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Monday, September 14th, 2009 at 9:00 am  |  123 responses

Bryon Russell Hasn’t Suffered Enough

by Marcel Mutoni

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.

From Yahoo!:

“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.

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  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Hmm, this could be intrigu…, i’m sorry, i can’t bring myself to find this interesting. More pathetic, really. Go at it, boys. But please don’t televise this. Jordan in Jeans, doing standing reverse dunks after a camp session is kinda cool (especially hitting DEEP fadeaways on a younger cat) but two has-beens (yeah, i said it) getting all agitated and it becoming a press story… stupid.

  • http://www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    MJ spoke for 23 minutes? Now that’s kinda cool.

  • Hussman25

    Y is everyone shocked that MJ did this??? It’s like what Kanye did last night at the VMA’s… That’s who they are, and for Mr. Russell to come out and “challenge” MJ is just so juvenile… Yall both are old and should enjoy what you both accomplished and earned in the NBA!

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/42594-hoops4life Overtime

    lol this is hilarious.
    Is Russell under the illusion that if he beat MJ now everyone would forget about that little shot in Salt Lake City?

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    That little shot… or that little shove?

  • riggs

    the last shot JUST. GOT. LASTER.

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/42594-hoops4life Overtime

    Shove or not. Still a swish. Still a win. Still a championship, they won’t be changing that now.
    And its not like thats the only shot Jordan hit with Russell guarding him

  • boy sanchez

    lol @ Darksaber for the 2nd comment!

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    I actually liked his speech unlike everyone else.

  • Justin

    People gotta stop acting like he SHOVED another grown man 8 ft. in the other direction. He basically patted him on the butt as if to say “nice try”, then did what the greatest of all time always did…hit the biggest shot when it counted the most.

  • http://slamonline.com Lang Whitaker

    I loved his speech, and I’m not even a huge MJ fan. I just thought it was cool to hear him speak honestly and drop the PC facade for once. Of course, after the way everyone has reacted, I’m sure he’ll go right back to always saying the right thing. But still.

  • http://www.flickr.com/clay_fisher Clay

    Sounds like someone wants to get dunked on…

  • letsmotor

    Agreed with Justin. Jordan pushed off him a little bit, but they were tangled up–he was just trying to free himself. Russel would’ve gone down anyway.

    As for Russel challenging Jordan…how long before he learns that doubting the greatest leads to embarrassment (see Stackhouse, Van Gundy, Russel, LaBradford Smith). Still, I really hope MJ’s hung it up for good. The idea of seeing him averaging 15 or so and playing like a shell of himself would kill me.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Very true lang. I mean he just said what motivated him to be the best some of it sounded like it was in jest some of it (krause) didn’t but all in all it was entertaining and honest which is what we should hope for when athletes speak.

  • http://vittoriodezen.wordpress.com Vittorio De Zen

    Lang – I thought the same thing. Not shocked that people are calling him out though – the honest MJ is vindictive as hell. He’s a jerk, that’s part of what made him the greatest.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    “When the rest of the world can’t be you, they choose to demean you. Fu*k ‘em!”

  • http://www.rich-imaging.com Dutch Rich

    Adrian Wojnarowski went overboard with his assessment of the speech. Like Lang, I enjoyed seeing Mike pure and uncut.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    MJ’s speech was validated in the first few seconds of it when he thanked Scottie from the jump. The key to his success was Pip’s advancement and he knew it and still recognizes it.

  • http://www.slamonline.com myles brown

    Its not that it was a particularly mean spirited or evil speech, its just that it certainly looked that way compared to the gracious and inspirational speeches from DRob, Stock and Stringer. Here was a woman with a life full of trgadies and she was still the kindest and happiest person in the room. MJ has and won everything, yet he just seemed so bitter or unwilling to let go of petty grievances. Wasn’t beating all of those people enough? He said he was going to speak from the heart but all that came out was prideful boasting and spiteful commentary. He asked ‘what don’t you know about me?’ Plenty of things. Why not talk about the sacrifices he made to get to where he is? Or those who inspired him not through perceived slights, but by providing instruction, inspiration or reassurance? Stockton and Drob showed genuine love and gratitude for their families and all Money could say was that he felt sorry for his. The only honest moment for him was when he started crying and the rest just seemed like severe overcompensation for an understandable show of emotion. It was a hot f*cking mess. Kanye and Lil Mama shouldve rushed the stage.

