If you thought Michael could trash talk on the court, he showed he still had that part of his game left when he brought some "A" material with him up to the stage. After wiping away the tears upon stepping to the podium to a standing ovation, he started a little blue when discussing his choice of former NC State player, David Thompson, to introduce him, "I shocked the shit out of him." I don't know if ESPN didn't think they needed a delay, someone was asleep at the switch, or they figured that Michael Jordan should be able to say whatever the hell he wants.
He then cleaned it up and moved on to skewering just about anybody that ever tried to stand in his way, or defeat him in any way. He took his biggest shots at at his former GM, Jerry Krause. As he talked about he Bulls, he acknowledged Jerry Reinsdorf and Phil Jackson, adding, "Jerry Krause is not here, obviously, I don't know who would have invited him... I didn't."
This was in response to the report that Jerry Krause announced that he would not be attending Jordan's Hall of Fame induction on principle because Tex Winter is not enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Now, I also think that Tex Winter should be in the Hall of Fame, but that is not a reason for snubbing the most important player on the teams he put together. That was one last "f--- you" to Jordan after years of butting heads in Chicago.
Naturally, Jordan was not about to let Krause get the last word in, "He said organizations win championships, I said I didn't see organizations play with the flu in Utah." He went on to add, "At the end of the day the players still gotta go out there and perform...you guys gotta pay us, but I still gotta go out there and play."
I've seen a couple of people have a problem with Jordan's tone in the speech, this guy thinks Jordan behaved like clown in calling out the folks who fueled his competitive fire. Adjectives describing Jordan thrown around on Twitter included, cocky, arrogant, and conceited. He was called a jerk, a dick, an asshole, and a trash-talking punk.
Yeah, Michael Jordan is kind of a dick. He was, by all accounts, the most competitive dick that has ever lived. He is the most talented dick I've ever seen play basketball. He is a funny and charismatic dick that knows how to hide his dickishness when called for. Most importantly, he is a dick that brought Chicago six championships.
CCD, at Waxpaperbeercup, called attention to a post on Ghost of Paul Noce that describes how big "The Shot" over Craig Ehlo in Game 5 of the 1989 opening round of the playoffs was in the history of Chicago Bulls basketball and the city itself.
"After 1991, the Chicago Bulls always had options late in games.Prior to Jordan's reign in the 90's, Chicago had only the Bears one-hit-wonder season of 1985 to look to in the sports world. Jordan's kick-starting of the dynasty with that shot in Cleveland gave Chicago a confidence in the sports world it had never had in my lifetime, and has been unable to regain back since.
Before 1991, only one man took the shot. Everybody in Richfield Coliseum, the United States, and Dooley household knew that Michael was getting the ball.
After the inbounds play, Jordan was met by two defenders in front. As he jumped at the free throw line, one more would come from the back. As the ball went through the net, the defenders went limp.
In one fell swoop, the Chicago Bulls went from an unmanageable headcase of unfiltered talent to a budding championship squad with an leader that wouldn't be denied.
The moment changed Jordan's confidence. It elevated his team's confidence in him. It was the start of the Chicago Bulls dynasty."
From that time on, Jordan seemed able to simply will a team to victory. If you are that much better than your competition, you have probably earned the right to be be a bit of a dick. Of course, I probably only say that because he is Chicago's dick.
As he said to Tex Winter when reminded that there is no 'I' in 'team', "There is no 'I' in 'team', but there is an 'I' in 'win.'''
Thanks, Michael. Congratulations on your well-deserved enshrinement. And way to put that little prick, Isaiah Thomas in his place too.
The intro of Michael and his speech in full is below broken up into 3 sections. It is well worth the time if you haven't seen it yet: