Michael Jordan vs. Bryon Russell: Settle a Score, Make Offseason Less a Bore

Neil FerroContributor ISeptember 15, 2009

Bryon Russell and Michael Jordan are back in the news.

Russell has challenged Michael Jordan, recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, to a pick up game after getting called out by Jordan in last week's HOF speech.

Hearing about MJ's trash talk on the mike, the former Utah Jazz forward responded that he'd "play [Jordan's] a** right now", inviting his Airness out to California for a one-on-one scrapdown in Calabasas.

Russell even cautioned Jordan that he "keeps [his] basketball shorts on" even to this day to stay game-ready (which makes him exactly like the rest of America's non-working male population).

As the world awaits MJ's response, I'd like to say how much I really want to see this pick-up game happen. Not only would it generate some buzz in the middle of the NBA's relatively quiet offseason, but it would be great to see the tradition of trash talk being embraced. Trash talking in the NBA has been so watered down and de-emphasized by the forces of political correctness and sportsmanship in all facets of life, even when we know those players are jawing non-stop during gametime.

Plus we'd get to see whether MJ's lost a step or two since he retired from basketball to work on his golf game, and we'd get to see if Russell's basketball-short-wearing routine has kept his game sharp.

In fact, why stop there? Let's get Jeff Hornacek, Karl Malone, Greg Ostertag, Tony Kukoc, Steve Kerr and Dennis Rodman all together and re-enact the whole damn last-few-seconds-of-the-1998-finals thing. We'll see if Jordan still needs to push off before he can hit his jumper, too.

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Considering Jordan's competitiveness, don't be surprised to see this game happen as soon as this week. Unless Jordan has a tee time he doesn't want to miss.

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