Bryon Russell Wants Another Shot at Jordan
Michael Jordan gave perhaps one of the more polarizing Hall of Fame acceptance speeches, maybe ever, on Friday, and there has been plenty of reaction to Jordan’s parting words. Peter King loved it; Adrian Wojnarowski did not. Regardless of your feelings about Jordan’s “this is why I succeeded” speech, one person in particular — Bryon Russell — didn’t seem to fond about the way he inspired the second coming of Jordan’s career — or least, he wasn’t fond of the way he was characterized in Jordan’s speech.
By now, you probably know Russell was the player guarding Jordan when he hit the shot that sank the Utah Jazz, while giving the Chicago Bulls their sixth World Championship. During his induction ceremony, Jordan mentioned he was motivated by some things Russell said while he was playing baseball, and that he reminded him of what was said when the Bulls and Jazz met in the NBA Finals. Essentially, Jordan used Russell’s words as motivation, and he let the world know about it, and now, Russell wants another chance beating his nemesis:
“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.”
While I can understand Russell’s need to defend himself, it should be noted that, during the 1998 Finals, Jordan averaged 33.5 points against the Jazz. The primary Jazz defender of Jordan? Bryon Russell.
Perhaps just letting Jordan have his moment and then moving on would be the better move here.