He was considered in the mid-1990s to early 2000s one of the best players in Asia, a prolific scorer and rebounder, dominating the opposition through his athleticism and technique. Michael moved to the United States when he was 2 years old, settling in Los Angeles where he started playing basketball in high school. After playing in college for Cal State Northridge he moved to Japan after playing there in the Universiade, on arrival he adopted his mother"s surname of Takahashi to integrate.
He joined Isuzu Motors of the Japan Basketball League for the 1995-1996 season and quickly established himself in Japanese basketball, winning the league title and being awarded rookie of the year and the first of many All-Star designations.
As a Japanese citizen he was eligible to play for the Japan national basketball team of which he became a mainstay starting with the 1995 Asian Championship where he helped the team obtain a bronze medal. They would do better at the next edition losing the final to South of Korea which qualified them for the International Basketball Federation World Championship for the first time in 31 years.
At the 1998 tournament in Athens they were eliminated at the group stage, losing all their games although Takahashi finished as his team"s best scorer with 16.4 Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. After playing in the 1999 Asian Championship, the 2002 Asian Games and the 2003 Asian Championship (missing the 2001 edition due to club interference) without repeating earlier successes, his distinguished international career ended.