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Despite the undeniable virality of The Last Dance, Awful Announcing has learned that multiple popular Twitter accounts have received DMCA complaints for posting clips of the show. Awful Announcing’s own Twitter account — which has been live-tweeting a few clips every weekend — was also targeted with one of these requests this past week for a clip that aired weeks ago. The complaint was our first DMCA complaint, which carries no real punishment. But for other accounts who have been flagged in the past, the DMCA complaints have had a more significant effect with multiple accounts being suspended indefinitely.
“I hate the way that Isiah is being presented,” Rivers said. “Isiah was a ruthless winner … he’s no different from any other winner. Being from Chicago, Isiah’s the best player ever to come out of Chicago, in my opinion. Even my ego has to say that, you know? And then having Michael be the greatest player to play in Chicago … that created a competition on its own right. Like, Isiah wasn’t giving Michael Chicago, and Michael was trying to take Chicago, you know? People don’t even know that part of it. They just see the Detroit part, and the Chicago Bulls part. But the biggest part is that. Isiah still lived in Chicago when he was playing for Detroit. He wanted to come home and be Isiah Thomas; he didn’t want to come home and hear about Michael Jordan. So it had a lot of energy to it.”
Zach Lowe: I listen to the third episode of 'The Dream Team tapes' and there is Michael Jordan on tape saying what to Jack McCallum? Jack McCallum: He said when Rod (Thorn) called I told him I didn't want to play if Isiah was on the team.
"The Last Dance" director Jason Hehir told Insider that Jordan refused to be interviewed in his home. Hehir said he also tried to film Jordan on his plane for a trip he took for a Nike meeting and Air Jordan nixed that idea as well. "There are certain aspects of his life that he wants to keep private," "The Last Dance" director Jason Hehir told Insider.
Hehir said these two houses were owned by friends of the production who granted permission for the interviews to be done. "You'd be surprised how quickly people will open their doors when you say, 'Can Michael Jordan come over and be interviewed at your house?'" Hehir said.
You were interviewed for “The Last Dance.” Are you enjoying the documentary so far? Jud Buechler: Oh, I’m loving it. It’s been so great for myself and my family. I’m at home in San Diego with my family and my dad; every Sunday night, we can’t wait for 6:00 out here on the West Coast. It’s just been such a great walk down memory lane for me. I mean, it was 22 years ago and that was such a huge part of my life. It changed my life, really. It’s just so enjoyable for me.
Jud Buechler: The thing that I don’t think a lot of the younger-generation players (who didn’t have a chance to see him play) understand about Michael is that people feared him. There was fear. As great as the players are in today’s game, I don’t know if anyone’s really feared like Michael was. I mean, opponents really didn’t want to play against him. And then you add Scottie into the mix, and those guys were just relentless on defense. But especially MJ, he just had this aura about him.
Jud Buechler: Phil basically saved my career. I was in a tricky spot. I had been in Golden State for three years and I was kind of almost out of the league. When I got there, the triangle offense and the way Phil coached was just so different than any other coach that I’d ever played for. He just really knew how to manage people. He knew how to handle and manage superstars as well, but I just really loved his style. He cared about you as a person a lot.
How was Rodman as a teammate? Jud Buechler: He was an incredible teammate. When the lights came on, he went crazy, he went nuts; he was a showman and very flamboyant and everything. But I think the one misconception about him is that [he’s always like that], but behind the scenes, he was actually quiet. He was super nice and he was super generous with all of us, just a great teammate. In practice, he just worked as hard as anybody. But he was actually borderline shy; like, he wouldn’t even talk that much.
Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr had to laugh when asked what it's been like to relive his tenure with the Chicago Bulls as "The Last Dance" continues to dominate the national conversation. "It's definitely weird," Kerr told ESPN. "And I know it's about to get weirder." That's because Kerr, who won three championships as a guard for the Bulls from 1996 to '98, knows what's coming up in the final four episodes, especially the next one on Sunday night that goes in-depth on his infamous practice scuffle with Michael Jordan that left Kerr with a black eye.
"It's not something I'm proud of," Kerr said of the incident. "It is something that happens from time to time on most teams during the season. Guys get into it during practice. It's just part of high-level competition. But it's very, very strange to know everybody's hearing this story and talking about it and then I'm going to be on camera talking about it. Michael is. And people are going to be examining this whole thing. It's like there's a reason camera crews generally aren't given that type of access. Now, I don't think there was any footage of that fight, because that didn't happen in '98, but just unearthing it all and talking about it is not a lot of fun."
