NBA legend Michael Jordan described Derek Jeter Sunday as 'an idol' of his at a ceremony at Yankee Stadium honoring Jeter's retirement.
Jordan said during the ceremony:
"The thing I like about Derek, you see all the competitors and all his teammates [he’s played with], and I don’t think anybody can say one thing bad about Derek.He’s an idol to me, how he’s well respected in the game. He carries himself like every baseball player or professional athlete should. A very classy guy, very straight-forward, very friendly.
Being in the city of New York, where one little hiccup can fry your personality or perception, persona, and this kid’s done everything the right way,” the 51-year-old Jordan said. “He’s done it in a way that no one can criticize anything he’s done in this environment in a 20-year career. That says a lot about the way he brought up, his parents teachings, and the way he carried himself. From a personal example, I truly admired [him], knowing the expectations of others."
Jeter responded to Jordan and others' comments by thanking those around the organization for "helping him feel like a kid for the last 20 years."
Jordan was one of several notable figures at the event, which also included former MLB star Cal Ripken Jr. Jordan selected Jeter in 1999 to be part of his Nike brand line, and is said to have long respected Jeter's professionalism, Braziller noted.
The 14-time All Star announced earlier this year he would retire at the end of the 2014 season.
- Will Green