NBA Rumor: Michael Jordan Documentary

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Moments from Johnson’s glory days are interspersed throughout “They Call Me Magic.” Some of the archival material — such as the coin flip that gave the Lakers the first pick in the 1979 NBA draft (over the Chicago Bulls); they chose a 19-year-old college student from Lansing, Mich., named Earvin “Magic” Johnson — he’d never seen before. And he never would have had he not agreed to be interviewed for Michael Jordan’s docuseries “The Last Dance.”

Charles Oakley: Scottie Pippen-Michael Jordan relationship is over

There seems to be no love lost between Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen. The former Bulls teammates, who won six rings together as part of the ’90s dynasty squad, won’t ever speak again, according to Knicks legend Charles Oakley. “No, I think it’s over,” Oakley said about Jordan and Pippen’s relationship during a recent appearance on “The Bill Simmons Podcast.” “It wasn’t great from the get-go.”

During Simmons’ podcast, Oakley continued: “[Jordan] always praised Scottie, always praised Scottie. He never talked down about him, but I don’t know what happened since ‘The Last Dance.’ It seems like things just — he probably said, ‘OK, Scottie said this stuff about me. OK, I’m not gonna say nothing.’ He’s not gonna say nothing back in the press, none of that, try to go back to Scottie. He’s just gonna keep doing what he’s doing — play golf, fish, relax and smoke cigars.”

“I think they [covered] Dennis Rodman more than Scottie — and Steve Kerr in ‘The Last Dance,’” Oakley said, naming two critical members of Chicago’s second three-peat team. “But my thing to that is, Kerr did way more off the court than Scottie. Dennis probably has, too. But on that court, Scottie did a lot more than both of them, but Scottie felt like he was left out of there. And he felt like Jordan wouldn’t have six rings if it wasn’t for him.”

Stacey King: I didn't like the way Scottie Pippen was portrayed in Michael Jordan documentary

Retired ex-Bull Stacey King appeared this week on ESPN’s “The Lowe Post.” King, who is now a commentator for the Bulls, criticized Jordan for the portrayal of Pippen in “The Last Dance.” “I thought that the documentary was really good for the fans,” said King. “It gave people, in a down time with COVID, something to be happy about … It opened up a new set of fans for the Bulls teams back then. More people recognized that Michael was as good as their parents said he was. [But] I thought it was a little bit sensationalized. I didn’t like the way Scottie was portrayed in certain things. In that documentary, a lot of things Scottie did didn’t really pertain to that second three-peat. You know, the 1.8 seconds was when MJ was retired. In my opinion, that really didn’t need to be brought into ‘The Last Dance.’ It had nothing to do with that.”

“I was there when Scottie had the migraine,” said King. “When you have one of the worst migraines, you can’t see, which Scottie couldn’t. He was in so much pain, coming to Detroit for that Game 7. He was in tears, and he tried to play. Couldn’t see and was just so visibly shaken by not being able to play. And he got such a bad rap for that. His teammates knew what he was going through, knew that he went out there and he wanted to play. To have that in a documentary, bringing that back up? We ended up winning three straight championships after that … I thought Scottie was treated harshly there and I understand where he is coming from. Scottie has always felt he doesn’t get the attention he deserves. He’s always been looked at as Robin to Batman.”

You featured in The Last Dance in 2020. What did you make of the documentary and your portrayal? Charles Oakley: “Everybody got to see a different side of Michael Jordan, if you didn’t see the Hall of Fame speech. In the speech he pointed out a lot of people who were waving their finger at him, so he got the last finger point. The Last Dance is the same thing, he got the last say. If you mention Michael Jordan, you can’t have the first say, you’d better have the last say. “It was great. We got a chance to see the other side of some other guys. It was a documentary so it was put together like Michael Jordan always wants to look good, so a lot of guys felt like he let them down, but it’s like a movie, you know? If you ain’t the main actor you ain’t gonna be a big part of it. I didn’t have no bad feelings about what he said about me. He put me in The Last Dance, he put me in the Hall of Fame speech, he put me in Space Jam, so I’ll wait for the next show.

Scottie Pippen has recently been in the news because of some shots he’s taken at Michael Jordan and The Last Dance. What’s your opinion on his comments? Charles Oakley: “Scottie felt like he was mistreated, and he didn’t look good. Scottie did some things that we talked about. I’m friends with Scottie and Mike, but I don’t talk about Mike to Scottie, or Scottie to Mike. “I know everybody thinks it’s some feud from The Last Dance, I think it’s something else that happened. We don’t know, but one day we will find out. I don’t think Scottie would just turn from all this from The Last Dance. Some stuff happened 10, 20 years ago but now he’s got a platform to talk about it. But he did say he wants to have his last say about The Last Dance, so who knows what’s going on?

