“So he sits down, I’m just kind of shooting the shi…

More on Michael Jordan Documentary

ESPN’s Michael Jordan documentary, “The Last Dance,” has overtaken Netflix Inc.’s “Tiger King” as the most in-demand documentary in the world, a boost for the cable giant at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has shut down live sports and slashed its audience ratings. “The Last Dance” was one of the 20 most in-demand shows in the world this week, according to Parrot Analytics, a research firm that tracks audience interest using data that includes social-media conversations and piracy. The show is even more popular in the U.S., where it ranked as 11th this week.
Appearing on ESPN’s “Jalen & Jacoby” aftershow following Sunday’s Last Dance telecast, Hehir described the difficulties with interviewing Rodman and the unusual requests from the peculiar NBA star in exchange for his time. “Interviewing Dennis Rodman is like trying to interview a feral cat,” said Hehir. “He’s not looking in the same place, he’s got those big shades on. Every other sentence was going back to Kim Jong-un and how he was gonna be in the history books.”
Hehir went on to explain that Rodman showed up for his interview two hours late and constantly had to be reminded about the subject at hand. Additionally, Rodman said he’d give Hehir 10 minutes when the filmmaker was expecting to talk for hours. But the rebounding sensation relented once Hehir catered to his demands.
Although McHale has certainly enjoyed seeing his Celtics beat Jordan’s Bulls, he hasn’t exactly enjoyed the way former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause has been portrayed. McHale was speaking on The Usual Suspects, which airs on ESPN’s 97.5 The Game and had the below to say. Jerry kind of looked like a villain, and he’s not a bad guy. He really wasn’t a bad guy. He was pretty easy to deal with as a GM when I dealt with him. He did put together a heck of a team. I do think there was too much of everybody ripping him because Michael wasn’t his pick.
James Stern co-directed “Michael Jordan to the Max,” which was released in May 2000. Narrated by Lawrence Fishburne, the IMAX documentary details His Airness’ greatness as the Bulls dynasty closed with their sixth championship. In a recent interview with The Athletic, NBA Entertainment producer Andy Thompson revealed that one reason for the 22-year delay for the release of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” was because of Stern’s and Don Kempf’s IMAX film. Jordan coming out of retirement to play for the Wizards also played a role. And NBA commissioner Adam Silver, then the head of NBA Entertainment, told ESPN that Jordan also controlled when Thompson’s footage could see the light of day. Regardless, Stern’s film came first.
“What happened was I approached Adam and (then NBA commissioner) David Stern about this. And they said, ‘It sounds interesting. But we have this other film going,’” Stern said in a phone interview from California. “I said, ‘Well, they’re very different markets. One doesn’t preclude the other. Do them both.’ They said that’s possible and told us to shoot the last few games of the regular season in IMAX and show us a test. They said they wouldn’t guarantee at all that we’d go ahead. “Don and Steve Kempf who had put the money together agreed to roll the dice. We had a screening for the NBA and their brass. And David said, ‘It really is great on IMAX. I think we need to go in this direction now. We have time to get back to the other film.’ I figured they were different markets. And it wasn’t my call. I was the director and producer, not the financier or the NBA. It was up to the NBA to make the decision. Andy had shot that whole season 24-7. I told Andy how terrible I felt as a filmmaker.”
Director Jason Hehir says while they would have loved to feature him in the series, reasons beyond their control made it not possible. ‘It was not due to our unwillingness to find him, or his unwillingness to participate, it strictly was a budgetary concern,’ Mr Hehir told ABC News Breakfast. ‘So I regret for our Australian audience, that Luc doesn't sit down for an interview in this but his face and his presence certainly were felt.’

http://twitter.com/Bachscore/status/1255587012259741697
First, on Jordan, Falk went on and on about how he would not only dominate today's NBA if he were in his prime, he would basically be twice as good as he was. "With virtually zero defense, no hand-checking, I think if Jordan played today; if he was in his prime in today's rules, I think he'd average between 50 and 60 a game. I think he'd shoot 75% from the floor. If you couldn't hand-check him, he would be completely unstoppable," Falk said. "Now that I watch [the documentary], I realize that, unless you're legally blind, you can't possibly think that there's another player who ever played the game that's remotely in the league that he's in. Nobody."
"I hope personally, and I'm sure it won't, that the doc ends all talk about like is Jordan competitive with LeBron? He's in a different league. If you don't see that with your eyes, maybe the doctor's office can help because you should have an eye test," he said.

http://twitter.com/Bachscore/status/1255587012259741697
First, on Jordan, Falk went on and on about how he would not only dominate today's NBA if he were in his prime, he would basically be twice as good as he was. "With virtually zero defense, no hand-checking, I think if Jordan played today; if he was in his prime in today's rules, I think he'd average between 50 and 60 a game. I think he'd shoot 75% from the floor. If you couldn't hand-check him, he would be completely unstoppable," Falk said. "Now that I watch [the documentary], I realize that, unless you're legally blind, you can't possibly think that there's another player who ever played the game that's remotely in the league that he's in. Nobody."
"I hope personally, and I'm sure it won't, that the doc ends all talk about like is Jordan competitive with LeBron? He's in a different league. If you don't see that with your eyes, maybe the doctor's office can help because you should have an eye test," he said.
Mr. Burns has been spending the quarantine walking, writing poetry and working on the seven documentary films he has in production. But he has yet to watch ESPN’s popular Michael Jordan documentary series, “The Last Dance.” The series counts the basketball great’s production company as a partner, an arrangement Mr. Burns says he would “never, never, never, never” agree to. “I find it the opposite direction of where we need to be going,” he says.
The main focus in the latest “Last Dance’’ was Thomas and the Pistons walking off the floor without shaking hands after they were swept in Game 4. It was Bill Laimbeer’s idea, and Boston had done it to the Pistons years earlier, but it’s the way Thomas has been trying to spin it in his favor that irks many former Bulls, including Will Perdue.
While the documentary has shown Jordan’s disdain for Thomas, the former Chicago high school legend, Perdue made it very clear that a long line of players after Jordan also feel that way The feeling is Thomas has been trying to excuse his actions for years, changing the reasoning at least four times. The latest was Thomas saying Jordan painted the Pistons as thugs and that was “racialized language.’’
“Here’s the problem I have, and I’ll be very honest about it,’’ Perdue said. “We all made mistakes, we all did things we shouldn’t have done, heat of the moment, got emotional, but the problem I have with Isiah — and listen, those that live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, I’ve made plenty of mistakes, personally and professionally — but what I don’t like is when you try and defend yourself as something you’re not. “Was [Thomas] a great high school player in the Chicagoland area? Absolutely. I had many tell me he might have been the best. Was he a great player in college in Indiana? Absolutely. Might have been one of the best to ever play there. Was he one of the best point guards ever in the NBA? Absolutely, and I respect him for all of that. That dude was a magician with the basketball. But what I don’t like is when guys step up and talks about ‘racialized language’ … what in the hell?
“But what bothers me the most and sticks out, when I first came into the league, and guys that I know personally, that played against him on a regular basis, talked about how dirty he was. Talked about how cheap he was as a player. He used to have this sweep move with the off foot that trip the guy he was guarding, and the officials would always put their hands together that they give when it’s incidental contact, play on. And as you’re tumbling to the ground, he would steal the ball and go the other direction. It was just dirty. Some can say, ‘Hey, if they’re not going to call it you might as well do it.’ But what also stood out for me that I never understood, he drove the CBA [Continental Basketball Association] into the ground because [former commissioner] David Stern wouldn’t pay him a couple more million dollars to buy it. How many people lost jobs because of that, and franchises that were legendary franchises like in Sioux Falls where thousands would come to the games. Coaches, players, people lost their jobs, but yet he was so petty that he just ran it into the ground and didn’t put any more money into it because he bought it and thought he could flip it, have the NBA buy it for millions of dollars in profit. “Now he’s out there whining about a personal attack on him. He’s basically trying to get every angle to get people on his side.
Ehlo replayed that possession in his mind, thinking about what he could’ve -- or should’ve -- done differently, now able to admit a few fundamental mistakes. One thing Ehlo doesn’t remember: Ron Harper’s version, which he relayed in Episode 3 of “The Last Dance” -- a hit ESPN documentary that chronicles the Chicago Bulls’ quest for a sixth NBA championship in 1998.
“I never said I was a Jordan stopper like Gerald Wilkins or anything,” Ehlo said during an extensive call with cleveland.com this week. “But back then Harp and me were on the court at the same time and he was our big offensive threat. So, when I came in it was a no-brainer that I would guard Jordan so Harp could rest on defense and play on offense.
