Michael Jordan and Jery Reinsdorf will temporarily put their differences aside to be co-presenters at Toni Kukoc’s Hall of Fame induction.
Jordan and Reinsdorf were never on the best of terms during Jordan’s tenure with the Chicago Bulls as the owner just couldn’t get along with the face of the franchise at the time.
The Bulls were the most dominant team in the NBA during the 1990s, but that didn’t mean that everything was unicorns and rainbows in Chicago. There was great tension between Jordan, Pippen, Phil Jackson and the Bulls management with GM Jerry Krause and Jerry Reinsdorf.
Ultimately, it all led to the break up of the Chicago Bull after the 1997-98 season in which Jordan would win his sixth and final title in a season famously labeled as ‘The Last Dance’ (Jordan also released his famous documentary last year with the same title).
“End of game situations” and “Clutch shots” are not just #XsOs, but many more. Here is @ReggieMillerTNT (with his little secrets) and his game winner against “The Last Dance @chicagobulls” and @Jumpman23 #PureGold #Experience #NBA pic.twitter.com/hKSHz6W4H3
— Luka Bassin (@LukaBassin) August 5, 2021
Michael Jordan and Jerry Reinsdorf Will Settler Their Differences To Support Toni Kukoc
Kukoc was a big part of those dominant Bulls teams. Despite initial hesitations of having him on the team, Jordan slowly grew to adapt to the sharp shooting big man from Croatia, and the pairing worked beautifully for Chicago.
Now, Toni Kukoc is set to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame from the international committee with both Jordand Reinsdorf being present.
Michael Jordan and Jerry Reinsdorf will serve as co-presenters for Toni Kukoc when Kukoc is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in September, @Hoophall says.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 11, 2021
Reinsdorf and Jordan famously beefed back in 1997 when the Chicago Bulls finally decided to pay Jordan his market value. Over his first 11 seasons with the Bulls, Jordan never made more than $4 million in a single season. In his last two years, he’d make over $30 million each year.
This is something Reinsdorf told Jordan he’d apparently regret doing despite Jordan’s clear value to the team, and his reputation of well, just being the best basketball player in the world at the time.
Roland Lazenby would write in his book Mindgame: Phil Jackson’s Long Strange Journey from an interview with a Bulls employee:
“Michael is bitter at Jerry because when Jerry agreed to pay him the $30 million, Jerry told Michael that he would regret it. Michael stood in the training room one day the next fall and told all his teammates, ‘You know what really pissed me off? Jerry said, ‘You know what, Michael? I’m gonna regret this.’
“Michael said, ‘What the f–k? You could say, ‘You deserve this. You’re the greatest player ever, you’re an asset to the city of Chicago and the organization. And I’m happy to pay you $30 million.'”
Jordan’s contract at the time was absurd as he was being nearly double of any other player in the league, but he absolutely deserved it. It’s tension like this that led to the eventual splitting of the Bulls. However, for one night, Jordan and Reinsdorf will set aside their differences to congratulate Toni Kukoc on his big night.