"He called me later that day and apologized," Kerr said. "In a strange way, it was almost a necessary step in our relationship, in a weird way. And from then on, I think he understood me a lot better and vice versa. And we got along much better and competed together and I think he trusted me more. So it was actually sort of, in the end, it was all good. But we've never talked about it since. To be honest, I don't ever think about it, but I get asked about it because it's a unique [situation]."
What did you think about what he said when he called you the second best point guard against ever seen? Isiah Thomas: You're always pleased to hear someone compliment you like that, particularly someone who is in the discussion of the greatest player to ever play. He's in that debate.
ESPN has hit the quarantine gold mine with The Last Dance, the 10-part documentary that chronicles the career of NBA legend Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s. And so have sports cards dealers. Prices for Jordan cards, primarily his basketball ones — but also those from his attempt to play baseball — have skyrocketed. So, too, have the prices for the cards of the Bulls’ other dynasty-era players and the rookie cards of Jordan’s contemporaries. Jordan, though, has carried the hobby to heights not seen in decades. His 1986-87 Fleer rookie card, for instance, has sold recently for $51,000 with a 10 gem mint grade.
Director Jason Hehir had been scheduled to travel to Spokane, Wash., to shoot the final interview for the project — with former Utah Jazz star John Stockton — on March 10. But ESPN called him off the trip, fearing that airline flights might be canceled and he would be stranded. “We didn’t know what shelter in place even meant at that point,” Hehir said recently. “We would not have been able to finish if I was stuck in Spokane for an extended period of time.”
Around the same time, producer Mike Tollin was in New York visiting his recently married daughter. From there, he was scheduled to fly back to Atlanta where he was shooting a sequel to “Varsity Blues.” “I got a call basically telling me, ‘Don’t bother coming back, we’ll ship your stuff to L.A.’ and I flew back home,” said Tollin, co-chairman of Mandalay Sports Media. “That Friday the 13th was when the world stopped spinning and by Monday morning I was on a conference call with ESPN, Netflix, Jump Inc., NBA and Mandalay Sports Media and … we started looking at the calendar and it was up to Jason to look at the amount of work that still needed to be completed and back time it from there.”
Hehir believed he could finish the final episode by mid-May, so airing one episode per week for 10 weeks was discussed before the decision was made to premiere on April 19 and close on May 17, with two episodes airing every Sunday. Contrary to the usual practice of having an entire series complete before it debuts, work on episode 9 was finished Friday and the final is scheduled to be done by May 10, as viewers watch episodes 7 and 8.
Craig Hodges: “One of the things as players we call this a fraternity. So I’m watching the first episode and I was upset about the ‘cocaine circus.’ That bothered me because I was thinking about the brothers who are on that picture with you who have to explain to their families who are getting ready to watch this great Michael Jordan documentary event and they know you’re on the team, and now you’ve got to explain that to a 12-year-old boy… Then the Scottie Pippen part. Scottie was ‘selfish’. C’mon man, c’mon. And then last night with Horace, that hurt me. I’m letting MJ know that that ain’t right, dude. Horace did not deserve to take the fall for ‘Jordan Rules’. If MJ knows something else and knows Horace’s motive, then tell us how Horace did it for my sake, because I’m your teammate brother, just like they are, and I’m kind of salty how everybody got interviewed but me.” (Full Audio Above) Listen to former Chicago Bulls shooting guard Craig Hodges join The Odd Couple to explain his discontent with ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ documentary.
Have you watched The Last Dance? What does Michael Jordan mean to you in your basketball journey? Admiral Schofield: Yes, I’ve watched every episode, this definitely brings back some memories for me as a kid because Michael Jordan was my era growing up. It’s really cool to see what he went through for his career. Being from outside of Chicago, I never knew all of this went down with the Bulls, so it’s very interesting to know this, but also see a different side of Jordan and get a deeper look into who the person was, and also the name and the athlete that we know as Michael Jordan.
You have so many behind-the-scenes stories from covering Michael Jordan and those teams. Is there anything that you wish they would've included or that you hope they delve into during the remaining episodes? Sam Smith: I think they've done a pretty good job of raising the main issues. There were parts here and there where I thought some context might have been left out, like with the Pistons' walk-out. I was there and I would have loved to have seen [this]: We were sitting in a group around Jordan and he just eviscerated the Pistons when the Bulls were up 3-0. He called them unworthy champions, terrible people, an embarrassment to the NBA... And it went on for, like, a half hour. It was just stunning. And I know that's what prompted that walk-out because the Pistons' players didn't know about it until the next day, basically.
