Anyways let's get the ball rolling with a favorite feature of mine. Rick Reilly and his 800 Words returns this week where we find our comedian-turned-sports columnist telling us how Michael Jordan is a prick. Gee thanks for the heads up Rick! Here we go...
Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame talk was the Exxon Valdez of speeches.
It killed hundreds of baby seals and ocean birds.
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.
Except all those people who do want to be like Mike. As in every basketball player since 1989.
And yet we couldn't stop watching.
It's like a train wreck only Charles Barkley is here and he's WAAAASTED.
Because this was an inside look into the mindset of an icon who'd never let anybody inside before.
Insulting and calling people out is "letting us in"?
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.
Cuz he's a dick. This is something new to you Rick?
He's the world's first sore winner.
Not really. Ever heard of Reggie Jackson?
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.
How could you not thank them for the complimentary dental floss? YOU NEVER NEGLECT YOUR TEETH!!!
By comparison, David Robinson's classy and heartfelt seven-minute speech had 17. Joe Montana's even shorter speech in Canton had 23.
Count these: Thank you for counting my thank yous douchetassle.
Who wrote your speech Mike? Kanye West?
Oh Rick Reilly. So up with popular culture. Next thing you know Rick will be asking us when Bruno Maglis went out of style. Hint: Never.
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.
Or any other night. Seriously, you didn't know he's a huge dick?
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!
You could've just left it at, "nobody was spared". I didn't think maybe he had spared the corpse of Saddam Hussein.
"I wouldn't want to be you guys if I had to," he said as they squirmed in their seats.
Rick Reilly enjoys detailing the squirming habits of children.
He even mocked his own brothers, calling them maybe 5-foot-5 and 5-6. Actually, they're about 5-8 and 5-9.
Yeah so fuck off Mike! We don't need you to fucking tell us how tall we are. That's what we have Rick Reilly for.
Michael was the one blessed with the height gene, not the tact one.
You were blessed with the Tooth-Simile Gene. Or the Sappy-Story-with-a-Sad-Ending Gene.
Jordan had decided that this was the perfect night to list all the ways everybody sitting in front of him had pissed him off over the past 30 years: Dean Smith, Doug Collins, Jerry Reinsdorf, Pat Riley, Isiah Thomas, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, George Gervin and Jeff Van Gundy. It was the only one-man roast in Hall of Fame history.
We get it. "Nobody was spared." MOVE. ON.
Only very little of it was funny.
I thought it was pretty funny. I mean, how often to you get to see the greatest basketball player of all time eviscerate his friends and colleagues? I had a good chuckle I'll tell ya.
He was like that Japanese World War II soldier they found hiding in a cave in Guam 27 years after the Japanese surrendered.
No he wasn't but let's see where you're taking this simile. Can't wait.
The only difference is, Jordan won!
Or how about the fact that they're nothing alike...at all...not even metaphorically.
What good is victory if you never realize the battle is over?
He knows the battle is over. He just likes rubbing peoples' faces in their losses.
This is how Jordan really is, I just never thought he'd let the world see it.
Excellent idea for a column then. Everyone knows he's a prick but hey, let's write about it anyways!
And suddenly, it hit you: Michael Jordan is the guy who gets up at the rehearsal dinner, grabs the mike and ruins the night.
Kinda like how you ruined SportsIllustrated?
Jordan owes a roomful of apologies. But it'll never happen. I know firsthand.
HE WRONGED ME
Before his second comeback -- with the Washington Wizards -- I was the first out with the story by a month.
Celebrate me! Praise me! Love me!!!
Jordan and his agent, David Falk, denied it, said I was crazy, practically said I was smoking something.
Rick Reilly doesn't smoke the pot because he's a D.A.R.E. graduate.
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?"
"Your teeth are FAAAAABULOUS"
And he said, "You know you don't get no apologies in this business."
I can see Reilly walking away like Charlie Brown after Jordan crushed his hopes and dreams of an apology.
So I wouldn't hold your breath.
They called it an "acceptance" speech, but the last thing Jordan seems to be able to do is accept it's over. In fact, Jordan hinted that he might make yet another comeback at 50.
And you'll be there to seek an apology for his acceptance speech right?
I just hope Comeback No. 3 doesn't come with a speech.
Because then I'm really screwed.
Now I kind of hope there is a comeback just so we can get a Reilly-bashing speech along with it.