225 lb (102 kg)
| 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
| December 31, 1970 (age 44)
San Bernardino, California (1970-12-31) |
(San Bernardino, California)
Long Beach State (1990–1993)
1993 / Round: 2 / Pick: 45th overall
California State University, Long Beach
Bryon Demetrise Russell (born December 31, 1970) is an American former professional basketball player from San Bernardino, California. During a National Basketball Association (NBA) career that spanned from 1993 to 2006, he played for the Denver Nuggets, Washington Wizards and Los Angeles Lakers and was a key member of the Utah Jazz, helping them reach back-to-back NBA finals appearances in 1997 and 1998. He was also a part of the Seattle SuperSonics roster for a brief time but never appeared in a game for them. Russell had his best season with the Jazz in the 1999–2000 season, when he averaged 14.1 points and 5.2 rebounds per game. From 1997 to 2000, he played in every regular-season game.
Russell's alma mater, Long Beach State University, retired his jersey in 2010.
Bryon Russell Wikipedia
Russell is best remembered for guarding Michael Jordan at the end of Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. Jordan made the game-winning shot over Russell, although many fans believe Jordan pushed off Russell during the play. The referees did not call a foul on the play, and Russell later remarked, "Whether he pushed off or not, he was making that shot." He and Jordan were teammates when they played for the Washington Wizards during the 2002–03 NBA season, which was Jordan's last.
In 2009, Jordan mentioned Russell in his Hall of Fame induction speech, recalling an interaction they had during Jordan's first retirement in 1994: "[A]t this time, I had no thoughts of coming back and playing the game of basketball. Bryon Russell came over to me and said, 'Why did you quit? You know I could guard you.' ... From this day forward, if I ever see [Russell] in shorts, I'm coming at him." In response, Russell challenged Jordan to a game of one-on-one for charity. Such a match-up has not yet taken place, though the Utah Flash of the NBDL did stage a halftime game between Russell and a Jordan look-alike.