During an appearance on the Jamie and Stoney Show on Tuesday, the Pistons legend claimed he “really was surprised” by MJ’s comments: “We’ve been in public places before, had interactions with each other, have gone out to dinner. He, Ahmad Rashad and I have had dinner together. My son, he’s given him his gym shoes, jerseys. I’ve seen him in public several times, and I’ve never got any type of hostility or un-pleasantries from him. He’s always been extremely nice to me and my family whenever we’ve been out in the past. … I was surprised to definitely hear him say that about me, but maybe he just had a bad moment.”
So, when asked if the Pistons’ walk-off still (or ever) bothered either of them, Cartwright and Perdue both let it roll off. “Does it bother me that we swept them and they walked off the floor? Absolutely not,” Cartwright said. “I know some guys were bothered by it. I could really care less. Now, I felt like, you know, they had to walk off the floor. They were dead anyway, so why not? So for me it was fine.”
Once each new episode premieres, it’s available to authenticated subscribers on the ESPN app, ESPN.com, and ESPN On Demand. ESPN re-airs the previous episodes every Sunday night. But if you’re a cord-cutter that doesn’t get ESPN, you’re out of luck. Even subscribers to the new ESPN+ streaming service, who pay $4.99 a month or $49.99 annually, won’t get the documentary for another 15 months. That is because of distribution arrangements for ‘The Last Dance’ that were completed ahead of ESPN+’s launch in April 2018.
Not sure if this good or bad for New York’s fans given their team’s results, but the widely popular Bulls documentary “The Last Dance” will focus on the Knicks rivalry in the upcoming Episode 6, an industry source told the Daily News. The episode is scheduled to air Sunday on ESPN.
Ainge also said that he and his family have been watching the ESPN documentary on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls. Ainge made an appearance in the first episodes because he played golf with Jordan before a playoff game in which the Bulls star scored 63 points. But the former Celtics guard said it was all new to his family. “It was fun because they didn’t have too much recollection of it. When I tried to chime in and make a comment on what was happening, they gave me the hush,” Ainge said. “That was fun, to see how excited they were, and how little they knew of the era, and how little they knew about Michael. They were just intrigued by who he was.”
Stephen Curry was a guest on "The Rory & Carson Podcast" on Tuesday, and had a lot to say about the first four episodes: "The MJ doc, man -- the eras are so different. There was so much more mystery back in the day. (Michael) Jordan, (Scottie) Pippen and (Dennis) Rodman -- they show up on TV, you watch a game, everybody gets into it -- and then you really don't see them or hear from them until the next game. All that drama and the experiences that they went through -- unless you were there (you didn't really know about it) ... there's a lot of comparisons to what we went through with the Warriors these last five years in building up, to trying to stay on top and all that type of stuff.”
Stephen Curry: "So I'm actually learning a lot about leadership. And just really another appeciation for the demands that are put on us as professional athletes. I do understand the work that goes in, but also all the things that you have to juggle being in the spotlight. It's crazy. Sometimes you get numb to it, sometimes you have certain coping mechanisms that you kind of stick to. But at the end of the day, all you really want to do is be great at your sport. And you kind of take the rest of it in stride the best you can.”
Where are you in the process now? At 11:15 this morning, I just gave the final sign-off to episode seven. We finish editing [episode] 10 tomorrow. The final picture lock is done, but we're working with low-res screeners, so all the master footage has to be put in. And then, for Netflix, it's going out to 185 countries, so it has to be translated into dozens of languages. Then they have to subtitle it, they have to closed-caption it. And then we do sound design, audio mix, and color correct on that as well. So it's a weeks-long process after we finish editing. So tomorrow's our last day of editing on the whole entire series, but we still have two weeks to go to finish 8, 9, and 10.
Have you heard anything from Michael's camp? I haven't. He has seen all the episodes. I've heard from their camp, because I'm still actively talking to them—we had our big notes call last night about episode 10, so we're still very much in production on these episodes. Obviously, everybody's really thrilled with the ratings and the response that it's gotten critically, and from viewers as well. So there's a lot of goodwill. I think there's a lot of long-distance high-fiving going on, because we all put so much into this over the past couple of years, that it's amazing to see. People are enjoying this exactly the way that I had hoped that they would enjoy it. And that is just a really gratifying thing.
And how did you judge the response? It was great to see people connecting with it. The interesting part about the time that we're living in, and the time that this is being shown, is that the internet is not known as a place that's unanimous, especially in their enthusiasm for something. If they're unanimous for something, it's normally to criticize it. I'm going to refrain from naming any projects that have come out lately, but I feel for people who put their heart and soul into something, and then it becomes kind of like the in-joke to tweet about it, and to make fun of a movie or a book or something like that.
