“I love Dennis,” says Longley’s former wife Kelly. “He used to come play Barbies with the girls. He’s a great fellow. Great guy.” “I tended to roll with Dennis a bit after the game and ended up in some places that I wouldn’t have otherwise ended up in, which I’ve put in the life experience bag,” Longley says. “He was a fantastic hang for me.”
Michael Jordan, who is indisputably the focus of the series, told Australian Story he regrets that Longley was left out. “I can understand why Australia would say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t we include Luc?’ And we probably should have. And if I look back and could change anything, that’s probably what I would have changed.” Last year, series director Jason Hehir explained that Longley’s omission was about budget and logistics. It was simply too expensive to send a crew from the US to interview him in the remote corner of Western Australia where he lives. “I didn’t expect to be a heavy feature in it because they hadn’t interviewed me, but I did expect to be in it more than I was,” Longley says.
An unfortunate consequence of Longley’s omission from The Last Dance is that his importance to the Bulls has been undervalued. He was, after all, the starting centre — part of the core group of five players who would begin each game. “He had the skill set, you know,” Jordan says. “He could shoot, he was very smart, good passer. He knew how to position himself well.” Longley was the ultimate team player, someone who was willing to sacrifice individual glory for team performance. “I cared about my teammates more than I cared about winning,” he says. “Winning became how to reward them, so that’s part of what drove me to be good.”
He hosted barbecues at his house and made lasting personal friendships with players such as Kerr and Pippen. A less likely friendship, however, was the one that he formed with the mercurial Rodman. “Dennis was so far outside of our monoculture of basketball that I was intrigued by that,” Longley says. “I felt like I sat outside the sort of the stereotypical basketball frame and Dennis did too. So I was attracted to him. And I think he’s probably attracted to me.”
September 20, 2021 | 8:16 am EDT Update
UNICS Kazan announced the signing of former Milwaukee Bucks and Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo. The 33-year-old veteran will make his european debut in VTB League and the EuroLeague this season, signing a one-year deal with the club. Mayo has 573 NBA games under his belt, with the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks and the Dallas Mavericks, averaging 13.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 1.0 steal per contest.
“Shabazz Napier underwent a comprehensive examination. He has a rather serious injury to the ligaments of the right ankle joint. On the positive side, I can say that there is no fracture and, therefore, there is no need for surgery, of the minuses, the recovery time is still unknown. We have all the necessary conditions to get him back on the floor quickly. All is needed is the support of the fans,” general manager Alexander Tserkovny said. Napier moved to Europe after six years in the NBA and showed promise in front of the season. In the first VTB SuperCup game, against UNICS, he banked in 33 points on 8-11 shooting including 6-8 from deep. He also dished out four assists during the 30 minutes on the floor.
Organizers of a planned museum about basketball great Larry Bird in Terre Haute are starting to assemble thousands of items ahead of its expected opening next year. The museum will be part of the new Terre Haute Convention Center, which remains under construction with an anticipated completion date of March 2022. It will include items donated by Bird and others from his career with the Boston Celtics, Indiana State University and the U.S. Olympic team. The site for work on cataloging the memorabilia is being modified for security and should be ready within weeks, the Tribune-Star reported.
September 20, 2021 | 4:09 am EDT Update
According to a league source, projections indicate that a $171 million salary cap is possible, assuming no cap smoothing, by 2025. Should the NBPA instead agree to cap smoothing, it’s likely the league will still see annual increases to the extent of $15 million, according to source.
The NBA also has a $1.5 billion streaming deal with Chinese-based company Tencent Holdings. “I think everyone expects that so long as the public is demonstrating through ratings that they are watching the NBA, you can probably expect increases there as well,” said former CBS Sports president Neal Pilson. “I would think the NBA is going to look for significant increases.”
Brother Pau Gasol recently spoke with Spanish newspaper Marca, and the topic of Marc’s future came up. “Marc has earned the freedom and flexibility to make his own decision and he will do so when he decides. I know he has a lot of enthusiasm for Basquet Girona, a club in which I am also involved as vice president. He is in a different situation, because he is five years younger than me. We will see what he decides to do this season and later, I am also waiting.“