In many ways, Michael Jordan has also transcended the hobby of collecting sports cards. In a pastime that becomes more "What have you done for me lately?" with each passing year, No. 23 remains one of the top draws in basketball cards, exciting everyone from older collectors who thrilled to his entire career to kids who never saw him wear a Chicago Bulls uniform live.
He also became almost synonymous with Upper Deck, spending years as an exclusive spokesman - a position he still holds today. MJ is the crown jewel of UD's memorabilia division and a constant presence in its card sets.
Whatever the company has paid him for his services, especially when it comes to signing autographs, it's been well worth the investment. Jordan's signed collectibles command big money, often reaching four-digit prices without much trouble.
Upper Deck has also featured Jordan on hundreds of autographed basketball cards over the last decade. Every one of them is a great pull, but some really spark the imagination thanks to the combination of Jordan's fame and UD's creativity.
Though picking the best of Jordan's autographed cards is a difficult task, we've selected a few that stand out from the rest of the pack as being truly exceptional.
1) 2000-01 SP Game Floor Authentic Floor Autographs #MJA Michael Jordan SP /23
Remember when engraved pieces of game-used floor were hot for a minute? That trend only lasted a few seasons, but the pairing of a piece of hardwood with a Jordan autograph never goes out of style. Like so many of his signed cards, this one is appropriately limited to 23 copies.
2) 2001-02 Upper Deck MJ's Back Jerseys Quad Autograph #CCQ1 Jordan UNC/Bulls/Bulls/Wiz /5
Naturally, Upper Deck capitalized in every possible way on Jordan's comeback with the Washington Wizards during the 2001-02 season. This is a particularly inspired product of that thinking, putting his signature under game-worn swatches from college, the Bulls and the Wizards.
3) 2004-05 SP Signature Edition Six Star Signatures #6S2 Kobe/MJ/LeBron/KG/Magic/Melo /5
One of the few things that can improve upon a Jordan autograph is to put it on a card that also sports signatures from another NBA superstar... or five of them. This card adds fellow Upper Deck spokesmen Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Kevin Garnett, as well as Magic Johnson and Carmelo Anthony. That's something for every basketball collector.
4) 2006 Sweet Spot Update Spokesmen Signatures #4 Michael Jordan /20
Lest we forget that MJ dabbled in baseball during his first hiatus from pro hoops, this card serves as a reminder. Sweet Spot Signatures are always cool, as simulated horsehide is one of the best ways to show off an autograph.
UD Black has been one of the more innovative brands to hit the scene in recent years, doing all kinds of interesting things with autographs. This card puts Jordan's signature right on a large jersey swatch, and the flip side gives the same treatment to his 1992 Olympic teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Larry Bird.
Some collectors feel simple is better, and this straightforward card fits the bill. It's also representative of something many people would never have expected - Jordan's signature on a SkyBox card - as Upper Deck only obtained the rights to that familiar name a few years ago.
A list of top Michael Jordan autographed cards would be incomplete without including at least one of Jordan's Upper Deck Exquisite patch autographs. These cards couple insanely cool multi-color jersey patches with an on-card Jordan autograph.