Much has been made of the speech Michael Jordan gave during his enshrinement at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night (Here’s the video: part 1, part 2, part 3). Some called his speech petty. Some believe that the speech revealed Jordan’s arrogance. But one thing that everyone must admit is that the speech was wildly entertaining. Especially, when Jordan reminisces about a conversation he had with Bryon Russell, which ultimately lead to Jordan coming back to take over the NBA once again.
“…At this time I had no thoughts of coming back and playing the game of basketball,” Jordan said during his speech. “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.'”
“From this day forward,” Jordan said, “if I ever see him in shorts, I’m coming at him.”
“I’ll play his ass right now,” Russell told Yahoo! Sports. “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.”
It seems that Russell still hasn’t learned from the last time he challenged Michael Jordan. Frankly, the world doesn’t need to see Bryon Russell abused by Jordan again. But hey, the guy seems to be a glutton for punishment. And who doesn’t love to see some grand ol’ punishment?
Russell to Jordan: Game on (Yahoo!)