September 13th, 2009 at 5:50 PM ^

I always thought he was a little strange, but what an as*. Let it go man! Talk about getting on stage and missing a great opportunity. I guess when your name is worth a billion dollars you think you can do whatever you want. He is now in the category of primadonna.


September 13th, 2009 at 5:56 PM ^

Michael is a massive, massive douchebag. This is common knowledge in NBA circles, but he's managed to keep his public image squeaky clean. Between this and his divorce, the shine has come off a lot lately.


September 13th, 2009 at 6:02 PM ^

Talk about being unprepared! He initially said he had planned to just say "Thank you" and leave the stage. But I guess he realized how well the other people had prepared for their speeches. They talked about interesting moments in their lives, careers, and people who influenced them positively. They all thanked those close to them, and talked about lessons they have learned during their journeys. So Michael decided he couldn't just say nothing, as planned, but instead he improvised. What a mistake! He couldn't come up with anything positive almost. He just rubbed his success in others' faces. Me, me, me, and some more me. Hall of Fame player, but Hall of Shame speech.

dr eng1ish

September 13th, 2009 at 6:05 PM ^

Yea he is known as a dbag but like the article mentions, he gets away with it because he's MJ. My dad's law firm represented him and man I heard some stories. But who cares, it's MJ.

SD Go Blue

September 13th, 2009 at 6:09 PM ^

Yep...never liked him. He was a great basketball player, but a terrible person. Unbelievable that he would do something as petty as invite the guy that made the team over him in HS just to rub it in his coach's face at the ceremony. Fail!


September 13th, 2009 at 6:33 PM ^

Did you guys actually watch the whole speech or are you just commenting based on that article (which I think is off base)? The only point at which I thought he sounded like an ass was when he called out Jerry Krause. Other than that, he was just making the crowd laugh the whole time.


September 13th, 2009 at 9:06 PM ^

So, what you're saying is that because he's friends with Charles "I'm just trying to get a BJ, officer" Barkley and Charles "I play while high" Oakley that he can't have a reputation as a douchebag?

I don't claim to have OMG INSIDERZ info, but I do know a few people who worked with the Pistons in the early 90's and they told me multiple times about MJ's reputation. He would cheat on his wife with high school girls, he would be a dick to everyone in the organization aside from the players and coaches, he would tell autograph seekers to fuck off, etc.

Magnum P.I.

September 13th, 2009 at 9:57 PM ^

Granted I just saw a portion of the speech, but it seemed lighthearted and innocent. The part where he got started telling the story about Bryon Russell was a little awkward though, as the punchline wasn't about MJ at all, but essentially: Bryon Russell is a trash-talking fool who can't D up.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:14 PM ^

and I haven't read any articles criticising it. There were some funny sentences he delivered, but I kept wondering why he had to be "funny" while venting what seemed a bunch of grudges? It was funny when he told his high school coach, "dude, you made a mistake," since he didn't make the team apparently. However, you can't tell me he had to invite that former coach, just for him to hear that on national television. What if he wasn't showing up at practices back then? When talking about Dean Smith, all he mentioned was how he didn't make the picture in the front page of a magazine as a freshman, like four other guys with seniority and the coach did. Mentioned how he told his coach (Collins I think it was) in Chicago that there's an 'i' in 'win'. Talked more about how Pat Riley tried to coach against him, than say, how Phil Jackson would have had a positive influence in his success. All in all, the speech swirled around things that fueled Michael's fire to win. Anyway, I don't know the guy, and I won't say he is a bad person. Maybe he had a Terrelle "Everybody Kills" Pryor moment and expressed himself unwisely. He could have just said he had a huge desire to win, and worked hard for it even when he was an underdog. Obviously he didn't have to give a speech that had to please me, but I just think on that stage there was no need for so much negativity. I might be wrong, but I only remember him thanking his mother and Scottie Pippen.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:36 PM ^

I agree 100% w/ braylon8500's comments... I watched the speech live, and this Yahoo journalist's comments are way off base. I think all of us know that journalists like to create controversy where there is none.

Near the beginning of his speech, Jordan commended the other HoF inductees and said how he enjoyed hearing things about them that he didn't even know, but then said, "You guys already know everything about me, so what is there to say?" That's just acknowledging the reality of the situtation, so if he gave the same type of speech that Stockton or Robinson did, it would have been boring, because we've already heard all that stuff from Jordan.

Instead, he chose to riff off of "fuel that was added to his competitive fire." And it was pretty entertaining. I think the subjects of his ribbing... e.g. Van Gundy, Riley, Russell, etc., all know this was in good fun. It wasn't Jordan being douchey, it was Jordan telling some entertaining stories. I, personally, had never heard the Byron Russell story before and I thought it was kinda funny.

As someone who actually saw the speech, in its entirety, the guy who wrote that article is way off base. Whether Jordan is a dbag in real life, who knows, but the speech was fine.


