Among others, here were a few more poignant reactions in the wake of Michael Jordan's polarizing acceptance speech Friday night.
Matt Moore of Hardwood Paroxysm weighed in:
There was no revelation last night. This is who he is, who he’s always been. I’ve long thought that there are two types of competitiveness. There are those that seek to be the absolute best at what they do. They strive for greatness, for glory, to accomplish the most they possibly can. And there are others whose entire universe is built around destroying their opponent. There’s being the best, and there’s "being better than everyone else." And they are different, though the separation is subtle. This is who Jordan is. It’s why he shrugged. It’s why he reveled in moments when he not only buried the last second game-winner, but did it in his defender’s face. It’s why the tongue wagged and he walked with more swagger than anyone. He loved beating people. So it’s no surprise that on his night, he chose to celebrate his career by shoving it in everyone’s face. Last night he put a clinic on Pat Riley, Byron Russell, John Starks, Isiah Thomas, and Jerry Krauss. "IN YOUR FACE, PEOPLE THAT ANGERED ME TWENTY YEARS AGO!"
The reason I have no problem with this is that the Hall isn’t about him as a person. It’s startling that the greatest player in league’s history is such a jackass, and not so awesome for all of the glorification of him as not only a player but as a cultural entity, but his play is honestly worthy of all that praise. He deserves his own room at the hall. And he deserves to be end his career in the public eye in whatever way he chooses. And he chose to end it by shoving it in people’s face and saying "Sucks to be you" to his kids. That’s just how the Greatest Player of All Time rolls. I’m not going to tell him differently, are you?
While TruthAboutIt.net relished in the opportunity to highlight the competitive zeal that fueled Jordan's ascent:
Jordan isn’t famous because he could dunk the ball, or drop 50 in a game. About 2.7% of all players who have appeared in the NBA all-time have scored 50 in a game. Michael Jordan ain’t no 2.7%, his percentage is so minuscule that it’s immeasurable.
Jordan is famous because he won. Won to the tune of six championships which easily could have been eight straight, and possibly more. Jordan won because of his competitive nature. And to remain competitive, Jordan wanted motivation, which in his words, he "desperately needed."
Think about that. The man admits to being ‘desperate’ for reasons to stay motivated, to maintain a competitive edge, a winning level. Don’t chide Jordan because he’s opened a window to his life that was previously unseen (or denied) by most, or blast him for mentioning all the instances along the way which made him a winner. When Jordan asked "what don’t people know about me" in his speech, the answer should have been what their horse blinders of denial didn’t allow them to see.
I’m not here to defend Michael Jordan, and I’m not a Jordanaire apologist. I simply don’t want to be deprived of the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ that helped create the man we celebrate with a Hall of Fame induction. And I’m glad I wasn’t.
And finally, the Washington Post's Michael Lee sums up the entire ceremony in less 140 characters: