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Bryon Russell
Shooting guard / Small forward
Born December 31, 1970 (1970-12-31) (age 39)
San Bernardino, California
Nationality USA
Listed height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Listed weight 225 lb (102 kg)
College Long Beach State
Draft 2nd round, 45th overall, 1993
Utah Jazz
Pro career 1993–2006
Former teams Utah Jazz (1993–2002)
Washington Wizards (2002–2003)
Los Angeles Lakers (2003–2004)
Denver Nuggets (2004–2006)
Hollywood Fame (ABA) (2006–2007)
Long Beach Breakers (ABA) (2007–2009)
Los Angeles Lightning (IBL) (2009)

Bryon Demetrise Russell (born December 31, 1970 in San Bernardino, California) is an American basketball player. During an 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.[1]

Russell and Michael Jordan

Russell is perhaps 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.[2] 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."[3]

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.[4] 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.[2]


  1. ^ Burlison, Frank (February 3, 2010). "Pac-10's top 2 clubs need to finish strong". Press-Telegram. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b D-League owner offers refunds to fans. December 8, 2009. Retrieved on January 2, 2009.
  3. ^ Lawrence, Mitch (2009-02-15). "Trade winds swirl around Vince Carter". Daily News (New York). Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  4. ^ Arash Markazi. Russell: Jordan 'afraid' to play him. Sports Illustrated. November 13, 2009. Retrieved on January 2, 2010.

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