September 13th, 2009 at 6:36 PM ^

I had no problem with Jordan's speech. I wish I had one hundredth of the competitive juices that flow through that man's veins. He's the greatest for a reason, and that reason is that he never forgets when someone doubts him and he is then able to channel those negative remarks into a singular focus of being the greatest athlete that ever lived. No other athlete in any other sport had the ability to dominate a game in the way Jordan could, and though I will acknowledge that part of the reason for that is that basketball is unique among sports in that one individual can win you games or carry an entire team on his shoulders (see Lebron's Cavs in 2007). MJ is the GOAT. If you don't believe me, watch the flu game, or any one of his moments that we all remember. MJ has had more defining moments in one single career than most all other athletes combined. Watch the fucking flu game.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:30 PM ^

but if you are talking about channelling the negative remarks, that wasn't the stage and the moment to do it. That kind of mentality worked fine on the basketball court, and I don't have a problem with that. He is probably the greatest basketball player of all time, but definitely not the most humble and gracious one.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:30 PM ^

Watch the speech and decide for yourself:…

My handle and avatar illustrate how much I love the Bulls, it's the only team that I love more than M football. I grew up with Michael and idolized him like every other Chicagoan. I don't, however, have any illusions about MJ.

There's no denying that Michael is a flawed person, but what's wrong with that? Everyone was so used to him being untouchable on the court that they expected perfection off the court as well. He was more driven than anyone can imagine, and that is a double edged sword.

He didn't have a great speech, but he let everyone in on what made him the way he is. I thought that it was an incredibly interesting and enlightening speech that the author of the article totally missed. I think he acknowledged the people who shaped him in his life, and those parts were strained, but heartfelt.

Michael is incredibly competitive. I have family members that played golf with him every week, including the week of his father's funeral, but once Michael got better and had to give shots, they stopped immediately.

His excellence on the court made us believe that he was transcendent in every part of his life, which is just unfair. If you want to learn about MJ, I recommend "Playing for Keeps" by David Halberstam, one of the best sports books you'll ever find.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:38 PM ^

It took him multiple tries and having Krause acquire the right players to finally beat the Pistons to get to the NBA Finals. Upon accomplishing this feat he tells the media that the Pistons were bad for the NBA - oh MJ thanks for doing us all a favor. Say what you will about Isiah and Laimbeer at least they gave the Celtics credit for driving them to be a better team. Same as Bird et all did when they beat Dr. J and the Sixers.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:48 PM ^

"at least they gave the Celtics credit for driving them to be a better team"

Umm, did you listen to the speech at all? That's exactly what he did. The whole speech was thanking people for pushing him and making him better.

"It took him multiple tries and having Krause acquire the right players to finally beat the Pistons to get to the NBA Finals."

What's your point? You're holding it against him that he couldn't beat a team with 3 HOF players that went to the Finals each year by himself? They were the 2 time defending champs when they were swept in 91. Speaking of "Dutch Bags" how about the Bad Boys walking off the court before the game was even over.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:46 PM ^

Told people that they had to see Jordan play basketball live because he was the greatest athlete of his time. Something comparable to seeing Baryshnikov perform. Anything by Halberstam is worth reading. Wish he were still with us.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:48 PM ^

was nothing wrong with his speech what so ever. i'm a huge jordan fan and i laughed through out it. i was glad that he called out jerry krause because it needed to be done. krause dismantaled that bulls team after they won their 3rd straight championship for the 2nd time. krause figured that just being the chicago bulls would bring the best players in, wow was he wrong (bluebulls correct me if i'm wrong). so what if he poked fun at others for stuff that happened through out his life and career. but as it was said above it just fueled him to be better player. he has live such a public life already so why talk about things that every one already knows. i liked hearing about the supposed "freeze out" that was led by magic, thomas and bird in 85. he could have straight out tore those guys a new one up there but said it made him stronger and a better player.


September 13th, 2009 at 7:58 PM ^

I don't have a problem with him taking a playful jab at other old NBA players, but flying the guy in from his high school and telling the coach "You picked the wrong guy" was going too far. That was cringe-worthy.


September 13th, 2009 at 8:27 PM ^

Agreed - walking off the court was weak. Also agree with others above that there was a significant amount of negativity in the speech - what's the point/benefit of ripping Krause? Didn't most people that follow the NBA already think Krause made some bad moves? But, at least he should get some credit for putting the pieces in place to win a championship. So, my point is without Krause's moves MJ would have continued to lose to "the 3 future HOF players". And my final point, has Jordan built a championship team during his time in the NBA front office? So no need to throw stones.


September 13th, 2009 at 10:22 PM ^

I guess it would seem that I'm a Bulls and Jordan sympathizer, and maybe I am, but I also probably know more about the Bulls and MJ than most of the people on the board bc I'm from Chicago. (That sounds kind of dickish, but I would defer on issues with the Red Wings, Lions, etc., hopefully you all get what I'm saying.)

There's a long, long history between Krause and all of the Bulls big 3 (MJ, Pip, Phil). From a distance I agree that it doesn't seem like all that much for a GM to get some credit for putting together championship teams. The issue is that Krause was consistently disrespectful to MJ and dismissive of his accomplishments.

The comments MJ made about the "organization" were all directed at Krause and how he would always say that the organization (namely himself) was more responsible for winning than MJ or the players. Note that MJ wasn't drafted by Krause, which he said in his speech. Krause's relationship with all the players was very inappropriate; he would go on road trips and travel on the team bus.

Isn't the job of a GM to win? If he was so great, just get out of your own way and let the players play.

It's hard to explain all of the problems here, but it's well known in Chicago and documented in extreme detail in "Playing for Keeps." Just think about Phil Jackson, the "Zen Master," one of the smartest and most level headed coaches of all time. He's known for getting egotistical players to become a team, for moving past petty problems in a locker room. Even Phil wanted to get away from Krause. MJ, Phil, and Pip would have stayed in Chicago past 98, but they just wouldn't deal with Krause anymore.