Sam Smith: Jordan, now heading toward a seventh year without a title, is really pushing his teammates. He actually wanted different teammates; he wanted more veterans. He would have been fine with [Scottie] Pippen and [Horace] Grant getting traded for Buck Williams and Walter Davis – two ACC guys he liked since they were veterans who were more accomplished. That's who we wanted to play with. He wanted guys to match [James] Worthy and Kareem [Abdul-Jabbar] with the Lakers and [Robert] Parish and [Kevin] McHale with the Celtics. He didn't want to play with babies and so that was a source of frustration. As we've seen witnessed in this documentary and which we knew, he has this incredible manic competitiveness to the level that he wants to embarrass his opponent.
Sam Smith: Anyway, the book comes out and there were dual controversies. One, that I destroyed the team. Two, how I've depicted Jordan. "This is not how he is! This is not Jordan!" I remember many of his defenders from North Carolina, like Roy Williams, went on TV and bashed me, saying, "Well, this is all made up. We know Michael is not like this..." There was a lot of that kind of stuff. It obviously became an unusual and difficult situation. But, at the same time, I had experienced that before. I had been an investigative reporter in Indiana when I first started working in journalism and then, in DC, covering Congress was my main job but I also did investigative work. So, I had worked on those kind of things before, which were serious.
Sam Smith: I know he enjoyed the lifestyle and the ability to gamble at high stakes, which was much easier to do when he had a lot of money. Two, he was able to separate himself with security as the years went on. He basically hung around with his security people as you saw when he was gambling with them. He didn't really mingle with teammates at all. I remember some of the Bulls players during the second three-peat telling me that they'd never talked to him other than on the basketball court when he was yelling at them. They'd never seen him off the court
Sam Smith: Also, to suggest that one player, who was certainly not privy to a lot of things going on, can be the source of information for a 300-page book about years of a team, some of which he wasn't even involved in, it's just ludicrous. But Michael singled him out on the broadcast because, you know, Horace was the one who would often stand up to Michael on behalf of the players. In practice, when Jordan sucker punched Will Purdue, Will was practically crying and didn't fight back; Horace was the one who went to fight back. Horace wasn't in the card games with Michael, wasn't in his group and didn't hang around with him, but he would stand up to him. Horace was going to be a Marine before he turned to basketball; that was always his dream
Hehir told Insider on Monday that the interview with Bryant was one of the shorter ones he conducted for the docuseries. He only had around 25 minutes with Bryant when they tracked him down in July 2019. And at the time of the interview, Bryant was preoccupied as he was putting the final touches on a speech he was giving at the ESPY Awards to Bill Russell as that year's recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. "I had to work hard, which was unusual in this process because normally people are ready to sit down and heap praise on Michael," Hehir said.
Hehir said that when he tossed Bryant a softball question like what was the first pair of Jordan sneakers he owned, Bryant brushed it off and said growing up he was a Magic Johnson fan. "We were kind of circling each other for a while," Hehir admitted. However, Hehir said the two finally found a groove when they began talking about the 1998 All-Star game leading to Bryant revealing some insight on his interaction with Jordan.
Episodes 5 and 6 drew 5.8 million and 5.2 million viewers, respectively, on Sunday. The first four episodes were watched initially by 6.3 million, 5.8 million, 6.1 million and 5.7 million viewers. The odd-numbered episodes are attracting higher viewership because they are airing at 9 p.m. ET, while the even-numbered episodes are airing at 10 p.m. ET.
Myles Brown: Jerry Krause was a contemptible guy. But how Phil Jackson has gotten away with this for 30 years is beyond me.
Harvey Gantt was seeking to become the first African-American senator from North Carolina. A boost from Jordan, who at that time hadn't won an NBA title but was still one of the most famous, beloved people on the planet, could have only benefitted Gantt. "We didn't spend a lot of time brooding about it," Gantt said in an interview on Friday. "Or saying darn, if Michael had endorsed us we would have gotten another 10, 20, 30, 40 thousands votes. That was not the first thing that came to my mind on the morning after that defeat."
