Michael Jordan‘s plethora of cheap shots thrown at several people in yesterday’s Hall of Fame induction sparked controversy, especially the verbal jab he threw at former Utah Jazz guard Bryon Russell. Here’s how it went down:
Ok, so when MJ was semi-retired in ’94, he visited a Jazz practice, and…
MJ: “Bryon Russell came over to me and said, ‘Why’d you quit? You know I could guard you. If I ever see you in a pair of shorts… when I did come back in 1995 and we played Utah in ’96, I’m at the center circle and Bryon Russell is standing next to me. I said, ‘You remember the [comments] you made in 1994 about, ‘I think I can guard you, I can shut you down, I would love to play against you? Well, you’re about to get your chance.’ ”
And he followed it up with…
MJ: “From this day forward, if I ever see him in shorts, I’m coming at him.”
Owww. When the news came to Russell, he didn’t hesitate and immediately issued the challenge to His Airness:
“I’ll play his ass right now. 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.”
Usually, I hate seeing retired pro athletes go at it. But this is Michael Jordan. This is validation of what could be the best darn play in basketball. Good thing MJ didn’t take a shot at Craig Ehlo. Let’s do this. Mitch Richmond to referee? Haha. Put your shorts on, old boys!