« BACK TO TMZ TMZ

Our TV Shows

Got a Tip?

Call TMZ at (888) 847-9869 or Click Here

Michael Jordan

CHICKENED OUT

After Bryon Russell Challenged MJ to 1-on-1

10/31/2013 1:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

103013_bryon_russell_launch_v3
Someone should check Michael Jordan for feathers and a beak, 'cause the NBA legend CHICKENED OUT of a 1-on-1 basketball challenge from Bryon Russell after MJ called him out in his 2009 Hall of Fame induction speech, TMZ Sports has learned.

MJ's challenge is legendary -- on the day he was inducted, he stood on the podium and vowed to play Bryon anytime, any place ... saying, "From this day forward, if I ever see [Bryon] in shorts, I'm coming at him (see video below around 21:00)."



FYI -- the two have had a rivalry ever since Jordan beat Russell's defense in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals and sank the game-winning shot (though some people say, MJ illegally pushed off).

Well, TMZ Sports has learned ... that right after MJ's HOF speech, Russell placed a call to Jordan, challenging him to a televised 1-on-1 match ... and the profits would all go towards charity.

But Jordan REFUSED -- and according to Bryon, who called in to "TMZ Sports" Jordan didn't even give a good reason ... "he just didn't wanna do it."

Still, Russell GUARANTEES he would have (and still could) beat Michael if the NBA legend ever changes his mind -- saying, "There's no 'Jordan rules' when you play 1-on-1."

For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

Around The Web