Even Gantt himself sympathizes with Jordan. He says that neither he or anyone from his campaign reached out to Jordan directly about an endorsement in 1990. In The Last Dance, Jordan says his mother asked him to film a commercial for Gantt; he wrote a check to the campaign instead. "From morning until night, I was traveling all over this state, making speeches and doing a whole lot of stuff and trying to become a credible candidate," Gantt says. "I only heard about this Michael Jordan saga secondhand. A lot of people have called me over the years and asked, did you go to Michael? Did he turn you down? Look, I didn't even know any of this stuff until the drama I guess was over. And since that time, I've thought it was much ado about nothing."
Lee, who created and starred as the shoe-obsessed character in his film, "She's Gotta Have It," gave credit to Nike's founder for giving his stamp of approval for the campaign. "Nike's agency saw the film, called me up outta nowhere and said, 'we want you to be in a national campaign with Michael Jordan, you play Mars Blackmon, but there's one catch Michael Jordan has not seen the film and does not know who you are,'" Lee recalled, laughing about his early days in the industry. "We gotta give credit to Phil Knight. It's his decision -- to have a black guy be the face of your company -- so give him credit and the rest is history," he added.
As a basketball fan, Lee remembered what it was like sitting courtside during Jordan's heyday at one of his favorite NBA stages. "New York City would be on fire when Michael Jordan would come to the Garden," Lee said. "I think one of the reasons why Mike liked playing in the Garden is he understood that New York City, that basketball's our game and we appreciate great performances." "Even though he was killin' us," Lee said of the Knicks, who "couldn't get past the Bulls -- we had to see this guy."
Bryant started working on something completely different the last few years of his career. He'd call authors such as J.K. Rowling and directors such as Darren Aronofsky. He asked to visit the set of "Modern Family" and sit in on writers rooms. He kept journals of movie and television projects he'd like to work out. He fleshed out characters and story arcs for children's books. He was bursting at the seams with ideas and concepts he'd put into production as soon as basketball was over. When he learned that Jordan had the rights to footage shot of his final season, Bryant commissioned a camera crew to film his final seasons. Bryant even inquired about producing the documentary on Jordan's final season.
Rod Beard: I talked to #Pistons Isiah Thomas about the Michael Jordan's "hate" comment in #TheLastDance: "I’m really surprised that he has that kind of hate and anger. I’ve never experienced that being around him. My son was wearing Michael Jordan jerseys and shoes."
While sipping on a glass of wine during a 30-plus minute discussion on Bird and Rapinoe’s Instagram series called “A Touch More,” the Miami Heat’s All-Star wing spoke about life amid the COVID-19 pandemic and said he has not tuned into the popular “The Last Dance” documentary that chronicles Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls. “I haven’t seen this MJ doc. I haven’t seen it,” said Butler, who still hasn’t signed with a new brand after his endorsement deal with the Jordan Brand ended a few months ago. “Everybody around my house puts it on every TV. And I’m just like you know what, everybody is watching it so I’m gonna go outside and work on my true calling and I just kick a soccer ball around.”
But the current iteration of Jordan, seen on ESPN's "The Last Dance," is different than the player whom Kerr knew. "I've never seen Michael so open," Kerr recently said on the Runnin' Plays podcast. "I think it's the best thing. ... He was always very guarded."
Jordan -- who famously was closed off during his playing days -- has been extremely candid in the 10-part docu-series, which continues Sunday with episodes 5 and 6. In the first episode, Jordan recalled the time he walked into his teammates' hotel room to find marijuana and cocaine. Two episodes later, he called former Detroit guard Isiah Thomas an "a--hole" in response to the Pistons walking off the floor just before the Bulls eliminated them from the 1991 playoffs. "He never seemed vulnerable," Kerr said of Jordan. "I think that was part of his persona. He wasn't vulnerable to everything and everybody, you know, [he was] indomitable, knowing nobody could touch him. And he walked into that arena, and he was just dominant over every person in that building -- opponents, coaches, teammates, referees, fans."
Jordan has never hidden his dislike for Isiah Thomas. But that didn't stop him from paying Thomas quite the compliment in the discussion of why Thomas was famously left off the Dream Team for the 1992 Olympics. "I respect Isiah Thomas' talent," Jordan said. "To me, if the best point guard of all time is Magic Johnson, and right behind him is Isiah Thomas. No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game."
"Before the Olympics, [selection committee chairman] Rod Thorn calls me and says we would love for you to be on the Dream Team," Jordan said. "I said, 'Who's all playing?' "He said, 'What's that mean?' I said, 'Who's all playing?' He says, 'Well, the guy you are talking about and you are thinking about is not going to be playing.' It was insinuated I was asking about him, but I never threw his name in there. "You want to attribute it to me, go ahead. Be my guest. But it wasn't me."
