The owner of Utah’s NBA Development League team promised Air Jordan but delivered little more than thin air.
Hoping to capitalize on the seemingly never-ending feud between Bryon Russell and Michael Jordan, Brandt Andersen promoted a 1-on-1 game between the rivals at halftime of the Utah Flash’s home opener, with a $100,000 donation to the charity of the winner’s choice at stake.
Russell claims Jordan pushed off against him before hitting his series-clinching jumper in the 1998 NBA Finals between Russell’s Utah Jazz and Jordan’s Chicago Bulls.
Andersen’s stunt Monday attracted a record crowd of 7,542. But when it came time to play, Russell showed up but no Jordan. Instead, a Jordan look-alike surrounded by security guards arrived.
Andersen claims he never promised the real Michael Jordan would show. But he duped thousands of people into believing otherwise.
He apologized for the farce but wasn’t getting much sympathy in the court of public opinion.
“There’s a distinction between minor league and bush league, and Andersen crossed that line,” Salt Lake Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe wrote.
• OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS — Shaun Suisham missed yet another field goal Sunday for the Washington Redskins, one that would have sealed a win over the unbeaten New Orleans Saints.
But it was good news for Graham Gano.
The former Locomotives kicker signed with the Redskins on Tuesday after Suisham was released.
Gano booted Las Vegas to the inaugural United Football League championship on Nov. 27 with his 33-yard field goal in the Locos’ 20-17 overtime win over the previously undefeated Florida Tuskers.
He becomes the first Locos player to make an NFL team’s active roster. Gano was 13-for-16 on field-goal attempts with Las Vegas and made all 20 extra-point attempts.
• WORTH SAVING — Several years ago, renowned hockey photographer Denis Brodeur Sr. saw a framed picture of legendary former NHL goalie Terry Sawchuk in a store. He purchased it, thinking one day his son would be linked with Sawchuk.
That day came Monday when Martin Brodeur beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-0 for his 103rd career shutout, tying Sawchuk for an NHL record that for decades was thought to be unattainable.
“In my mind I said Martin has 90 or so shutouts, so I bought the picture with the frame, put away the frame and kept the picture,” Denis Brodeur told NHL.com.
He has kept an opening on a wall in Martin’s old bedroom, now a shrine to his son’s stellar hockey career.
“All the photos with the records are in there,” Denis Brodeur said.
Once Martin records shutout No. 104, Denis Brodeur said he will hang the action photo of Sawchuk next to an action photo of his son, with two photos below of Martin holding pucks marked No. 103 and No. 104.
COMPILED BY STEVE CARP LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL