Reilly exposes Jordan HOF speech
By Rick Reilly, ESPN.com
Michael Jordan’s Hall of Fame talk was the Exxon Valdez of speeches. It was, by turns, rude, vindictive and flammable. And that was just when he was trying to be funny. It was tactless, egotistical and unbecoming. When it was done, nobody wanted to be like Mike.
And yet we couldn’t stop watching. Because this was an inside look into the mindset of an icon who’d never let anybody inside before. From what I saw, I’d never want to go back. Here is a man who’s won just about everything there is to win — six NBA titles, five MVPs and two Olympics golds. And yet he sounded like a guy who’s been screwed out of every trophy ever minted. He’s the world’s first sore winner.
In the entire 23-minute cringe-athon, there were only six thank yous, seven if you count his sarcastic rip at the very Hall that was inducting him. "Thank you, Hall of Fame, for raising ticket prices, I guess," he sneered. By comparison, David Robinson’s classy and heartfelt seven-minute speech had 17. Joe Montana’s even shorter speech in Canton had 23. Who wrote your speech Mike? Kanye West?
Not that Jordan’s speech wasn’t from the heart. It was. It’s just that Jordan’s heart on this night could give you frostbite. Nobody was spared, including his high school coach, his high school teammate, his college coach, two of his pro coaches, his college roommate, his pro owner, his pro general manager, the man who was presenting him that evening, even his kids!
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