  • The D Train

    The man wept like a baby from the jump. Now THAT was highlight for me. You can talk about Jordan being a jerk, but the cat loves basketball, and he obviously honors the game and it’s past. Check out his interview with Wilbon prior to induction. A pretty nice little 15 minute sit-down. As an aside, who knew John Stockton was so funny? He easily stole the show for me.

  • jk_light

    I enjoyed the speech too. It was funny as hell.

  • http://yahoo Drefdeez

    Mike’s speech I believe was Mike being Mike for once. Like a couple of cats said above not being PC. I think this is why everyone likes Mike and wants to be like Mike (couldn’t help it). He never fails to seize the moment and make it memorably his. It was real, classy trash talk (I’ve never heard classy trash talk). We all know Mike loves to trash talk and he is the one that can back it up. DRobs was good also. Stockton’s too rehearsed. Mike will always stand out.

  • The D Train

    Myles: I agree with the fact that some of the “perceived slights” he mentioned seemed petty. But as I watched it, I thought, “you know, that right there is why he was the best I have ever seen.” The difference in the great and greatest is slim, to say the least. Those slights, perceived or real, motivated him to great heights. Kobe is the same way. Some of the same things that make those guys the biggest @ssholes in the room, also make them the greatest players in the room.

  • Steve

    Russell’s comments are pretty funny. I’m pretty sure he was joking.

  • edmalhas

    What’s his name again? Bryon or Byron?! I think I could beat him more less MJ!

  • Big AB

    I love the fact that Mike was candid in his speech, but is the HOF induction ceremony really the place & time for that information

  • http://slamonline.com/ niQ

    I’d rather watch a game with MJ vs LeRoy Smith.

  • Jacqueline Mitchell

    Michael sounded like he would rather be at a casino gambling the night away than give a “speech” at the H. O. F. .

  • andy

    everyone keeps saying how funny Stockton supposedly was, but he sounded like a robot reading an autocue to me. still one of my all time faves though…

    MJ’s tears, hubris and off the cuff ‘roasting’ were great. topped off with a little inspirational speech at the end: “Fear and limits are just illusions” etc etc. legendary footage

  • http://www.kb24.com The Seed

    Some of yall not liking the speech, must love the say the right thing, do I as told MJ, who doesn’t say anything real or soical about america-kind of like the cornball Tiger, who lets racism fly bye his face. Jim Brown is right about him, back to my point. THis is the REAL MJ and I loved it. He was Charles Barkley for one night and people are saying he didn’t talk about his kids-said I feel sorry to be them. He was being truthful. Imagine growing up as MJ sons playing bball. Come one and MJ congratulated the most important person in his basketball career Scottie Pippen. So if he was vindictive with George, Magic and Isiah, who cares, its a SPEECH!!!. I like MJ is tells it like it is and not worried about black/white america liking him. The REAL MJ STOOD UP and BLASTED-Hall of Fame, where MJ happens.

  • Kulchakris

    My Grandma used to say that the things you love about someone, and the things you dislike about that person are often directly related. Never has that been more appropriate than in this instance. This is who MJ is….had he given a gracious, heart-warming speech, I would have been shocked, and echoing Lang’s point, it probably would have been fake.

    The larger point is, the media spent so much time in MJ’s heyday being sycophants, trying to convince us how great a person MJ was, committed husband & father, etc. I think this says more about “us” than it does about MJ.

  • hillbilly

    When Jordan looked dismissively at his kids and said, “I wouldn’t want to be you guys”, that pretty much summed up the man’s character.
    Self aggrandizing, vindictive and classless…all in one evening. Nice trifecta, MJ!

  • http://fdjklsf.com Jukai

    Why is it a shocker to all those defending the speech that when MJ decided to “be real” and show himself as an asshole, people called him out as an asshole? Dude was a great basketball player, but the speech really irked me.