But I think we're living in a time right now where cynicism is at an all-time low, because this is a communal moment for everyone. This is the great equalizer. We're all quarantined. We're all unsure of what the future holds. Michael Jordan's quarantined in a mansion in Florida, the same way that my girlfriend and I are quarantined in a small apartment in New York City. So I think that there was less of an instinct to criticize, and to immediately compare Michael and LeBron. And I think people just wanted to sit down and enjoy this. We haven't had that kind of monoculture moment during this shutdown. When the Game of Thrones finale aired, I feel like everyone gathered around their TVs and watched that, and we haven't really had that moment during the shutdown. So it was really gratifying to see people enjoying it and to get notes from strangers saying, "Thank you for this. I watched this with my sons. I shared MJ with my sons. I've been talking about him for years."
Isiah Thomas: All I know is whenever I've seen these guys, personally, upfront with each other, I have never gotten that reaction from Horace grant. never gotten that reaction from Michael Jordan. They've always been nice, pleasant, pleasant, you know that. You know, so it's easy to talk a lot of stuff on TV behind cameras or radio, but when we face to face, I haven't got the reaction from you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVeLGT-7chM
Everyone knows Bryant idolized Jordan, to the point where he mimicked MJ’s moves on the court. But the similarities between them go beyond a fadeaway jumper. “It was wild, sitting there watching these episodes so far, because I feel like I am watching Kobe Bryant play in the ’80s and early ’90s with a different team,” Walton said. “(Sunday) night, you see that look in (Jordan’s) face and you hear him tell Horace Grant: ‘Don’t let them see you, don’t let them see you whine, don’t let them see that you’re in pain.’ I mean, playing with Kobe Bryant, those were (his) words.”
Laimbeer told Rachel Nichols in an interview that will air Monday on ESPN's The Jump that he still supports the Pistons' decision nearly 30 years later, regardless of public perception. "Why would I regret it now today? I don't care what the media says about me. I never did," Laimbeer said. "If I did, I'd be a basket case, especially back then. I was about winning basketball games and winning championships and did whatever I had to do to get the most out of my ability and our team -- and we did. At the end of the day, we're called world champions."
"They whined and cried for a year and a half about how bad we were for the game, but more importantly, they said we were bad people," Laimbeer said. "We weren't bad people. We were just basketball players winning, and that really stuck with me because they didn't know who we were or what we were about as individuals and our family life. But all that whining they did, I didn't want to shake their hand. They were just whiners. They won the series. Give him credit: We got old, they got past us. But OK, move on."
“The Last Dance” continued its momentum on its second night. Episodes 3 and 4 averaged 5.9 million viewers across ESPN & ESPN2 from 9-11 p.m. ET, with episode 3 (9-10 p.m.) averaging 6.1 million viewers and episode 4 (10-11 p.m.) averaging 5.7 million viewers, based on initial Nielsen reporting.
Combined with last week’s premiere episodes, the documentary series now represents the four most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN Networks since 2004 and is averaging 6.0 million viewers across its first four episodes based on initial Nielsen reporting. “The Last Dance” accounts for 4 of the 6 most-viewed telecasts among adults 18-34 since sports halted in mid-March.
Although Carmen Electra says during an interview in the documentary that being Rodman’s girlfriend during that season was “definitely an occupational hazard,” her continuing fondness for him was evident when she recalled their time together. “I have no regrets at all,” she told The Times. “I saw all these different sides of Dennis. He would always say, ‘No one understands me. No one gets me.’ He was very emotional at times. Then there was the sweet romantic side and the fun, eccentric guy who loved to go out and drink and wear feathered boas. But on the court, he was a savage.”
Electra knew who Rodman was. “He was the bad boy of basketball. He dated Madonna. The next thing I know, he’s inviting me to get on a flight to Chicago and see him play. Seeing the Bulls play was amazing. Michael and Scottie Pippen. That first night in Chicago, Dennis told me, ‘You’re not leaving.’ After that, it was quick. We fell for each other pretty fast.”
“One day when the Bulls had an off day from practicing, Dennis said he had a surprise for me,” she said. “He blindfolds me and we get on his motorcycle. When he finally takes my blindfold off, we’re standing at the Bulls practice facility, center court. It was crazy, like two kids in a candy store. We were eating Popsicles from the fridge and pretty much having sex all over the damn place — in the physical therapy room, in the weight room. Obviously on the court.” She bursts out laughing. “To be honest, I don’t think he’s ever worked out so hard in his life.”
