The shadow of Michael Jordan isn’t fading anytime soon.
Even on the eve before Bulls board chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was being enshrined as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he was answering questions about his former all-world player turned Charlotte owner.
Specifically, why Jordan wasn’t involved in being a ceremonial stage presenter for Reinsdorf.
“Well actually I spoke to Michael about that when I first found out I was going in, and it turned out that he had a conflict and he couldn’t make it,’’ Reinsdorf told the media Thursday.
Asked if he was disappointed with Jordan’s response, Reinsdorf said, “No, I understood. I know he was telling the truth. I don’t think it was anything he made up.’’
The relationship between Jordan and his former organization has always raised some eyebrows, but Reinsdorf was in perfect spin mode in discussing it yet again, insisting, “[The relationship is] good. I don’t see him very often because I don’t go to the league meetings … very cordial, I talk to him. It’s a good relationship. It’s never been a strange relationship.’’
He took it a step further by admitting that Jordan in fact “wrote a letter supporting my candidacy, so that tells you everything you really need to know.’’
So does six championships as owner of the Bulls, and oh by the way, another championship as board chairman of the White Sox.
The Reinsdorf Hall of Fame resume doesn’t end there, either.
Not only has he made the Bulls one of the more successful franchises in league history, but has turned out NBA icons like Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson.
Add in gambling on coaches like Doug Collins and Tom Thibodeau, as well as former general manager Jerry Krause, and it’s no wonder that Reinsdorf is joining a 2016 class that will also have Shaquille O’Neal, Allen Iverson, Yao Ming, referee Darell Garretson, WNBA player Sheryl Swoops, Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, former NBA and ABA player All-Star Zelmo Beaty, NAIA coach John McLendon, and Cumberland Posey.
The ceremony will take place on Friday, and Reinsdorf will have Jackson and Pippen on the stage with him as presenters.
Just no Jordan.