Michael Jordan missed Chris Chelios ceremony due to family death


Michael Jordan missed Blackhawks icon and Hall of Famer Chris Chelios’ jersey retirement ceremony Sunday in Chicago due to a family death, according to NBC Sports Chicago.

Jordan instead sent a video to celebrate the defenseman.

“Hey, man, unfortunately, Chelios, I can’t make it again this week,” Jordan said, per NBC. “I tried for the Ring of Honor. I couldn’t make it then. I had a death in the family for Sunday. Look, you’re a very deserving man, and I’m proud to see your jersey up there with my jersey. You and I have been friends for 30 years, so I wish you the best. I send a bunch of love, you know, go Blackhawks!”

Michael Jordan sent a video for Chris Chelios’ jersey retirement. https://www.nbcsportschicago.com

Jordan, the legendary Bulls superstar, is close with Chelios, with the two sharing the same city from 1990-98, and playing at the United Center from 1994-98.

As Jordan led the Bulls to six championships, Chelios starred for the Blackhawks, helping the team reach the Stanley Cup Final in 1992.

Chelios, 62, wore No. 7 for the Blackhawks and won the Norris Trophy twice in Chicago while making five All-Star teams.

He thanked Jordan in his speech.

“And we go of course to Michael Jordan, who became a dear friend of mine. Without a doubt, the king,” Chelios said, according to NBC Sports Chicago.

“And that old phrase they use, ‘I want to be like Mike.’ Well, I really did want to be like Mike. And one thing I did, which I hadn’t done previously in my career, was train properly. And I just watched him after every game with Tim Grove, his trainer. And I thought to myself, well, if Michael’s got a trainer that might be my edge. I’ll get a trainer.”

Hockey Hall of Famer Chris Chelios speaks during his jersey retirement ceremony prior to the game between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Detroit Red Wings at the United Center on February 25, 2024 in Chicago. NHLI via Getty Images
Chris Chelios’ No. 7 is raised to the rafters by the Blackhawks on Sunday. USA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Chelios added that he and Jordan will celebrate the honor soon.

“I saw him a couple of weeks ago and we talked,” Chelios said. “It doesn’t matter. He’s here in spirit. I’m hanging in the rafters with his jersey. We talked about that. We spoke yesterday and he’s always been there for me. He was there for the Hall of Fame, he came in. Just something came up and we’ll celebrate on his boat next week.”

Jordan previously did not attend the Bulls’ Ring of Honor ceremony at the United Center on Jan. 12, although he also filmed a segment for that event.

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