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Why Michael Jordan left Toni Kukoč's Hall of Fame induction the moment it was over

Michael-Jordan

We recently learned how Michael Jordan promised Toni Kukoč he would induct him into the Hall of Fame back in 2009. Then fate would have it MJ's daughter was getting married on the same day, only to have the wedding postponed due to COVID. So, in the end, Jordan was able to keep his promise and be there for his teammate. But he didn't stay very long.

Toni didn't mind the fact Jordan left immediately after the ceremony. There's so much attention that follows him everywhere. Before the ceremony, MJ went to say hi to Toni's wife and kids. Literally in the middle of their conversation, someone walked up, shoved their kid in Jordan's hands, and started taking photos.

"What was he supposed to do? He took the photo, and then someone else immediately jumped in and started hugging him. I saw he was fed up and didn't want to make him stay any longer."

Toni Kukoč, Index.hr

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Toni pointed out MJ was always great with the fans, but there are certain boundaries a lot of people cross. If dozens of fans want "just a few minutes" with the GOAT, there goes his day. One of the reasons Jordan fell in love with golf was the fundamental nature of the sport - there's no one around apart from the people you invited. Kukoč mentioned even he, a guy nowhere near MJ's fame and recognizability, would have all sorts of interaction with ridiculous fans.

"I'm a nobody compared to Michael and fans would constantly walk up to me and say stuff like 'Remember me? I was sitting right behind the bench, third row, seat no.7.' And what was I suppose to answer? You hear so much stupid stuff every day. If it were true, that would mean half of Chicago sat behind our bench, and the arena only takes 20 thousand people."

Toni Kukoč, Index.hr

Kukoč is one of the guys MJ likes to play golf with, in part because Toni gets that a lot of time MJ has to act a certain way not because he is rude, but because it's the only way to protect his privacy (and sanity.) There's only one rule on the golf course - all they talk about is golf. "Ok, we may talk about the cigar and drink we'll have after the game."

Everything else is off-limits.

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