NHL Draft:

Judge off Jordan case, denies calling him 'hog'

AP - Sports

CHICAGO (AP) -- A federal judge in Chicago withdrew from a civil case involving Michael Jordan after lawyers for the former Chicago Bulls star accused the jurist of comparing Jordan to a ''hog'' and ''Dr. Frankenstein,'' though the judge denies the descriptions were aimed directly at the former NBA player.

The legal fracas arose in a 4-year-old civil case in which Jordan star sued Dominick's Finer Foods LLC after the grocery store chain invoked his name and persona without permission in a 2009 Sports Illustrated advertisement.

Jordan's lawyers this week succeeded in getting Judge Milton I. Shadur to remove himself from the case after they alleged he described the six-time NBA champion as ''greedy,'' comparing him to a ''hog'' and to ''Dr. Frankenstein.''

In the ad, Dominick's congratulated Jordan on his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame and offered a $2-off steak coupon. The court already found Dominick's liable, and the lingering dispute is over damages. Jordan, 50, is seeking $2.5 million.

Shadur, a recent Jordan filing argued, also showed bias in slapping down the star's assertion that his actual damages may run to $10 million. At one hearing, Shadur said in an allusion to the stock market, ''The bulls may make money and the bears may make money, but the hogs get slaughtered.''

In reluctantly removing himself, the 89-year-old judge issued a defiant, scathing attack on Jordan's legal team for ''launching a groundless and unwarranted personal attack on this Court's integrity.''

''That out-of-bounds ($10 million) claim is what has occasioned this Court's characterization ... in terms of greed, a characterization that is not altered by the response that billionaire Jordan plans to turn over any recovery to his not-for-profit foundation,'' he wrote.

At earlier hearings, Shadur also denied calling Jordan a ''hog'' or ''Dr. Frankenstein.'' He employed those descriptions, he insisted, in reference to Jordan's damages claims - not to Jordan himself.

Technically, Shadur denied the defense motion that he recuse himself. But given the hub-hub created by Jordan's lawyers in arguing judicial bias, Shadur wrote in his ruling that he was exercising his prerogative as a senior judge to withdraw.

He was worried, he explained, that his consternation over the lawyers' accusations presents ''a danger that subliminal forces could perhaps unwittingly affect the decisional process in this case.''

View Comments (5)
  • Hield feeling the heat in New Orleans, and liking it

    When Buddy Hield flew into south Louisiana on Friday to begin his NBA career, among the first things he noticed was how hot it was - and he had no complaints. ''As soon as I came off the plane, it felt hot, it reminded me of home,'' said Hield, who … More »

    AP - Sports - 31 minutes ago
  • Celtics' Ainge: No regrets about draft

    The Boston Celtics had an extra-long table lined up for their post-draft news conference Friday, a day after they picked six players. When it came time for the traditional picture of the rookies wearing Celtics caps, photographers asked them to … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 36 minutes ago
  • Dunn's journey takes him to Minnesota

    John Seldon had just finished watching his son, Kris Dunn, finish an introductory press conference as the newest member of the Minnesota Timberwolves. It had been 36 hours of tears, joy and reflection for father and son, who had been through a … More »

    AP - Sports - 1 hour 59 minutes ago
  • Suns' future looking bright after draft

    Marquese Chriss wanted to play in Phoenix but figured his chance had passed when the Suns used the No. 4 overall pick of the NBA draft on Dragan Bender. Not long after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announced the Kings had selected Chriss, his rights … More »

    AP - Sports - 2 hours 7 minutes ago
  • NBA-National Basketball Association roundup

    Despite a flurry of rumors, Jimmy Butler is still a member of the Bulls after nothing came to fruition during Thursday night's draft. There was heavy interest from the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are coached by former Chicago head man Tom … More »

    Reuters - 2 hours 42 minutes ago