Roland Lazenby: Basketball is an emotional game, and Scottie was an emotional guy. I think a lot of this book was produced in the wake of The Last Dance. (the ESPN documentary released in the spring of 2020). That was an embarrassment of riches for Jordan, but it really didn’t play straight up in certain ways. I bet Scottie probably felt insulted. He probably felt insulted that Ron Harper wasn’t included. Ron Harper was obviously one of Scottie’s very good friends and a real important teammate to him. He was a huge contributor to those last three Bulls championships.

Roland Lazenby: The fact that Scottie, after all these years, still has some feelings about it, that part of it doesn’t surprise me. I don’t think we’d be having this conversation if Scottie didn’t have a book out that needed publicity to sell it. I really don’t. I think that is probably the bottom line. The publisher gets excited when that kinda stuff is in the proposal. I know this from having done many proposals. If you have earth-shattering things in the proposal, then just know you’re going to get lots of publicity, being that guarantees book sales. Was Scottie scheming to intentionally do that? I don’t know. If you wanna sell books, you have to have publicity. I do know that, and, boy, has he scratched the publicity itch.

Scottie Pippen on Michael Jordan: 'We won in spite of his getting on guys'

Pippen launched an immediate attack on Jordan, whom he calls a hypocrite, in the Prologue, and the first thing that really jumped out at me was his saying he was “a much better teammate than Michael ever was.” “In the doc, Michael attempted to justify the occasions in which he berated a teammate in front of the group. He felt these guys needed to develop the toughest to get past the the NBA’s more physical teams. Seeing again how poorly Michael treated his teammates, I cringed, as I did back then. “Michael was wrong. We didn’t win six championships because he got on guys. We won in spite of his getting on guys. We won because we played team basketball, which hadn’t been the case my first two seasons, when Doug Collins was our coach. That’s what was special about playing for the Bulls: the camaraderie we established with one another, not that we felt blessed to be on the same team with the immortal Michael Jordan.

Scottie Pippen on relationship with Michael Jordan: 'Our friendship is not where people see it on TV'

Pippen revealed many things in his book — from feeling like “nothing more than a prop,” to criticizing Jordan for being the only Chicago Bulls player to make money off “The Last Dance” documentary. During an interview with Michael Strahan of Good Morning America, the 6-time NBA champion expanded on it while revealing the truth about his friendship with MJ. “It wasn’t what you saw on the court. We always will have that respect for each other, but our friendship is not where people see it on TV,” Pippen revealed on GMA.

Pippen also tees off on the former Bulls Coach Phil Jackson about the famed moment in 1994 when Pippen refused to re-enter a playoff game for the last 1.8 seconds after Jackson drew up a play for Toni Kukoc instead of for him. After telling Dan Patrick in a radio interview earlier this year that it was racist for Jackson to have done so, Pippen backs off that assertion in the book. Even so, Pippen writes that Jackson humiliated him and that “the moment of truth had come, and he had abandoned me.”

One of the most interesting lines is when you write, “We didn’t win six championships because he got on guys, we won in spite of his getting on guys.” And I thought that was really interesting, because Jordan’s treatment of teammates has long been heralded as a virtue. Did you find it to be unproductive? Scottie Pippen: Well, I can’t say I found it to be unproductive, because it was productive. But you also said that you guys won in spite of it. Pippen: Well, we won when he retired. We didn’t win a title, but obviously we didn’t have a full roster, so. Do you worry that your book will create a permanent split between you two? Pippen: To answer your question, no.

Scottie Pippen on Michael Jordan: 'Michael and I aren’t close and never have been'

“Michael and I aren’t close and never have been,” Pippen writes. That’s just in the opening pages. In the rest of the book, Pippen takes shots at everyone from Charles Barkley (“wasn’t dedicated enough to win a championship”) to Isiah Thomas (“dirty” player, “with a knack for making the most inappropriate comments”). Pippen also tees off on the former Bulls Coach Phil Jackson about the famed moment in 1994 when Pippen refused to re-enter a playoff game for the last 1.8 seconds after Jackson drew up a play for Toni Kukoc instead of for him. After telling Dan Patrick in a radio interview earlier this year that it was racist for Jackson to have done so, Pippen backs off that assertion in the book. Even so, Pippen writes that Jackson humiliated him and that “the moment of truth had come, and he had abandoned me.”

