Jordan Says Bulls Could Have Won Nine Titles, Reflects on Hall of Fame Speech, and Weighs in on Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James
Russell Discusses Almost Not Playing in the NBA and How He Could Have Become a Laker
Barkley Reflects on Facing Jordan in the 1993 NBA Finals and Realizing his Playing Career was Over
NBA TV’s extensive coverage of NBA All-Star 2013 in Houston will culminate with a three-hour block of programming featuring exclusive interviews with some of the greatest NBA players of all time – Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Charles Barkley – on Monday, Feb. 18.
NBA TV’s All-Star Monday will begin with One on One with Ahmad Rashad: Michael Jordan at 8 p.m. ET followed by Mr. Russell’s House at 9 p.m. and a special encore presentation of Sir Charles at 50 at 10 p.m. (debuting on TNT following State Farm All-Star Saturday Night).
One on One with Ahmad Rashad: Michael Jordan – 8 p.m.
A day after his 50th birthday, the show will feature a recent in-depth exclusive interview with Michael Jordan conducted by Sports Emmy Award-winner Ahmad Rashad. As he was on the court, Jordan does not hold back in providing new insights on subjects such as his unfulfilled dreams for the Bulls’ dynasty, his Hall of Fame induction speech, “Kobe vs. LeBron” and many other topics. One on One with Ahmad Rashad: Michael Jordan includes the following comments from Jordan:
On his frustration of not being able to keep the Bulls together following six NBA titles: “We have to live the rest of our lives with this idea of…wow we could have won seven…or we could have won eight…or we could have won nine. We could have done all that.”
On his Hall of Fame induction speech in 2009: “Most people say, that was the worst speech, okay, that’s from your perspective. If you understood it from my perspective then you would understand. I saw Pat Riley, he said, ‘I totally get it. I totally understand it.’ I’ll go to my grave thinking, I said what I wanted to say, I’m not going to change it and if you don’t think it was a great speech, it’s what I felt.”
Kobe vs. LeBron: “If you had to pick between the two, that would be a tough choice, but five beats one every time I look at it, and not that he (LeBron James) won’t get five, he may get more than that, but five is bigger than one.”
Mr. Russell’s House – 9 p.m.
Bill Russell, owner of 11 NBA championship rings, invites Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons into his home for an intimate talk. As they look through his trophy case, Russell reflects on his life as an activist and NBA icon. He addresses such subjects as his relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., his possible decision not to play in the NBA, and the day he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama. Some revelations by the legendary Boston Celtic include:
On almost not playing in the NBA: “St. Louis was overwhelmingly racist. If I would have been drafted by St. Louis, I wouldn’t be in the NBA. I would not have gone into the NBA.”
On coming out of retirement to become a Laker: “I get a call from Jack Kent Cooke (Lakers owner at the time). So he says, ‘Bill, I’ve been thinking about it and what I’m going to do is have you come out of retirement and play for the Lakers.’ So I said, ‘Don’t you have a guy Wilt Chamberlain playing for you?’ He said, ‘Yeah.’ I said, ‘How would he feel playing backup center?’”
On receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011: “I felt honored to be on the same stage as the President. He said to me, ‘Thanks for the inspiration.’ He said that I was one of the reasons (he) was able to become President because I elevated the standards of behavior for black folks.”
Sir Charles at 50 – 10 p.m.
As he nears his 50th birthday, TNT NBA analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley reflects on his legacy in an interview with TNT colleague Ernie Johnson, host of the Sports Emmy Award-winning Inside the NBA. In a quintessential interview, Barkley reflects on growing up in Alabama, the night he was drafted into the NBA, his only appearance in the NBA Finals in 1993, his relationship with Jordan and his successful transition into a Sports Emmy Award-winning studio analyst. Some thought-provoking comments from Barkley include:
Barkley on winning a championship: “If you have a legitimate chance to win a championship…you have to hold on to that season and come together as a team because it’s very rare that you’re actually good enough to win a championship. I always tell people, basketball is the hardest sport to win a championship. When you win a championship in basketball, you really are the best team.”
Barkley on going against Michael Jordan in the 1993 NBA Finals: “Since I had become a great player that was the first time I ever said to myself that guy is better than me. No disrespect to Magic Johnson, I thought he had more help. No disrespect to Larry Bird, I thought they had more help. The one thing that Phoenix proved to me was, if I get some help I am good enough to make my team win.”
Barkley on facing the end of his playing career: “When you’re a great player and it’s gone, all you really want [to say is], ‘Listen. I’m living this nightmare, I’m trying the best I can it’s just over for me,’…I used to watch all these old guys hang on too long and then I became one of them…Your ego is like ‘let me have a good year, then I can walk away,’ but you don’t have any more good years. It’s over.”
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