  • Justin

    He is a basketball player, not a poet! So what if he can’t relay the perfect message the way everyone wanted to hear it (??), just imagine if RON HARPER ever got into the HOF, talk about a bad speech…

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    As a fellow assh*le I liked it I’m not saying he isn’t an assh*le just saying I got it and liked it.

  • matt the jazz fan

    he pushed off but that still doesn’t mean the two of them shouldn’t shut the f up

  • ENDS

    HEEEEEE SOOOO COMPETETIVE! so that gives him a life long pass to be a Jerk…
    .
    .
    .Riiiiight

  • ENDS

    “I didnt see the Organization play with the Flu” That whole Section just seemed so Negative

  • ENDS

    Thank you Hall of Fame for Raising Ticket Prices. Classic

  • http://www.twitter.com/JoshElam JE

    He wasn’t being an asshole. He was talking to a room full of people who knew him well, in the ways that he related to them. It’d be nice if people would stop pretending to be so damn sensitive every time the public is addressed in a realistic manner. Oh and, Bryon Russell’s an idiot. I hope this game happens.

  • http://www.twitter.com/dakidobf Dfrance

    I liked the speech,and I thought he was admiring his kids resiliency in dealing with being MJ’s kids, not saying he actually wouldn’t want to be them. The only thing i had a problem with was him paying $1000 to publicly embarrass the REAL Leroy Smith.

  • ENDS

    Im officially Selling all my Authentic Jordan Jerseys. Its completely done for Me. Let me know if ya’ll want em

  • ENDS

    Leroy Smith The Whipping Boy. He didnt cut him

  • ENDS

    Like he cant afford the Damn tix

  • ENDS

    Plus i dont think MJ Can take Russel one in ine right now. 8 Year Difference is too much to overcome

  • Felix

    Mike needs to train like rocky for two months, fly to this dudes house, and take his last millions!

  • Felix

    Mu*&$%^$#@in’ Bryon Russel said that about MJ! He didnt say it to his face! BS

  • ENDS

    Oh YEAH, I Said It!

  • Felix

    If a 50 year old man put up 15 a game in the NBA? That would be ridiculous! I would have more respect for him!

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    I loved the speech.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    C’mon now, MJ has always been a jerk. We just chose to gave him a pass on everything since he’s the greatest to ever lace them up. (He DID punch a teammate in a practice) Fine by me but let’s not act surprised. The trait that made him the best ever is the same trait that made him the jerk that he is. Here’s a man that has accomplished everything that there is to accomplish and he uses his speech to belittle people that have slighted him. He can’t turn off the competitiveness. He just can’t.

  • ENDS

    Steve Kerr is still checking his Chin

  • AlbertBarr

    Limitations are like fears, they are most often just illusions.

  • AlbertBarr

    The last line summed it up…MJ was justbeing MJ

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    10 minutes into the speech it seems cool to me. He must have gone crazy in the second half.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    He said “you guys had a heavy burden…” to his kids.
    Said he loved them.
    What are y’all talking about? I think MJ is a pretty shady man, but his speech doesn’t seem wack to me. It seems cool.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    I’m at the 18 minute mark and the speech is still pretty great. Don’t get it. I’m missing something for real. Dude is kind of funny. I haven’t seen anything petty so far except what he said to Jerry Krause.
    Sure, he’s a braggart, but he’s been a braggart.

  • Marcus

    The same thing that makes him da goat(fire, passion, the will to prove hater wrong) are alll the things lbj doesn’t have rite now becuz everythings been handed to him! Mj needed to prove da haters wrong that was his fuel 2 b da best lbj just don’t wanna b embarassed

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Okay, y’all are kinda haters. I saw nothing really bad about the speech. I was waiting for the bad stuff, but I didn’t see it. Maybe it’s because I didn’t see the other speeches, but Jordan’s speech was still great to me.

  • http://lastknickstanding.blogspot.com Bryan

    Co sign allenp.

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Young Chris MP3

    My girlfriend thought he was pretty funny during it, and she knows very little about basketball. Case in point: During the Orlando-Cleveland series, there was a point where both teams missed damn-near every shot they took over a 3-4 minute span of time. Her reaction? “They’re throwing sloppy throws.” “What did you just say?” I asked her. She reiterated that “They can’t make anything. Their throws are sloppy.”

