The McKay Events Center brimmed with a stoked crowd yesterday, all believing they were going to see Bryon Russell take on the man who had already bested him—Michael Jordan. It was probably the largest amount of people the Utah Flash had ever seen at one of their games.
I remained skeptical because I had heard that Michael Jordan was “maybe” going to come but hadn’t confirmed. But the enthusiasm of the crowd and of the Flash announcer saying, “Bryon Russell has arrived!” made me believe the one-on-one match was actually going to happen.
At half time, the lights went out. The crowd went nuts. That Jazz theme song came on (I don’t know the name, but it’s really epic), and soon Bryon Russell was out on the court calling out Michael Jordan. “Where is he? I think he’s afraid,” Russell jeered. Hey, it’s the best revenge he can get at the man who, while afflicted with the flu, schooled him in the NBA Finals. Shortly after Russell said this, someone, who was supposed to be Michael Jordan, came out onto the court. Everyone was in awe. He came! Michael Jordan made it!
Well, you all know what happened. It wasn’t Michael Jordan. The lights came back on, with everyone looking at each other incredulously. “Hey, we still got a great half-time show!” The Flash announcer said, trying in vain to placate the disillusioned crowd. People booed and hissed. Someone threw a Flash shirt back at him. “Hey, the offer was out there and he didn’t take it!” he protested, trying to pin the blame on Jordan. Many in the crowd then began dispersing (including myself) from the now boring game.
Russell and Utah Flash promoters tried to have us believe that MJ had sent an imposter, when in reality they promoted a one-on-one match that was never confirmed to happen in the first place. Already not being very popular, this was a bad, if not plain dishonest, move for the Utah Flash.