Michael Jordan Praises Derek Jeter in Letter on The Players' Tribune

Alec NathanFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2017

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees speaks to the crowd as basketball hall of famer Michael Jordan (L) looks on during Derek Jeter Day on September 7, 2014 before the game between the New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

Michael Jordan penned a congratulatory letter to Derek Jeter that was published by The Players' Tribune on Saturday in advance of the Bronx Bomber's jersey retirement ceremony scheduled to take place Sunday evening. 

The note reads as follows: "Derek, A legacy is built by more than what is seen. It is not given, it is earned. Beyond your 20 years in the majors and an endless list of accolades, it was your love and respect for the game that set you apart. Your pursuit of greatness on and off the field has set the standard for others to follow. Much RE2PECT on cementing your legacy and having your No. 2 jersey retired. Congratulations. Your friend, Michael."

Jeter and Jordan have a well-documented friendship, and it only grew after the famed Yankees shortstop joined Jordan Brand as one of the company's biggest ambassadors. 

"We first met when I was in Arizona Fall League, when he was playing baseball," Jeter said in 2014, per YES Network's Lou DiPietro. "MJ is like a brother to me; our relationship has grown throughout the years, and he's like an older brother I never had. We've had a lot of conversations about life and about competing, both on and off the field or court."

Shortly before Jeter retired at the end of the 2014 season, Jordan also revealed he admired the way his friend embraced a highly competitive spirit on the diamond. 

"I think one of the things a professional strives for is perfection," Jordan said, per DiPietro. "You work hard each and every day, and when you do it the right way and with conviction, as Derek has done, you tend to respond under pressure."

Jeter will return to Yankee Stadium on Sunday evening for his enshrinement in Monument Park before the Yankees wrap up a four-game set against the Houston Astros