  • http://www.twitter.com/Th3_R3al_Chris Young Chris MP3

    My own opinion of the speech was rather biased though, as I’ve always been enamored with Money.

  • http://stapledesign.com Spaceship Jay

    “Man, I know I must’ve shocked the sh+t outta David Thompson when I asked him to be at my side for
    this!” David Thompson then turned towards Michael and said “Yeah. Yeah you did.”- Classic.

  • http://fashionsensei.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/jackie-moon.jpg Jackie Moon

    Turn off the competitiveness. Please.

  • http://www.slamonline.com JL

    I don’t get it, he’s been trash talking all his life, and this is about him, why can’t he be joking/trash talking all he wants? Put your stamp on it! He coulda said all the right things, and probably mixed in the right things along with his jabs, but it wasn’t offensive.

  • ballin on em

    can yall stop the mj dick riding…great player true…asshole even more so

  • Josh D

    U idiot B Russell

  • Mike Klander

    I don’t know why people found his speech offensive. I missed the induction and had to catch it online but before that my friend called me to tell me how horrible and arrogant he was. I was expecting the worst when I watched it, but instead heard what sounded like Jordan to me. Of course the guy was always a pompous arrogant dude, but that’s most great people are like. He thanked the people he mentioned in his speech in his own way.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    The question is “What exactly are the right things?”
    He thanked his parents. He thanked Scottie. He thanked his coaches and he thanked the team owner.
    Then he proceeded to explain exactly why he’s competitive and he talked about all the people who made him that way.
    Seems fairly benign.
    I was waiting for him to start saying how such and such was a bum, or to really blast somebody, but it never happened.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Allen, you’re talking to mainly preteens and guys that know little about the player since they weren’t old enough to know the whole of the dude’s career except through Youtube clips and sh*t. You know how your boy AI get’s the same derisive treatment? Transfer that ignorance here.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    Im sure Jerry Krause, Leroy Smith and Jeff Van Gundy have their own ideas of whats fairly benign or ignorant. Maybe if they get in the HOF they can be ‘real’ too when its time for their speeches.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    So, you act like a puppet for 20 years and you’re labelled a phony and then you speak from a place that you feel is the way you defined your career through personal vendetta’s to drive you and you’re an overbearing douchebag because of it? We all know the overbearing douchebagedness is there with him, but why go with the same sentimental speech route that the other’s did if you can make your own personal mark with a more opinionated one?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Oh…….you should be a carbon copy…….. like the player most of these guys commenting, love to love today. It makes sense now.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Allen, Eboy : the speech wasn’t offensive and it would have been great in another forum. This was an HOF Speech were people reminisce about the great moments and the great people that helped them throughout their careers. MJ wasn’t having that and he still had things to settle 10, 20 years after the fact. He chose not to take the high road and I don’T find that surprising at all. Read Adande’s take on ESPN. I’m not outraged or anything, I’m just not surprised that MJ decided to take shots at some people in his HOF speech. Nobody does this and nobody could get away with this the way he does. I’ll say the same thing if Shaq takes shots at Kob when the time comes or vice-versa.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    ”We all know the overbearing douchebagedness is there with him”. So why would you take offense in cats calling him a douchebag, then?

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Call him a no goof fu*king loser…..it doesn’t matter what the insult is…..if you’re not a fan of his….it’s understandable. but the speech…..and it’s content is the players to choose. It’s their one time to reflect on their career if they were good enough to make it to their repective Hall of Fames. I’ve watched twenty five years worth of HOF speeches from the NBA, NFL and MLB and they are almost always a reflection on the guys buildup to their professional careers. Guys like Jerry Sloan, that would be a good place for it. Guys like Stockton and Robinson, maybe they never had casual fans care about that part of their upbringing and it makes for a meaningful place for it. For Michael? A guy that has had hundreds of books about his career, dozens of videos, thousands of magazines, numerous television specials and we’d want to hear that ALL again in his final speech to the basketball masses? Please. Dude referenced it right from the beginning. “you all know everything about me already”. No sh*t. So let’s see……what route could he go…..talk about my incredibly crazy competitive spirit? Yeah….that might be different. Why not? Instead…if he chose to talk about himself and his accomplishments he’d be labelled a braggart today. He couldn’t have won here.