"I don't think that statement needs to be corrected because I said it in jest on a bus with Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen," Jordan said. "It was thrown off the cuff. My mother asked to do a PSA for Harvey Gantt, and I said, 'Look, Mom, I'm not speaking out of pocket about someone that I don't know. But I will send a contribution to support him.' Which is what I did. "I do commend Muhammad Ali for standing up for what he believed in. But I never thought of myself as an activist. I thought of myself as a basketball player. "I wasn't a politician when I was playing my sport. I was focused on my craft. Was that selfish? Probably. But that was my energy. That's where my energy was."
After Converse told Jordan that it had too many big-name players -- including Magic Johnson and Larry Bird -- to make Jordan a front man for the company, the choice came down to Adidas or Nike. Adidas wasn't willing to give Jordan his own shoe, but Nike was. There was just one problem: Jordan didn't want to meet with the shoe company to discuss it. "I couldn't even get him to get on the damn plane and go visit the campus," Jordan's agent, David Falk, said.
Which in tone and substance sounded a lot like how modern-day Jordan defended himself in the documentary. “I’m actually playing golf with people all the time… and if they want to gamble, we gamble. The character of those individuals, I found out later what kind of people I was playing with. I learned that lesson. But the act of gambling? I didn’t do anything wrong… “I never bet on games; I only bet on myself and that was golf… I told [the NBA league office] exactly what was happening,” Jordan’s takeaway line was that he did not have a gambling problem. “I have a competition problem.” It was enough of a problem that the NBA was paying attention back in 1993, but the late NBA Commissioner David Stern told the filmmakers, “It never reached epic crisis levels in my view.”
To the end, Wozniak’s business-like approach endeared him to the six-time champion. “He wasn’t the type to ask for anything,” Nicholi said. “The only time he’d ask Michael for stuff was if it was for fundraisers and charitable things within the community. Michael was very pro-police. His father was military. His brother was military. So Michael always without flinching would give my dad paraphernalia, autographs to raise money for fallen officers’ families.”
None of this is to say that Wozniak couldn’t give it back to Jordan every now and then. The nation caught a glimpse of that swagger on Sunday thanks to footage of a game of quarters, but that wasn’t the only time Wozniak got the best of MJ. “My dad beat him at pool and he came home early from like a Christmas party,” Nicholi said. “I’m like, ‘What happened?’ He’s like, ‘Ah, I beat Michael at pool and Michael didn’t like it, so …’”
We knew this was coming: Jordan talking about Bryant, and Bryant talking about Jordan. The latter comes in a flash-forward interview, a recent one with Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash on January 26. Speaking of his basketball idol, Bryant tells the cameras, “He’s like my big brother … What you get from me, is from him. I don’t get five championships here without him. He guided me so much and gave me so much great advice.”
“I respect Isiah Thomas’s talent,” Jordan says today. “To me, the best point guard of all-time is Magic Johnson, and right behind him is Isiah Thomas.” Jordan reaffirms in The Last Dance that he didn’t tell Dream Team overseer Rod Thorn to keep Thomas off the 1992 Olympics squad, though his denial is notably understated compared to some of his other more boisterous pronouncements.
Since Thomas, then one of the most accomplished players in the NBA, was left off the Dream Team in 1992, it’s largely been attributed to his poor relationships with some of the players who made the roster, namely Jordan. In Episode 5, Jordan says when he asked Rod Thorn, then the head of USA Basketball, who was playing, Thorn told him, “The guy you’re talking about, who you’re thinking about, he’s not gonna be playing.”
Part of the documentary also looked at the book, "The Jordan Rules," which contained information that described Jordan as being demeaning and borderline abusive toward teammates. Jordan said he thought former teammate Horace Grant was responsible for providing the writer, Sam Smith, with information, but Grant vehemently denied it. Among the revelations in the book was the rumor that Jordan once punched teammate Will Perdue during practice. Perdue joined CBS Sports HQ on Sunday night and confirmed the story, but said it wasn't a big deal because fights were commonplace at Bulls practices (Video above). "He did, and I wasn't the only one," Perdue said. "That's how competitive our practices were. That wasn't the only fight, that was one of numerous. But because it involved Michael Jordan, and it leaked out, that it became a big deal. And the funny thing was, in that practice that it happened, we basically separated, regrouped and kept practicing -- it wasn't like that was the end of practice. Stuff like that was common, because that's how competitive our practices were.