"The Bulls kept trying to go through the Pistons and Isiah [Thomas] denied them but it made the Bulls the championship-winning team that they were," Magic told NBC's Today on Monday morning. "They [the Pistons] took a lot of cheap shots. I can understand why Michael was so upset. The great thing is that the Pistons made Michael Jordan be the GOAT [greatest of all time]. The reason he became the GOAT is because he had to go through the Pistons."
Magic, who faced the Pistons in the 1989 and 1990 NBA Finals acknowledged the Pistons often walked a fine line with their confrontational approach and that he wasn't surprised by Jordan's reaction. "It was always going to happen," he explained. "They still hate the Pistons today. That was a bitter rivalry. [...] You got to give the Pistons credit, they learnt from the [Boston] Celtics and you've got to learn how to win a championship before you win one."
The former Lakers star joked that when Jordan met him and Larry Bird—whose Celtics had won the three titles not captured by the Lakers during the 1980s—when the Dream Team gathered ahead of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, he made clear the NBA had entered a new era. "He [Jordan] told Larry [Bird] and I: 'Hey there's a new sheriff in town. That's me and the Bulls,'" Magic added. "We had to start laughing and said: 'Michael you're right.' And man he did not disappoint either."
When I grabbed it off the bookshelf the other day, I had bookmarked page 17. At some point, I attempted to re-read it. With so much hype surrounding ESPN's "The Last Dance," and episodes three and four featuring the Bulls’ attempts to get past the Pistons in the Eastern Conference, I revisited the book. The Jordan Rules are mentioned early in chapter one of Smith’s book. "The Pistons advertised their 'Jordan Rules' as some secret defense that only they could deploy to stop Jordan," Smith wrote. "Those secrets were merely a series of funneling defenses that channeled Jordan toward the crowded middle, but Detroit players and coaches talked about them as if they had been devised by the Pentagon."
Former Pistons assistant coach Brendan Malone, the father of Denver Nuggets coach Mike Malone, explained the rules in episode three. "On the wings, we are going to push him to the elbow, and we’re not going to let him drive to the baseline," Malone told filmmakers. "No. 2, when he’s on top, we’re going to influence him to his left. When he got the ball in the low post, we were going to trap him from the top. That’s The Jordan Rules, and it was that simple." What happened when Jordan got what he wanted? "That’s when Laimbeer and Mahorn would go up and knock him to the ground," Malone said. Said Salley: "You have to stop him before he takes flight because you know he’s not human."
Even as a dominant teenager on probably the greatest non-American national team ever, Kukoc loved the group dynamic of sports. He experienced the powerful brew of friendship and chemistry with Dino Radja, Drazen Petrovic, Vlade Divac, and other stars in the former Yugoslavia. He sought that vibe in the NBA. Reliving the divide between Krause and the players hurts him now. "I wish Jerry were here to say his part of the story," Kukoc said. "It's easy to like Michael and Scottie and Dennis and Phil, and I like them all. I love them. Scottie was the ultimate team player. Michael will always, to me, be the best player ever. He changed the game. He made it global. Every player today should tip their hat to him. But you have to hear the other side. Jerry built the six-time champions. You have to give him credit."
"They always gave him a hard time," said Jud Buechler, who played in Chicago from 1994 to 1998. "The [Krause] thing made it very difficult for him at first," said Jim Cleamons, a longtime Jackson lieutenant. "It was unfair to Toni, honestly." Kukoc recognized any ill feelings were about Krause -- not him. He was strong enough to play through it. "Toni was just himself," Cleamons said, "and that was his salvation."
Toward the end of the third episode, Jordan recounts that Rodman asked to take a 48-hour vacation in the middle of the season. Rodman stayed a bit longer than Jordan, coach Phil Jackson and the Bulls wanted. Rodman eventually rejoined the team after Jordan went to fetch him from his bed. But Rodman had returned from Vegas at that point and was in his Chicago apartment. "He got him out of his apartment," Hehir said. "He lived across the street from the United Center. He got back. His vacation—part of it happened in Vegas of course. He got back and still felt that he was going to do a staycation for a little bit in Chicago so that's when Michael said, 'Alright, I'm going to walk across the street.' It was literally across the street. So he went with the athletic trainer. They banged on his door. (Laughs) Michael, I think he said off-camera, he garbed him by his nose ring and took him out. But yeah, that actually happened. I wish that we were better at identifying to people that Michael didn't get on a plane and go to Vegas to get him but he did grab him out of bed. Supposedly, Dennis had a flophouse apartment. There's no furniture. It was just like a couch and a mattress in one room and a TV."