  • matt

    to second mr Osborne, I loved the speech as well. Jordan is Jordan. And my bet on the 1 on 1 with Russell would be Jordan, I’ll put my money that he does the same exact push off and leaves his hand in the air yet again for another classic “oh shit” face from russell.

  • http://nationofmillions.ca ciolkstar

    Jordan is a total D Bag. I;m not sure if I could even imagine a worse Induction speech. He should seriously be embarassed. He wont, but he should be. Stockton outclassed him by miles there.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    I dont know why this has to be presented as though there are only two options. There was a lot more to Michael Jordan than his competitive spirit or the stuff weve already read in books. We are talking about a man who controlled his press better than anyone ever has, right?

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    I guess we see what we want to see. You see honesty, I see douchebaggery and you know what? We’re both right.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Eboy
    I feel you.
    Myles
    I’ll give you Krause. He was wrong to say what he said about Krause, in my opinion.
    Other than that, it was just jokes. He was joking about Van Gundy, and laughing at Van Gundy whining to the media that Jordan was buttering players up before the kill. That minor riff came after he talked about how Riley was just as competitive as him, and how the Knicks teams fed off that.
    As for Leroy Smith, people are tripping. The comments about Smith weren’t derisive, at least not to me. Seemed like he was saying “I knew this dude wasn’t better than me. I knew it. So, I was pissed when he got picked ahead of me, and I killed myself to make sure that never happened again.”
    He said basically the same thing about Buzz Peterson, about Dean Smith leaving him out of Sports Illustrated, about Magic and them possibly freezing him out. The whole team of the competitive portion of the speech was that he used what he saw as slights at the time, to fuel him to higher heights. He just let folks know what his mindset was on a more detailed basis.
    The real problem here is that people had expectations of what Jordan should have done, and he dind’t meet them. It’s the same thing that happened when he came back to play with the Wizards. People are going to tell this man how he can be “the greatest.” And while he sometimes goes along with that, in his old age he’s been more likely to say “Eff it, I’m going to do me.”
    Personally, I was never a huge fan of MJ the man. Philanderer, gambler and arrogant prick. But, this speech was funny and interesting to me. It wasn’t boring for sure, and it wasn’t disappointing, mainly because I had no expectations of what he should have done.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    I dont know why this is being presented as though he only had two options. There was more to Michael Jordan than a competitive spirit and the stuff weve read already. This was a man who controlled his press and image better than anyone ever has. It was an opportunity to step out of his corporate shell and have a moment of honest reflection. Hes being honored for a stellar career in which he beat everyone in the room, so he needs to remind us that he beat everyone in the room? It was disappointing, clearly uncomfortable for the recipients and paled in comparison to the speeches preceding his.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Eboy
    You are absolutely right that folks wouldn’t be happy no matter what.
    If Jordan gave a generic speech, all the critics would have said “Now we know where Tiger Woods learned how to do it.”
    Jordan shocks everybody, and they complain that he should have given the generic speech.
    It’s all about meeting expectations, and I think Jordan used his speech to say that other people’s expecations are nothing to him. He succeeded because he was that driven internally, not because he was trying to please other folks.
    Hell, do y’all realize that in his entire speech, he never once thanked God? Now, that is crazy.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    (Aargh. Third time trying to comment. First two disappeared.)

    I dont know why this is being presented as though there were only two options. Michael Jordan was more than a competitive spirit and what weve read already. This was a man who controlled his image and press better than anyone ever has. It was an opportunity to shed his corporate shell and have a moment of honest reflection. He was being honored for a stellar career in which he beat everyone in the room, so he needs to remind us that he beat everyone in the room? It was disappointing, clearly uncomfortable for the recipients and paled in comparison to the speeches preceding his.

  • http://www.mybleedingfingertips.blogspot.com/ Myles Brown

    (Aargh. Third time trying to comment. First two disappeared.)

