The ball that Michael Jordan used to sink the Utah Jazz in Game Six of the 1998 NBA Finals is, in my mind at least, the Mormon cousin of Wet Hot American Summer’s talking Can of Vegetables. After the buzzer sounded, he cursed out Jordan so mercilessly that NBC had to edit it out of the broadcast. Remember, it was Joseph Smith who said, “I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm, yet deals justice to his neighbors and mercifully deals his substance to the poor, than the smooth-faced hypocrite.” Or in this case, a smooth-headed hypocrite. Before hitting his series-clinching jumper, Jordan pushed off Bryon Russell. In the ball’s eyes, that made MJ a fraud.
The ball still isn’t proud of his display, but a few years back, he felt validated by Jordan’s vitriolic Hall of Fame speech. The ball retired after the ’98 finals, but remains a Jazz fan. He’s a proud papa, too. The oldest of his 10 well-rounded children, Spalding Jr., is in the EnergySolutions Arena rotation. He hopes to star in his own NBA commercial one day, preferably with future Jazz guard Jimmer Fredette.
More from “Talking To Talking Balls Week” at the Good Men Project:
Bethlehem Shoals: The Absurd Talking Balls
Peter Schrager: The Great Frank Brickowski
Tim Burke: A Cavs Fan’s Love for Laimbeer
Tom Ley: The Ballad of Adam Morrison
Andy Hutchins: Nice Try, Kobe
Eric Nusbaum: Lakers Flags
Patrick Hayes: Patrick and The Admiral
Graydon Gordian: Sprewellian Anxiety
Andrew Bucholtz: Chuck, This Is Goodbye
Holly MacKenzie: Everything Is Possible
Kurt Helin: Lee’s Layup