September 26, 2020

Greatness Turns to Bitterness

If you saw the NBA Hall Of Fame induction ceremony last night you arguably witnessed the best class ever to be inducted at one time. You had the classiest of class Jerry Sloan, David Robinson, John Stockton and C. Vivian Stringer receiving their accolades and induction into the Hall of Fame. All the while the drama of this 3 hour celebration was building up to when they announced, “the Greatest of all time” Michael Jordan.

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Here is where a celebration went off the rails and turned into Michael’s personal diatribe. Not that he schooled everyone on the court, won rings and MVP’s and became the top money earner for endorsements ever. He decided to let the world know he was mad and he wasn’t going to take it anymore.

He started off by going after the coach who cut him from the varsity as a North Carolina schoolboy and even brought in the man Leroy Smith who made the team just to call him out.

Jordan then proceeded to call out Isiah Thomas, who allegedly orchestrated a “freeze out” of Jordan in his first All-Star game. He stated in his speech, “I wanted to prove to you, Magic [Johnson], Larry [Bird], George [Gervin], everybody that I deserved [to be there] just as much as anybody else, and I hope over the period of my career I’ve done that without a doubt.”

He then transitioned into bringing in old Knicks head coach Jeff Van Gundy and Jordan called him, Pat Riley’s “little guy,” who accused Jordan of “conning” players by acting friendly toward them, then attacking them in games.

Jerry Krause was not there because he was boycotting Tex Winter not being inducted, so he says, but Michael took a dig at him while thanking the ownership past and present and saying, “Jerry Krause, uhem, I know I didn’t invite him here.”

Lastly, Utah’s Bryon Russell was on Jordan’s list. Jordan recalled meeting Russell while he was retired and playing minor league baseball in 1994. Michael spoke of how Russell insisted he could have covered him if Jordan was still playing which obviously bothered the greatest of all time. Russell later in his career got two cracks at Jordan in the NBA finals and he was the defender when Jordan hit the clinching shot to win the 1998 title which Jordan said he relished this even today.

On a side note Michael, why not start off your speech by acknowledging your former business partner from the Charlotte Bobcats who had just died in a plane crash earlier that day. I thought for the “Greatest of All Time” it might go down as “One of the Worst All Time” speeches.

Michael Jordan NBA Hall of Fame Speech Video:

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