    I dont know why this is being presented as though there were only two options. Michael Jordan was more than a competitive spirit and what weve read already. This was a man who controlled his image and press better than anyone ever has. It was an opportunity to shed his corporate shell and have a moment of honest reflection. He was being honored for a stellar career in which he beat everyone in the room, so he needs to remind us that he beat everyone in the room? It was disappointing, clearly uncomfortable for the recipients and paled in comparison to the speeches preceding his..

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Myles
    Why do so many people view this as Jordan thumbing his nose at his foes?
    I really didn’t get that vibe.
    Like I told a friend who was upset about it, I thought he thanked the important people in his life, and then gave us a guided tour of where his competitive drive began and how it matured. That’s all.
    Maybe I’m naive, but I didn’t feel like he was thumbing his nose at anyone except for maybe Krause. I truly feel like people took Jordan’s words and twisted them into something based on their own feelings. The entire speech he was speaking in the past tense, but people are insisting that he is still competing with folks.
    That doesn’t make sense. Jordan won. He beat everybody, and he let them know it. Everybody knows he beat them. Why would people assume that he was taunting the other cats? Maybe he was just saying “Here is how I won. Here is what made me special.”
    And complaining about the HOF upping the ticket prices to make some money off of him.

  • k.a.

    stock was great. Love his reference to short shorts. I’d have love to see karl in that room. True bromance. That said, yall trippin on mikes speech. I loved it, it cracked me up. And I’m sure that bryon Russell is in fact honored by it and the quote above is in good humor. I mean, come on, mike coulda mention any contemporary; Clyde, dumars, etc but he basically just immortalized an otherwise also ran in bryon. Twice! I also love the fact he mentioned pippen 1st. To him that’s his only real peer, the guy in the trenches with him.

  • http://myspace.com/mavus15 Mavus

    Russell… LMAO!!!!!! Please stop.. Jordan will kill you all over again, he will beat you when he is 80 yrs old.. Jordan made the greatest speech of all-time!!! He was him.. period. None of that PG or G – Rated talk no more, he doesn’t have to cause he doesn’t play anymore.. that’s the Jordan I thought he was, nobody is better – and he backed it up.. You guys that disagree are such haters..

  • http://fsjkfdlc.om Jukai

    God, Myles summed it up so hard good right here:
    “he was being honored for a stellar career in which he beat everyone in the room, so he needs to remind us that he beat everyone in the room?”
    This felt, to me, like “lemme trash talk you guys because that’s me, I’m Michael Jordan” for 20 minutes. Everyone who is an MJ fan is eating it up, “OH MAN MJ’S TRASH TALKING AGAIN WOW WHAT A GUY” but to me it just shows a lack of class. It started off great then it just got uncomfortable.
    Some people are too enamored with the idea of MJ, they don’t get the classlessness of it all.

  • Chase Lochamire

    take him MJ. byron will prove his “grace” when you cross him over, break his ankles, and drain it…for a 3rd time. Byron fat enough that you might not even have to cross him at all…just do a lil head n shoulder fake…boom…hope he doesn’t break the floorboards when he falls…

  • Chip

    I thought Jordan’s speech, for the most part, was terrible. I respect his legacy as a player, and love watching his old higlight videos and all, but just because he’s Michael Jordan doesn’t mean he’s that good of a guy. Some of you same people who got all over LeBron James for “not shaking hands” are probably praising Jordan’s speech. Funny how LeBron gets called a “poor sport” for that one incident, while Jordan does nothing in the speech but get back at players and the Jerry Krause, etc. Don’t tell me he wasn’t a poor sport. No mention WHATSOEVER of Phil Jackson? Come on, now.

  • http://fsjkfdlc.om Jukai

    The speech would be perfect if it was six minutes long, and nothing else. Oh, and a picture of Leeroy Smith just so we know what he f’in looks like

  • Chip

    By the way, I bet if LeBron James ever gave a speech like this at any point, whether at the end of his career or whatever, you guys would be all over him talking about how big his ego is and all. Heck, even if Kobe did it I could see it happening. But since it’s Michael Jordan, everyone acts like he walks on water and everything that shoots out of his mouth is acceptable. David Robinson and John Stockton gave much better speeches than he did, and though I didn’t see Vivian Whatshername’s speech, I’m sure hers was better, too.

