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.
More Rumors in this Storyline
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.”
“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.”
Storyline Hype Rumor visits per day for the last week
Views per day
September 28, 2021 | 5:08 am EDT Update
Though roughly 90% of NBA players are vaccinated as training camp approaches Tuesday, tension exists between those around the league mandated to be vaccinated and the nearly 40 unvaccinated players, league sources told ESPN.
One general manager told ESPN that the issue of tension between those who are mandated to be vaccinated and those who aren’t “‘just speaks to selfishness run amok. But the NBA is comprised of human beings and we are seeing the same thing in the public at large.”
In some instances, vaccinated staffers say they’re concerned about the health risks of being exposed to unvaccinated players. In others, staffers say they’re upset that players aren’t facing the same vaccine requirements as most team staff and referees. In still others, there’s animosity toward the league itself for not imposing such a mandate.
One vaccinated Western Conference strength and conditioning coach said they’re concerned about a potential breakthrough case that could affect family members. “For me, it’s a problem because my parents are very sick, and I’m in close contact with these guys and I would hate to bring this home and my parents pass away from it,” the coach told ESPN.
Health and safety protocols for vaccinated and unvaccinated players have not yet been finalized, league sources said. But it’s expected, as ESPN previously reported, that unvaccinated players will face more testing and be asked to sit in separate areas of team meetings, team meals, locker rooms, on the team plane and bus.
But a second league source also tied to training staffs noted that many peers “believe the league is prioritizing the athletes’ lives over their own. On the opposite side, some members don’t want to force anyone to vaccinate if they feel uncomfortable with it, but it should be a standard set across the board instead of the league one way and the players the other.”
NBA insiders say they’re not aware of any games being missed because of a reaction to the vaccine. Beal, though, did miss time. His case of COVID cost him a spot in the Olympics and the chance to compete for a gold medal.