NBA legend Michael Jordan delivered an emotional funny speech during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Springfield, Massachusetts on Friday (September 11). The 46 year-old had a long list of people to thank to including those who did not believe in him.
Michaelâ€™s HOF Speech included some â€œmessagesâ€ to people who in some way or another made him a great competitor, a great player, possibly the greatest ever:
- The coach who cut him from the varsity as a North Carolina schoolboy.”I wanted to make sure you understood: You made a mistake, dude.”
- Isiah Thomas, who allegedly orchestrated a “freezeout” of Jordan in his first All-Star game. “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.”
- Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy — Jordan called him Pat Riley’s “little guy” — who accused Jordan of “conning” players by acting friendly toward them, then attacking them in games. “I just so happen to be a friendly guy. I get along with everybody, but at the same time, when the light comes on, I’m as competitive as anybody you know.”
- The media who said Jordan, though a great player, would never win like Bird or Johnson. “I had to listen to all that, and that put so much wood on that fire that it kept me each and every day trying to get better as a basketball player.”
- Lastly, Utah’s Bryon Russell. Jordan recalled meeting Russell while he was retired and playing minor league baseball in 1994 — and with Sloan looking on in horror — told of how Russell insisted he could have covered him if Jordan was still playing. Russell later 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.
Michael Jordan Hall Of Fame Speech Video