    And what was with Michael telling his kids, “I wouldn’t want to be you guys.” No matter how you guys try to interpret this, it was as though he was saying, “I’ve accomplished so many things, I don’t know how you guys could possibly live up to it. I know I couldn’t if I were y’all.” How does he know his kids won’t do well in whatever their respective careers are? And also, while players do have to play, organizations build teams. Organizations surround stars with players to help them win championships. It’s obvious Michael also loves to gloat about “playing with the flu”.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Pardeep

    Yeah true MJ did do a mean speech and I think he started to take it way to far after. If this was Kobe. WOW! It would be the biggest story in the sports world if Kobe were to make a speech like Jordan. Not classy by Mike and I hope Bryon Russell beats his ass. I hope this happens.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Jordan’s speech was great. The only guy I can feel bad for about it is probably Bryon Russell, but everything else Jordan said was earnest yet respectful and lighthearted, even if deep inside he was still angered about being shafted somehow by his own peers. He even poked fun at John Starks, only to say he “loved the guy.” So I could tell he was respectful, while also letting us know about these various stories he had kept inside for a long time, which I found all very interesting. I appreciated the earnestness of his speech.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Also, Stock’s speech was awesome.

  • Phil B

    everyone is soft. i thought it was a great speech. you don’t get to where he got (awesome english) by not being overly competitive. sure it would suck if your friend acted like this, but i don’t want to be his friend. i just enjoyed watching him play back in the day, except when he beat the blazers… which was too often.

  • http://fsjkfdlc.om Jukai

    Teddy: The speech was informative and hysterical. It was NOT a good acceptance speech for the Hall of Fame. It would be a great “stories around the poker table” chat.

  • http://myspace.com/showbread Bryan

    I don’t like micheal jordan and yet I’m defending him so I guess that shoots holes in the theory that only people who like him don’t see the classlessness of it.

  • http://www.garrettelliott.com Garrett

    I can’t believe NOBODY is sticking up for Byron Russell in the entire comment thread. Sure, he’s Byron Russell and he sucks and all, but c’mon — MJ ROASTED him and it was totally uncalled for. MJ basically said he’d kick Russell’s ass again and again and again no matter how old he is. So what’s wrong with Russell saying, “Okay, MJ, let’s see you do it?” He’s the GOAT but if you’re going to talk the talk, walk the walk. Russell’s ready.

  • http://fsjkfdlc.om Jukai

    I don’t know why my posts aren’t showing up. I’m getting sort of tired of this. Not reposting what I said.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    I co-sign Garret. I said the only person I felt bad for was probably Bryon Russell. And he does have a right to reply in the way that he did. But at the same time I thoroughly enjoyed Mike’s honest, tearful speech and I didn’t see it as mean-spirited at all (except maybe to Bryon Russell).

  • vic21

    Bryon, the right place and time to challenge Jordan was in the NBA finals, and MJ kicked your ass twice. Shut up and stop acting like a loser. Wait a minute… you are a loser!!!

  • http://www.realcavsfans.com Anton

    A Dennis Rodman sighting!!!

  • Matt D

    I don’t get what the fuss is about. Those who criticize MJ must not have paid attention to the speech. He didn’t attack anyone, he THANKED them in his own way for “adding wood to his fire”. He first thanked his siblings to light the competitive fire in him, and then talked about all those other names: Dean Smith, Leroy Smith, Buzz Peterson and so on. Every time he mentioned a name, he was thanking them for helping him become the Michael Jordan we all know.

  • E

    If ur able to drive a mercedes in an underwear commercial its a pass to talk shit. Plus who wouldnt be an assjerk after all the praise the world dropped on this guy? Hell next year he’ll be white, wearing a glove, dancing at halftimes across america!!!During 1992 olympics he wasmobbed by like a billion fans in an hour Who wouldnt think they the cats ass after that?

  • Rnz

    I am a big fan of MJ, but I’ve never heard of him punching steve kerr in practice…could somebody fill me in?

