Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rick Reilly is a vindictive asshole

Michael Jordan, best basketball player/gambling addict of all time, just got inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and gave what is generally considered to be a really self-righteous speech. I watched it and didn't find it nearly as insulting as our good friend Jeff Pearlman or 11-time National Sportswriter of the Year Rick Reilly did. 

Whatever, they think MJ is a big, selfish jerk. I'm cool with that. But check this section:

The thing Jordan doesn't understand is, it doesn't have to be this way. Terry Bradshaw won four Super Bowls and gave one of the greatest speeches in the history of the Hall of Fame. "Folks!" he hollered. "You don't get elected into the Hall of Fame by yourself! Thank you number 88, Lynn Swann! Thank you, Franco Harris! Thank you Rocky Bleier! What I wouldn't give right now to put my hands under [center] Mike Webster's butt just one more time! Thank you Mike!"

Here, watch this version of the MJ speech (full versions are easily found on the tubes). One of the first things Mike says? 

"...I got so many people I can thank. In all the videos, you never just saw me. You saw Scottie Pippen, every championship I won."

Seems almost identical to good ol' boy Terry Bradshaw. Maybe MJ should have hollered it instead of merely saying it with tears in his eyes. Rick, a couple paragraphs later, gives us insight into his motivation for ripping Mike. 

Before his second comeback -- with the Washington Wizards -- I was the first out with the story by a month. Jordan and his agent, David Falk, denied it, said I was crazy, practically said I was smoking something. Then, after a month of lies, Jordan admitted it was all true. I saw him in the locker room before his first game back and said, "You wanna say something to me, maybe?"

And he said, "You know you don't get no apologies in this business."

Basically, he's still pissed at Jordan after all these years. He has a history of this, see Sammy Sosa. Moral of the story: Rick Reilly is a vindictive asshole 


Tonus said...

Did Jeff really use Rosie O'Donnell as his opening quote?

Anonymous said...

Maybe Bradshaw thanked Lynn Swann because without the super bowls and the catches by Swann and Franco Harris, no one would consider him a HOFer? There's a huge difference between being considered one of greatest of time versus whatever people consider Bradshaw to be.

It hard to fathom that this man is pulling in 7 figures to put out stories for a sports site that is completely devoid of sports. I love capitalism, but Rick Reilly makes me think people are sometimes too stupid for it to work.

Chris W said...

Further, there are 22 starters on a football team. There are 5 on a basketball team.

And that would be the excuse I'd be making for Michael IF he hadn't thanked his teammates. But he did.

Elliot said...

Wow, that's some big text.

Jack M said...


I was surprised to see that your comment wasn't a launching pad for your thesis: "The NBA and its playoffs are really dumb."

Anonymous said...

Why would Jordan need to apologize to that clown. His writing is very annoying- for the most part he picks up easy feel good stories that a 3rd grader could write. But when he tries to do real work it's easy to tell he's just an angry jackass. I just read his piece on Chad Ochocinco and he's tearing him apart.