Michael Jordan did not like hearing the news that former Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause was planning to fire coach Doug Collins and replace him with assistant Phil Jackson. “I wasn’t a Phil Jackson fan when he first came in,” Jordan said in episode four of “The Last Dance,” a 10-part series on Jordan and the Bulls. “He was coming in to take the ball out of my hands. Doug was putting the ball in my hands.”
“I don’t anticipate you’re going to be the scoring champion in the league,” Jackson told Jordan. “The spotlight is on the ball. If you’re the guy that’s always going to have the ball, teams can generate a defense against that. That is what happened with the Pistons the last couple of years.”
Michael Jordan did not like hearing the news that former Chicago Bulls general manager Jerry Krause was planning to fire coach Doug Collins and replace him with assistant Phil Jackson. “I wasn’t a Phil Jackson fan when he first came in,” Jordan said in episode four of “The Last Dance,” a 10-part series on Jordan and the Bulls. “He was coming in to take the ball out of my hands. Doug was putting the ball in my hands.”
“I don’t anticipate you’re going to be the scoring champion in the league,” Jackson told Jordan. “The spotlight is on the ball. If you’re the guy that’s always going to have the ball, teams can generate a defense against that. That is what happened with the Pistons the last couple of years.”
More than three decades after the Detroit Pistons stalled Michael Jordan's ascending stardom by bouncing the Chicago Bulls from the playoffs in three straight postseasons, Jordan admitted he still harbors animosity for the "Bad Boys" team that threatened to derail his success. "Oh, I hated them," Jordan said in Episode 3 of the ESPN docuseries "The Last Dance," which aired Sunday night. "And that hate carries even to this day."
Mark Medina: Michael Jordan dismisses Isiah Thomas' explanation for not shaking hands after playoff loss. MJ: "They knew we whipped their ass already. We got past them. To me, that was better in some ways than winning a championship." bit.ly/2xU1Xcu
While repeatedly getting knocked down never knocked Jordan out with an injury, the energy to pick himself up, along with his insatiable hunger to prove the tactic couldn't stop him, had a cumulative effect. It left him drained, both at the end of games and the end of the series. "I don't think [Pistons coach] Chuck Daly wanted to hurt him," Perdue says. "He was just looking to wear him out."
"The Jordan Rules worked as long as Michael played a traditional way," Armstrong says. "But he made an adjustment. … He figured out he had to catch the ball in position to score. So he learned to operate from the post and on the weak side and play the game with three dribbles or less. Now when he caught it, because his footwork was so good, he could score in a multitude of ways. He was skilled enough to adapt to any situation.
Literally. Jordan knocked on the door of Rodman’s room in Las Vegas. Jordan declined to share details, but Electra revealed she hid behind a couch. "It was definitely an occupational hazard to be Dennis’ girlfriend," Electra said.
She disregarded warnings from her agent, manager and others about Rodman’s impact on her blossoming career. She had ignored scripts and began blowing off auditions as Rodman relentlessly wooed her. “One day when the Bulls had an off day from practicing, Dennis said he had a surprise for me,” she said. “He blindfolds me and we get on his motorcycle. When he finally takes my blindfold off, we’re standing at the Bulls practice facility, center court. It was crazy, like two kids in a candy store. We were eating Popsicles from the fridge and pretty much having sex all over the damn place — in the physical therapy room, in the weight room. Obviously on the court.”
Jerry Krause is here to speak for himself---through his writings. Throughout 2007, Krause spent hours and hours writing his unpublished memoir. His wife, Thelma, came up with the title: “To Set The Record Straight.” Krause, showing the sense of humor he possessed that didn’t always make it to the forefront, originally had wanted to title it: “One Million National Anthems.”
With his family’s blessing, we’re honored each Monday to share select excerpts from Krause’s unpublished---and unfinished---memoir as “The Last Dance” unspools. Call it his side of the story. Thelma Krause has received interview requests from all over the country since “The Last Dance” began. She has chosen not to talk for now, deferring to Jerry’s words instead.