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Anyone else notice how nicely Tony Kukoc is aging? Dude looked like a cliché of a Havard Professor there, graying hair, the glasses, the aura of class, the suit. Pippen by comparison looked like he just finished a workout with Wade & Co. At Grovers sweathouse in Chicago. And where the HELL was that other arrogant tool, Phil Jackson?? Malone dropped by for his boy, with a family crisis on his hands, but Zen Phil can’t unglue his hands from Jeanie Buss long enough to drop by? Weakest!

  • http://www.garrettelliott.com Garrett

    vic21: I agree — the right time and place WAS the finals, and Jordan won. So why is he still saying he’ll kick Russell’s ass now? If he thinks he can, I say let them go at it.

  • letsmotor

    First of all, I agree with what lots of you are saying about the speech being a chance for MJ to be himself. For this reason, it was a lot less formal, and as some of you think, worse than Stockton’s and Robinson’s speeches. But you also have to consider the position Jordan was in that night. He was clearly the headlining act, so there were very high expectations, and he spoke on the fly. Wish I could give specifics, but I remember him stumbling over words now and then, which to me says he was kind of nervous. I guess I’m just wondering if people were uncomfortable because of what MJ said, or because of the informal (super unusual for an icon like MJ), uncalculated way he said it. I’m sure if he’d written a speech beforehand and taken the time to think about how he would articulate certain things, there wouldn’t be nearly as much controversy.

  • http:///realcavsfans.com Anton

    ESPN had a funny example of Mike’s as$hole-ness:
    “In the pre-Olympic scrimmage, the game was more intense than actual Olympic play. Michael’s team vs. Magic’s team. Mike’s team was up 6 with 10 seconds remaining and assistant coach Mike Krzyzewski re-assures the players: ‘Plenty of time left.” Mike, in the middle of shooting free throws, slams the ball down on the floor and yells back at coach K: ‘F*ck that, man! Ain’t no time left, it’s over!”

  • BostonBaller

    Why were the people who were supposed to usher the new HOF’ers in just standing there this year with no part in it at all?

  • BostonBaller

    Mr. Anton, please explain to me how what Jordan said in that scrimmage indicated that he was an AnalCircle? From all I’ve seen and read about that game, everyone was talking major trash (especially Magic, which spurred MJ on to go nuts and bring his side back. Would that mean Magic and the others are AnalCircles also? We all have responded to or friends like Jordan did his in that scrimmage

  • http://yahoo.com Logues

    Bryon russell needs to get a life

  • COLT6

    First of all, Mike’s chick was smokin’ hot! DANG, I need to get me one of those. Second, Russell did not and will never beat Mike. Stop dreaming folks. Third, Some of the things Jordan said were completely unnecessary, even coming off as insecure a bit. He is the greatest basketball player of all time and he did not need to say some of the things he said (Krause, “I don’t want to be you”, I in win…) but at the end of the day, it was Michael Jordan’s speech people, it was his prerogative to say the things he wanted to say.

  • chintao

    FMJ

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Chintao’s consistency is admirable

  • OneStep

    Mr. Russell you are a twat!

  • http:///realcavsfans.com Anton

    @ BostonBaller Nah, I just found it funny that a man can be that good and show it.
    *foul on Magic*
    Magic: “Aww, what is this, the Chicago Arena? Are you gonna get all the calls here too?”
    MJ: “No, it’s the 90′s, not the 80′s”
    Oooohhhhh snap!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    This would make for better TV, than anything LeBron could host.

  • http://Www.lkz.ch Darksaber

    Bron did a good job guest hosting SNL 2 seasons ago, Dacre

  • rikson

    Bryon “dont call me byron” Russell

  • comfortat

    Here’s what bugged me. Jim Rice was a prick all his life, but when he got inducted to the HOF, he was humbled and honored. MJ was neither humble nor honored. He was sad. He was sad that he will never get to play in the NBA again. He’ll never hear the crowd cheer his every move ever again.

    Well guess what MJ? Boo friggin Hoo. Most of us were lucky to ever even play in a HS game. No scholarships, no fat NBA contracts, no global icon, no women throwing themselves at us. None of it. You had it all. Can’t you be thankful for even one day? No? You have to be a petty, egotistical jerk every day of your life? I feel sorry for you. Every man watching wanted to be you, even for a day. You act as if you should always get your way, even as you get old.

    MJ’s a pathetic loser in my book.

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