During his Hall of Fame speech – a candid, but strange and often petty 23 minute affair – Michael Jordan told the story of how a young (and foolish) Bryon Russell once made the mistake of challenging him.
This was during MJ’s first retirement, when he was playing Minor League baseball. As you know, that move did not work out so well for Bryon.
Neither Jordan or Russell plays ball professionally anymore, but both guys’ competitive juices are evidently still flowing. After listening to his speech, Russell issued yet another challenge to Michael.
“I’ll play his ass right now,” Russell said. “This is a call-out for him to come play me. He can come out here in his private jet and come play. He’s got millions of dollars. He can pay for the jet. He can meet me at the Recreation Center in Calabasas. We can have Mark Jackson do the commentating. We can have Mitch Richmond do the officiating. We can put it on TV and see if Michael’s still got it.”
Russell, now 38, last played in the NBA during the 2005-06 season, but he works out daily and is eager to “guard [Jordan] again and beat him.” Russell encouraged Jordan to get his phone number from a mutual friend if he’s up for the challenge. Until then, he wants Jordan to know this: “I keep my basketball shorts on.”
Oh, Bryon. Have you learned nothing from the lessons of the past?
Jordan hinted in his speech that he could attempt another comeback to the hardwood when he’s 50, but after this latest round of trash talk, the shorts and Air Jordans could be laced up a hell of a lot sooner.