Russell took the challenge in stride, confirming Jordan's story while at the same time refusing to back down. "I'll play his a-- right now," he told Yahoo! Sports. "This is a call-out for him to come play me."
Jordan hasn't publicly responded yet, but Brandt Andersen, owner of the D-League's Utah Flash, is hoping to goad him into action, putting $100,000 of his own money on the line for a one-on-one contest.
From Andersen's blog:
Andersen claims he's already convinced Russell to participate but is still trying to reach Jordan via a mutual friend.So here is my offer: Michael Jordan vs. Bryon Russell-1 on 1 challenge to 21. I will personally donate $100,00 to charity in the name of the winner. We can do it during the half time of the Utah Flash home opener on December 7th. $100,000 in cash for a 15 minute pickup game. MJ even you can't say no to that.
Our venue is the perfect place for this challenge because it brings BRuss back to Utah and Michael Jordan has a home just outside of Park City (I have seen his Carolina Blue Jump Man plane on the runway at Million Air in SLC) so it is convenient for both guys. Not to mention that it would be sacrilegious to have this take place anywhere outside of Utah.
Good luck with that.
Jordan may be the most competitive person alive, but he's also not one to be publicly bullied. And considering he reportedly earned $45 million last year, $100,000 is less than a day's pay for him, so it'll take a lot more than that for him to risk damaging his pride.
If Jordan were to actually get involved with a charity exhibition, it'd likely be on pay-per-view with a dozen sponsors and a commemorative shoe, not halftime entertainment at a D-League game.
Even so, I admire Andersen's entrepreneur-minded challenge -- he just bought more publicity than his franchise has ever received without spending a dime. Whether Jordan responds or not, Andersen is already ahead.