They begin thusly: Doing my own writing, not in the words of another writer, is unlike any book that any sports executive has ever done. It also gives me an opportunity to tell a story that will not include things that I believe should stay behind locker room doors. Secondly, so much has been written about me that’s untrue and in many cases clouded at best. It’s a chance to tell my life story and the story of, if not the greatest sports team in American history, a team that stayed excellent over an eight-year span and did what none of its predecessors on the totem pole of greatness had to face---free agency and its star walking out in the middle of a career to go play another sport for two years.
Matt Poley, co-owner of Heirloom L.A. along with his partner, Tara Maxey, introduced "The Last Dance Menu" at their catering business last week. The traditional Chicago dishes, named after prominent characters on those Chicago Bulls teams, coincide with the 10-part documentary and served as a creative way to drum up business during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We got so many orders -- almost 3,000 meals going out today. Maybe half of them have 'The Last Dance' menu stuff on it." As the top dog throughout Chicago's championship runs, the Jordan dish was an easy choice. "It's undisputed that the Chicago hot dog is the greatest hot dog of all time," Poley said. "So it's undisputed that Michael Jordan should be the greatest hot dog of all time."
Scott said that Jordan’s “bullying” was never physical, just verbal. He jokes that he’s bigger than Jordan, so he never would’ve tried anything physical.
The intrigue will go beyond Rodman’s colored hair, body piercings and on-court intensity. The show will also detail Rodman's off-court behavior, including when Rodman asked Bulls coach Phil Jackson if he could take a brief vacation in Las Vegas during the 1997-98 season. “Phil, you let this dude go on vacation, we’re not going to see him," Jordan recalled saying. "You let him go to Vegas, we’re definitely not going to see him." If this sounds bizarre, well, it is. Rodman also skipped practice between Games 3 and 4 of the 1998 NBA Finals so he could attend a WCW wrestling match in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
The kicker: the Bulls allowed Rodman's quirky behavior because it did not affect his on-court excellence. It only enhanced it. “There was a real connection that existed that gave Dennis the freedom and space that he needed,” said Golden State Warriors coach and former Bulls guard Steve Kerr recently on a conference call. “It wasn’t a thing where we were all complaining of Dennis not making it to a practice. We sort of understood that he was his own man and he did so much for our team that we allowed him to have that freedom."
Former Chicago Bulls star Dennis Rodman perfected his role masterfully with rebounding, hustle and even good behavior. But once Scottie Pippen returned to the lineup after missing the first 35 games because of foot surgery, Rodman announced something that left the Bulls worried. “I need a vacation,” Michael Jordan recalled Rodman saying. So at least for a day, NBA hoops fans will be entertained. Sure, it's frustrating that it's Day 46 without sports because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. But “The Last Dance” documentary on the Bulls has given sports fans something to look forward to. Episode 3 of the documentary's 10-part series should offer enough levity. The reason? The show will focus on Rodman (ESPN, 9 pm ET).
“I’m hoping the other episodes are brighter and more of a celebration of basketball instead of who is guilty or to blame, and why didn’t they win eight championships or 10,” former Chicago Bulls forward Toni Kukoc said in a phone interview with NBC commenting on “The Last Dance” first two episodes. “The world was so happy when that was happening. So I don’t know what people are mad at.”
Episodes 3 and 4 will run Sunday and will spotlight the rivalry between the Bulls and the ‘Bad Boys’ Pistons, a dynasty that topped Chicago in three consecutive playoffs en route to winning championships in 1989 and 1990 before falling to the Bulls in 1991.
It was a heated rivalry known for “The Jordan Rules,” the nickname given to the defensive strategy the Pistons used to slow Jordan down. “I’ve said this before, and I’ve been on record saying that we have a great deal of respect and admiration for Michael Jordan in terms of the way he played and what he’s done for our game,” Thomas said. “The competition that we had on the floor was just that. It was (just) competition on the floor … We tried to win. And really, that was it. It was no hidden agendas or anything like that. It was my team against your team, and let’s see who wins.”
A big part of that Bulls dynasty was the team's struggle to overcome the Detroit Pistons, and no punches are pulled when discussing the Bad Boys teams of the late '80s and early '90s. "I hated 'em," Jordan says of the back-to-back championship-winning Pistons. "And the hate carries even to this day."
