Walter Iooss’ photos and collages of Michael Jordan featured in Sports Illustrated cover story celebrating the basketball icon’s 50th birthday

Michael Jordan turned 50 this month, a milestone marked by Sports Illustrated in a photo-filled cover package that kicks off with a classic Jordan action shot by Walter Iooss (who wished the basketball great a happy birthday via Instagram). It happens to also be the 50th Michael Jordan cover in Sports Illustrated‘s history.

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Walter Iooss - Michael Jordan

The cover of Sports Illustrated features a photo illustration based on the below photo by Walter Iooss.

Michael Jordan competing in the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest in Chicago. Photo by Walter Iooss.

Michael Jordan competing in the 1988 NBA Slam Dunk Contest in Chicago. Photo by Walter Iooss.

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Inside the issue, there’s a gallery of the 50 covers, including these three by Walter…

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Photo by Walter Iooss.

The December 28, 1987–January 4, 1988 issue. Photo by Walter Iooss.

Photo by Walter Iooss.

The June 23, 1997, issue. Photo by Walter Iooss.

Photo by Walter Iooss.

The May 11, 1998, issue. Photo by Walter Iooss.

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A selection of collaged pages from Walter’s journals were also featured by Sports Illustrated, both in the magazine and in the iPad edition…

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Below, a screenshot of Walter’s Instagram post wishing Jordan a happy 50th.

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Screen Shot 2013-02-21 at 3.24.38 PM

See more on Instagram: @walteriooss.

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