Bryon Russell


2003-04 (#9) 72 4 2

Guard, #9


Russell, a former Utah Jazz star, signed with the Lakers as a free agent in October 2003. He averaged four points and two rebounds during his only season with the team, then signed as a free agent with the Denver Nuggets on Oct. 6, 2004.

Aside from his individual accomplishments during the span of his 13-year NBA career, an image of the 6-foot-7 guard will remain indelibly etched in time due to a play that occurred in 1998, when he was a key player for the Utah Jazz. It was Game 6 of the NBA Finals and Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls were trailing by one point with less than 10 seconds remaining when Jordan pushed off Russell with his left hand to create space, and made the game-winning shot.

Jordan knocked Russell in his Hall of Fame speech for having said that he wanted to guard him. Russell has since challenged Jordan to a game of one-on-one for charity.

— Melissa Rohlin
Feb. 12, 2011