Start with the statue.

The idea sounds cliché, almost pedestrian, when gauging the impact of Michael Jordan's second, more dominant run with the Bulls from 1995-98.

But then you arrive outside Gate 4 of the United Center on a sunny, sticky day, 12 minutes ahead of 7-year-old Elijah Abreu. The kid is sporting spotless Air Jordans and a smile that surely makes his father, Ernesto, believe the trip from Miami paid off.

Sixteen minutes later, a group of 15 from the First Indonesian Seven-Day Adventists Church camp shows up. They are driving from New Jersey to Wisconsin and just had to make this pit stop.

"He's the greatest player ever," said Julia Sulu, the group's leader. "All the kids want to play like him."

Three minutes later, cousins Francisco and Nicolas Arias cap their Lollapalooza weekend by stopping by before heading back to San Diego.

"He's the whole reason I play basketball," the 34-year-old Francisco said.

As the cousins snap pictures, four people who don't speak English arrive from Spain, starting a dizzying run of visitors that makes Gate 4 of the United Center feel like the United Nations.

Alex, 17, from Cologne, Germany. Karoline Adamczyk, 21, and Maja Sitarz, 21, from Poland. Fans from Finland, Italy and Hong Kong, and the pace proves too great to record all their names.

"Everybody in my country wants to see this," said Adamczyk, who played high school basketball in Kielce, Poland. "It's very popular in Poland, so I couldn't come to Chicago and not come here. ... People will be jealous when they see my pictures. He created big hysteria there."

All in all, it's six countries and five U.S. cities in one stinking hour. And Lee Graziano, a longtime United Center security guard, just laughs when asked if this is an aberration.

"It's like this all the time," Graziano said.

No way. Really?

"It's mind-blowing," said Steve Schanwald, the Bulls' executive vice president of business operations, as he looks out his office window onto the statue. "I don't care what time you leave this building, someone will be there, taking a picture. How long will that last? It's been 11 years since he retired from the Bulls! I don't know anything that better encapsulates his lasting impact than that."

Jordan's lasting legacy takes you to unpredictable places, like the beautiful studio in Ft. Sheridan, where Omri Amrany and his wife, Julie Rotblatt-Amrany, work. There, statues or busts of other sports figures rest comfortably among more modern, abstract pieces of art.

This is a nod to the market the Rotblatt-Amrany union created for themselves by creating the Jordan statue, which the Bulls commissioned in 1994 to honor his first retirement.

"Omri and I have always been artists and we always will be non-reflective of how we do outside in the business world," Rotblatt-Amrany said. "Whether you sell this piece or that piece, art is a matter of expressing yourself. But Michael definitely opened a huge door for us and helped us find a niche in the sports world. Being in the middle of all that hoopla was really inspiring and unleashed our creativity."

Schanwald, the Bulls' marketing boss, had asked the artists to create the illusion of flight. They met with Jordan, taking photos of him, measuring his hands, head and body, recording his jumps.

Amrany was born and raised on a kibbutz in Israel's Jordan Valley and came to the U.S. with his wife, who was raised in Highland Park, in 1989. Five years later, their paths intertwined with the world's most famous athlete.