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MJ THANKS NAYSAYERS FOR INCENTIVE

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. - Michael Jordan, maybe the greatest of them all, has taken his place alongside basketball's other greats.

And he remembers everyone who motivated him to get there.

Jordan was enshrined in the Hall of Fame on Friday, a final honor that follows all the championship rings and MVP trophies he collected during his career.

From the high school coach who cut him to the last player to defend him in the NBA Finals, Jordan remembered everyone who did something to bring out the competitiveness that carried him to the top of basketball.

"I'd do anything to win," he said.

He joined David Robinson and John Stockton, a pair of his 1992 Olympic Dream Team teammates, Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan and Rutgers women's coach C. Vivian Stringer in this year's hall class. Jordan insisted during a morning news conference that the weekend wasn't just about him, but he was clearly the star Friday night.

"He makes one big shot and everybody thinks he's kind of cool," Stockton joked of Jordan's clinching shot to win the 1998 NBA title for the Bulls over his Jazz. "I don't get it."

In his acceptance speech, Jordan entertained the crowd - which included his former North Carolina coach, Dean Smith - with memories of slights that inspired him to get to Springfield. They included one by Utah guard Bryon Russell.

Jordan recalled meeting Russell while he was retired and playing minor-league baseball in 1994 and told - with Sloan looking on in horror - of how Russell insisted he could have covered him if Jordan was still playing.

Russell later got two cracks at Jordan in the Finals, and he was the defender when Jordan hit that shot in 1998.

"From this day forward, if I ever see (Russell) in shorts, I'm coming at him," Jordan, 46, said.

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