“I actually saw Michael last night on Zoom,” Thompson, who is the uncle of Warriors All-Star guard Klay Thompson and brother to former Laker and No. 1 pick Mychal Thompson, said on our “Tampering” podcast on Monday. “We had a meeting, and I recounted this story to him and a couple of other people in the Zoom meeting. I said, ‘Michael, remember when I came up to you (late in that ’97-98 season) with a list and you looked at me like I was crazy? I said this is a list of things that I think we need to capture before the playoffs start, because it’s going to be too intense to get this stuff off the court.” “He looked at me like I was nuts. And I said the first thing was we want to get (footage of) you at home, you know with your family. I want to get you in a hotel room just being by yourself, doing whatever you do, just life away from the game. And I said I want to get you driving to the game, and the sixth thing is that I need your phone number.”
Storyline: Michael Jordan Documentary
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September 26, 2021 | 6:15 am EDT Update

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: "There’s no room for players who do not want to get vaccinated"

“The NBA should insist that all players and staff are vaccinated or remove them from the team,” NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tells Rolling Stone. “There is no room for players who are willing to risk the health and lives of their teammates, the staff and the fans simply because they are unable to grasp the seriousness of the situation or do the necessary research. What I find especially disingenuous about the vaccine deniers is their arrogance at disbelieving immunology and other medical experts. Yet, if their child was sick or they themselves needed emergency medical treatment, how quickly would they do exactly what those same experts told them to do?”
This rumor is part of a storyline: 280 more rumors

Kyrie Irving following and liking conspiracy theories about COVID-19 vaccines

Irving, who serves as a vice president on the executive committee of the players’ union, recently started following and liking Instagram posts from a conspiracy theorist who claims that “secret societies” are implanting vaccines in a plot to connect Black people to a master computer for “a plan of Satan.” This Moderna microchip misinformation campaign has spread across multiple NBA locker rooms and group chats, according to several of the dozen-plus current players, Hall-of-Famers, league executives, arena workers and virologists interviewed for this story over the past week.
“There are so many other players outside of him who are opting out, I would like to think they would make a way,” says Kyrie’s aunt, Tyki Irving, who runs the seven-time All-Star’s family foundation and is one of the few people in his regular circle of advisors. “It could be like every third game. So it still gives you a full season of being interactive and being on the court, but with the limitations that they’re, of course, oppressing upon you. There can be some sort of formula where the NBA and the players can come to some sort of agreement.”
Storyline: Coronavirus Vaccine

At least 50 NBA players yet to receive a single COVID-19 vaccine dose?

A spokeswoman for Irving declined to respond to a list of questions regarding his vaccination and playing status, and Irving did not immediately respond to a message from Rolling Stone. But as teams return to pre-season training camps next week, fifty to sixty NBA players have yet to receive a single vaccine dose, league sources tell RS. Most are considered merely reluctant skeptics. Some of the holdouts, however, amount to their own shadow roster of anti-vaxxers mounting a behind-the-scenes resistance to Covid protocols — and the truth.
Isaac considers un-vaxxed players to be vilified and bullied, and he thinks “it’s an injustice” to automatically make heroes out of vaccinated celebrities. He rejects the NBA’s proposal for a vaccine mandate and social distancing for players like him during team travel: “You can play on the same court. We can touch the same ball. We can bump chests. We can do all those things on the court. And then when it comes to being on the bus, we have to be in different parts of the bus? To me, it doesn’t seem logically consistent. “If you are vaccinated, in other places you still have to wear the mask regardless. It’s like, ‘OK, then what is the mask necessarily for?’” Isaac continues. “And if Kyrie says that from his position of his executive power in the NBPA, then kudos to him.”
Enes Kanter — the veteran center, devout Muslim and outspoken liberal — senses a creep of the religious right upon his workplace, which just happens to involve players like Isaac sweating all over him and yelling in his face: “If a guy’s not getting vaccinated because of his religion, I feel like we are in a time where the religion and science has to go to together,” he tells RS. “I’ve talked to a lot of religious guys — I’m like: ‘It saves people’s lives, so what is more important than that?’”
Storyline: Coronavirus Vaccine
In their sit-down interview back in August, Durant and Green rehashed the incident and how it ultimately affected KD’s decision to leave the Warriors. Surprisingly, KD claimed it wasn’t the beef itself that pushed him away, but the way Steve Kerr, Bob Myers and the front office handled things. “It wasn’t the argument,” the former Warriors star said. “It was the way that everybody … Steve Kerr acted like it didn’t happen. Bob Myers tried to just discipline you and think that would put a mask over everything. I really felt that was such a big situation for us as a group, the first time we went through something like that. We had to get that s— all out.”