Bulls assistant coach John Bach, once said that deep inside, Jordan was "an assassin." And he couldn't put that competitive nature aside, when he gave his speech.
I thought Jordan gave people a gentle reminder, that they don't know that the competitive fire that burns inside an individual, is what lets someone do what they can do.
The press had this to say about his speech:
“M.J. was introduced as the greatest player ever and he’s still standing there trying to settle scores,” one Hall of Famer said privately later.
Jordan wandered through an unfocused and uninspired speech at Symphony Hall, disparaging people who had little to do with his career, like Jeff Van Gundy and Bryon Russell. He ignored people who had so much to do with it, like his personal trainer, Tim Grover. This had been a moving and inspirational night for the NBA – one of its best ceremonies ever – and five minutes into Jordan’s speech it began to spiral into something else. Something unworthy of Jordan’s stature, something beneath him.