How do you get people to come out to your NBA Developmental League game? Tell them Michael Jordan is coming?
How do you get 7,500 people rip-roaring mad at you? Don't get MJ to actually show up.
That's the situation that Utah Flash owner Brandt Anderson finds himself in after he allowed rumors that His Airness would be taking on former Utah Jazz guard Byron Russell at halftime of a Flash game on Monday night, The Associated Press reports.
"If you were at the game tonight I hope you had fun," Anderson wrote on his blog after the game. "This was done in fun. If you did not see it as fun or you feel we went over the top I am sorry."
The Jordan hype began when Russell challenged Jordan, with Anderson offering $100,000 to the charity of the winner's choice in a one-on-one game to 21. Jordan never made any acknowledgment of the challenge, but Flash officials made no effort to silence the building media hype on Monday.
Anderson said that he sent an MJ lookalike with bodyguards around the community of Provo, Utah, throughout the day in order to generate hype for the "event."
"We wanted to test the strength and effectiveness of viral media by putting him out in Provo with bodyguards, and some hype," Anderson wrote. "I always assumed it would be uncovered very quickly that it was a hoax. In reality, the lookalike is only [6-foot-1-inch] so it was not hard to disprove."
The video is below:
"I think they went a little bit too far," one fan told the Daily Herald on his way out of the game.
Fans were naturally upset upon learning that their tickets to the D-League game would only allow them to be spectators at a D-League game. Anderson, acknowleding the fans' discontent, aimed to make up for it by offering them … tickets to another game.
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