Russell: MJ won't play me 1-on-1
Oct 31, 2013 at 1:00a ET
Michael Jordan still may be able to dunk at 50, but can he still push off and hit a winning jumper?
Maybe, but not against Bryon Russell, the former Jazz guard says. He claims MJ chickened out when Russell challenged him to a game of 1-on-1.
"He just didn't wanna do it," Russell told TMZ this week.
If you know the NBA, you know Jordan hit one of the most legendary shots in its history at Russell's expense: the game-winning jumper against him in Game 6 of the 1998 Finals.
The rivalry was renewed at Jordan's infamous 2009 Hall of Fame speech, in which he vowed "If I ever see [Bryon] in shorts, I'm coming at him." (Skip to the 21-minute mark):
Well, Russell says he called MJ soon after and proposed a game for charity — and was flatly denied. He's continued to call out Jordan publicly but to no avail.
In Jordan's defense, what's he got to prove against a guy who's best known for being posterized by him? But he did talk big in his speech.
But Jordan always talks big. He recently said he'd beat every one of today's players except maybe Kobe Bryant.
Russell, 42, not only wants his shot, but he also guaranteed he'd win.
"There's no 'Jordan rules' when you play 1-on-1," he told TMZ.