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Jordan Will ‘Go To Grave’ At Peace With Hall Of Fame Speech

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CHICAGO (CBS) — As the now 50-year-old Michael Jordan reflects back on his career, he still stands by his Hall Of Face induction speech, which was widely derided as petty, vindictive and arrogant.

In an interview that will air Monday on NBA-TV, Jordan told Ahmad Rashad, “Most people say, that was the worst speech. OK, 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.”

During that speech, Jordan took shots at his old high school coach over the now well-worn tale of how Jordan was left off the varsity squad as a sophomore. He also took former NBA all-stars to task for, in his view, freezing him out during his first all-star game more than 20 years before.

About halfway though the speech, Jordan finally mentioned his kids, adding: “You know I think that you guys have a heavy burden. I wouldn’t want to be you guys if I had to, because of all the expectations that you have to deal with.”

Jordan also looked back on the breakup of the Chicago Bulls after their sixth title and believes that group could have wow three more championships.

“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.”