Michael Jordan reveals death in the family amid absence in Chris Chelios jersey retirement

Chris Chelios celebrated the retirement of his Chicago Blackhawks jersey with friends and family at the United Center Sunday prior to the home team’s game with the Detroit Red Wings. It was a widely anticipated event because the Chicago-born and raised Chelios was one of the greatest defensemen in team history. Celebrities including Eddie Vedder, Wayne Gretzky and Dennis Rodman were in attendance, but Michael Jordan did not show up.

Chelios had announced on a radio segment for Chicago sports station WSCR-AM that Jordan would be be there. The two had become friends during the 1990s and in addition to sharing the United Center as their home ice/court, the two played golf together.

Michael Jordan sent a video message that was aired inside the United Center with his regrets that he could not attend. In the message, Jordan explained that he had a death in the family and could not leave as a result. Jordan’s message appeared to be sent from a golf course.

Chelios delivered a speech prior to the game, thanking the Blackhawks organization, his many supporters and his family for recognizing him during his 10-year run as a member of the Blackhawks.

“It’s one thing to have your jersey retired; it’s another to do it in your hometown,” said Chelios.”I’m not going to say it was a dream come true, because it was never a dream. I wanted to make the NHL as soon as I knew I had a chance, but it’s crazy.

“For my family [and] everyone in Chicago — kids I played with, coaches I had — I’m a piece of them. I know in some way that they’re proud of me, and I’m grateful for that.”


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