he added the “B” to his name because “there was a lot of confusion growing up: ‘Are you Michael Jordan’s son?’ ‘Are you related to Michael Jordan?’ I just wanted to make my own way.”
How Michael J. Jordan Got His Name
Michael J. Jordan was born on February 17, 1963, in Brooklyn, New York, to Deloris and James R. Jordan. His middle name, Jeffrey, was given to him by his mother, who liked the sound of it. He is not named after anyone in particular, but rather after a common English name.
However, he was not always known by his full name. When he was a child, he went by the nickname “Mike” or “MJ”. He only started using his middle initial when he joined the NBA in 1984, because there was already another player named Mike Jordan on the roster of the Chicago Bulls.
To avoid being confused with his teammate, he decided to use his middle initial as part of his official name. He told Sports Illustrated that he added the “J” to his name because “I didn’t want to be just another Mike.”
Michael B. Jordan and Michael J. Jordan are two different people with two different stories behind their names. They are not related by blood or by name, but they do share a common respect and admiration for each other’s achievements.
In fact, they have met several times and have expressed their mutual appreciation and support. In 2015, Michael B. Jordan revealed that he received a personal note from Michael J. Jordan congratulating him on his performance in Creed. He said that it was “one of the best moments” of his life
In 2020, Michael J. Jordan praised Michael B. Jordan for being named People’s Sexiest Man Alive, saying that he was “a talented actor who has earned this honor.” He also joked that “the ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ torch has been passed.”
So, while they may not be related by name or by blood, they are certainly related by fame and by excellence.