Russell issues direct challenge to MJ

Bryon Russell took it as a compliment that Michael Jordan called him out during his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, and Russell responded on Tuesday with a direct challenge.

"Mike, if you want this, come get it," Russell said on the "Waddle & Silvy" show on ESPN 1000. "I'm out here in Calabasas (Calif.). You have the private jet, come on and fly out here.

"The second game can take place in Chicago. I'll fly out there. Let's make a nice, little challenge, have some fun with it and entertain once again."

During Jordan's speech on Friday, he said Russell told him in 1994 that he wanted to guard Jordan. During the 1998 NBA Finals, when Jordan's Chicago Bulls faced Russell's Utah Jazz, Jordan reminded Russell of his wish and said it was about to be realized. Russell was the defender Jordan shook before rising to take the clinching shot in Game 6.

"My response was after all this time I'm still on Mike's mind," Russell said. "I must have done something to leave a good impression, because he's still talking about me to this day, about giving me what I wanted.

"I challenged him [in 1994]. I got him out of retirement, and if I did, it was good for the game."

Russell said Jordan's recollection of the '94 challenge was correct.

"I think that's when he was doing baseball," Russell said. "I ran into him and was like, 'Hey man, why did you retire? I wanted to get a chance to stop you. Say I stopped the greatest.'

"He just smiled is all. Come '96, he said, 'Hey Russell, remember what you said to me?' I was like, 'Yeah.' He said, 'You're about to get your chance.' I got my chance. But when you break down every possession I was on him, I guarantee you I didn't get the bulk of all the points he had. I'm pretty sure I played better defense than anyone who played defense against him."

Russell, 39, said he's confident he could beat Jordan, 46.

"He likes challenges, so I'm challenging him once again," Russell said. "I'm always going to be forever tied to him, so why not give fans what they want again?"

And what would be at stake? "Put up our egos," Russell said. "Bragging rights."