Michael Jordan will not attend the Bulls Ring of Honor ceremony that will honor him and 12 other members of the inaugural class for the organization.
However, the Bulls shared a video-recorded message Jordan made for the event.
“Good evening. I want to thank Jerry Reinsdorf and Michael Reinsdorf for starting the Ring of Honor,” Jordan said. “I want to congratulate all the other recipients. I am so bummed that I can’t be there tonight, but I don’t want that to stop the fun that you guys are going to have.
“And believe me, I am very grateful and very honored. To the fans, you guys have supported me ever since I stepped foot in Chicago. And even today, I see a lot of Chicago fans all over. So I think we made an impression and changed what Chicago represents in terms of champions.
“Every time you look up in the rafters, I want you to always remember, where we were and where we are. And we are always going to be champions. So, thank you, to the fans. Once again, I want to thank Jerry Reinsdorf and Michael Reinsdorf for doing this and congratulate the other recipients.
“Man, I’m bummed I can’t be there but I will always be a Chicago Bulls and I want them to continually do well. I’d like to see other banners in the rafters, and I hope the city can always be proud of the Chicago Bulls. Thank you very much. Have a great evening.”
In 13 seasons with the Bulls, Jordan won six championships for Chicago. He was a 14-time All-Star, 11-time All-NBA, 10-time scoring champion, five-time MVP and six-time Finals MVP.
Speculation existed about Jordan and Scottie Pippen’s attendance at the event. The two’s relationship has withered in recent years on account of several factors. Those include the controversial “The Last Dance” documentary and the beginning of Larsa Pippen (Pippen’s ex-wife) and Marcus Jordan’s (Jordan’s son) relationship.
On Friday, the Bulls will recognize 13 players, coaches and managers who made the inaugural Ring of Honor class for the Bulls. The criteria for the first class included induction into the Naismith Hall of Fame or a banner in the United Center rafters.
The class includes Artis Gilmore, Phil Jackson, Michael Jordan, Johnny “Red” Kerr, Dick Klein, Jerry Krause, Toni Kukoc, Bob Love, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Jerry Sloan, Chet Walker, Tex Winter, and the 1995-96 team, which went 72-10 and won the 1996 NBA Championship.
The 13 inductees will be honored and celebrated with a special halftime presentation. Each member will receive a special trophy designed by Victor Solomon, the artist who crafted the updates to the Larry O’Brien trophy and five other postseason trophies.
Ahead of the event, the Bulls enlisted the help of several A-List celebrities to write essays about each of the 13 inductees for the Bulls Ring of Honor class. Most notably, Barack Obama wrote about Jordan and Eddie Vedder wrote about Dennis Rodman.
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