Jordan became a pitchman unlike any other before him, and to some degree, it turns out that was the plan all along. Agent David Falk explains in Episode 5 how he wanted to treat Jordan like a boxer or tennis player – an individual star – instead of how stars in team sports were typically marketed. But Nike, the company that landed Jordan, never would’ve gotten a meeting if it weren’t for MJ’s mom, who convinced him to take the meeting. “I go into that meeting not wanting to be there,” Jordan says in Episode 5. “Nike made this big pitch. And Falk was like, ‘You gotta be a fool if you’re not taking this deal. This is the best deal.’”
It's wild to consider that Michael's parents each changed the course of sneaker history. Not once, but twice. "I was Adidas," Jordan reveals. Deloris Jordan, who convinced her son to take the Swoosh meeting, remembers Michael saying: "I am not going to Nike, momma."
Still, it didn’t look good when it emerged that Jordan wrote a $57,000 check to Slim Bouler to cover a gambling debt, and a golfing acquaintance, Richard Esquinas, said Jordan owed him $1.2 million. Jordan had to testify in court where Bouler was on trial facing money laundering and drug conspiracy charges. (Jordan once skipped a White House visit to golf with Bouler, according to the documentary.) The league took interest and questioned Jordan. “I never bet on games; I only bet on myself and that was golf. … I told them exactly what was happening,” Jordan said. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern told filmmakers: “It never reached epic crisis levels in my view.”
A year later, in Game 1 of the 1993 finals against the Suns, Jordan used Dan Majerle to make the same point to Krause. “I knew that Jerry Krause loved Dan Majerle,” Jordan says, “and just because Krause liked him was enough for me. You think he’s a great defensive player? OK. Fine. I’m going to show you that he’s not.” Jordan toyed with Majerle, pausing before blowing past him, crossing him to the next state over, and chastising Krause without saying a word.
“My thing with [Jordan] is, ‘It’s not like you beat us by 20,’ ” Oakley added. “Most games went down to two, three possessions. Y’all made shots. We didn’t. The best player won. Michael was a better player than Patrick hands down.” Ewing averaged 25.8 points and 11.2 rebounds and shot 53 percent in the six game series — all in line with his regular-season numbers. In the series-turning Game 5, Ewing had 33 points on 12-of-23 shooting and nine rebounds. In the documentary, Ewing says, “It was extremely physical. It wasn’t really a foul until you drew blood.” Asked about the remark, Oakley sniffed, “A lot of guys who talk now didn’t say that stuff when they played basketball.’’
Perhaps counterintuitively, one person not caught up on every episode that’s aired thus far is one of Jordan’s former Bulls teammates, Mike Brown. While Utah Jazz fans know and love the “Brown Bear” for the five seasons he spent in Salt Lake City as a backup big man, he actually spent the previous two years — the first two of his NBA career — with Bulls, back in 1986-87 and ’87-88.
“ESPN never called me about ‘The Last Dance,’ ” Peter Vecsey said. “It’s absolutely amazing to me that they could be that stupid. I had so many inside stories that were printed that they are not even going to address it. It’s amazing. They interviewed Sam Smith, they couldn’t avoid that. I was involved in all of that stuff [during the 1990s].”
Marc Berman: Former Post NBA columnist Peter Vescey ticked off ESPN didn’t interview him for Last Dance. “It’s almost amazing to me they could be that stupid,” Vescey told The Boston Globe.
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.’
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.
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 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,, 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.”
Storyline: Michael Jordan Documentary
More HoopsHype Rumors
July 31, 2021 | 7:36 pm EDT Update
Former Bluejays Mitch Ballock and Denzel Mahoney have joined Damien Jefferson in signing with NBA Summer League teams on Saturday. After both were not selected in Thursday’s NBA draft, Mahoney signed to play this summer with the Charlotte Hornets and Ballock with the Philadelphia 76ers.
July 31, 2021 | 6:10 pm EDT Update

Lakers interested in Carmelo Anthony?

Jordan Schultz: #Lakers are “very interested” in the prospect of signing Carmelo Anthony, per a league source. Melo has been linked to the Lakers as a possibility, given his friendship w/LeBron dating back to high school. Anthony drilled a career-best 40.9 percent from 3 last season w/Portland.