In response to Jordan calling Pippen “selfish” in the documentary for delaying a foot surgery and asking to be traded, Pippen writes, “You want to know what selfish is? Selfish is retiring right before the start of training camp when it is too late for the organization to sign free agents,” a reference to Jordan’s unexpected first retirement after his father’s death. He calls Jordan hypocritical and insensitive. And he criticizes Jordan for his behavior toward co-workers: “Seeing again how poorly Michael treated his teammates, I cringed, as I did back then.”

From the opening pages of the book, you take a cudgel to Michael Jordan. Have you always felt this way and just kept that inside or did those feelings really come into focus after watching “The Last Dance”? Scottie Pippen: I think he’s always separated himself a little bit from what I consider the traditional team concept, in some sense. And I think “The Last Dance” just put the icing on the cake. So it was all about him at the end of the day.

Scottie Pippen calls out Michael Jordan

Scottie Pippen on Michael Jordan and the ‘Last Dance’ documentary: Even in the second episode, which focused for a while on my difficult upbringing and unlikely path to the NBA, the narrative returned to MJ and his determination to win. I was nothing more than a prop. His “best teammate of all time,” he called me. He couldn’t have been more condescending if he tried. On second thought, I could believe my eyes. I spent a lot of time around the man. I knew what made him tick. How naïve I was to expect anything else.

Scottie Pippen: The final two episodes aired on May 17. Similar to the previous eight, they glorified Michael Jordan while not giving nearly enough praise to me and my proud teammates. Michael deserved a large portion of the blame. The producers had granted him editorial control of the final product. The doc couldn’t have been released otherwise. He was the leading man and the director. I had expected much more. When I was first told about it over a year earlier, I couldn’t wait to tune in, knowing it would feature rare footage.

Scottie Pippen: My years in Chicago, beginning as a rookie in the fall of 1987, were the most rewarding of my career: twelve men coming together as one, fulfilling the dreams we had as kids in playgrounds across the land when all we needed was a ball, a basket, and our imagination. To be a member of the Bulls during the 1990s was to be part of something magical. For our times and for all time. Except Michael was determined to prove to the current generation of fans that he was larger-than-life during his day—and still larger than LeBron James, the player many consider his equal, if not superior. So Michael presented his story, not the story of the “Last Dance,” as our coach, Phil Jackson, billed the 1997–98 season once it became obvious the two Jerrys (owner Jerry Reinsdorf and general manager Jerry Krause) were intent on breaking up the gang no matter what happened.

Luc Longley, the 2.18metre centre from Perth, Western Australia, who played in the all-conquering Chicago Bulls team during the mid-1990s, told the ABC he was ‘bummed’ to be left out of the doco, The Last Dance. The documentary on the career of the man considered basketball’s greatest player Michael Jordan, became a huge Netflix hit when it screened last year. Australian fans expecting an insight into Jordan’s relationship with Longley, a key member of the Bulls’ championship-winning teams of 1996, 1997 and 1998, were left sorely disappointed. ‘Sitting there on the couch and watching episode after episode where I wasn’t in it — yeah, I was bummed about that,’ Longley said in tonight’s Australian Story episode. ‘Why was I not in the doco? I don’t really know, to be honest,’ Longley said.

‘I would like to have been in the doco so that Australian kids saw that there was an Australian in that team doing that thing.’ The Last Dance Producers previously explained it was too expensive to send a crew to Longley’s home on the south coast of Western Australia to interview him. Despite his talent, as a teenager Longley said he was not that committed to the sport. ‘I wasn’t serious, I wasn’t down in the gym like all the other guys,’ Longley said. ‘People around at that stage said, “Oh, he’s not going to make it. He doesn’t want it badly enough.”‘

Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen to participate in Luc Longley documentary

Basketball greats Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen will head an all-star cast in a two-part ABC series centring on the life of their former Chicago Bulls teammate Luc Longley. In the Australian Story series scheduled to run on August 2 and 9, Longley breaks his silence on his relationship with Jordan and his bizarre omission last year from his three-time NBA championship teammate’s Netflix documentary, The Last Dance.

How did you feel about MJ laughing at you on the Last Dance doc? Gary Payton: It’s like this to me. He wouldn’t be Michael Jordan if he would have bowed down there. Everybody knows about his competitiveness. He was a guy who came every night to play. I respect him for that because I came every night to play. I was never gonna back down to him and he knew that. If it was my documentary and they asked me the same thing I would have laughed too and been like “no he couldn’t go at me neither.” Every night I played Michael Jordan he brought the best out of me. Wish I could have started off on him in the championship and it would have been better, but their team was better than mine at the time and they won it all. He did a documentary, he felt the way he felt. What I can do is I can say the same thing hahaha.

Rick Mahorn: 'I ain’t watching no Last Dance, the hell?'

You mention that you didn’t watch “The Last Dance” and you just watched the 30 for 30 this year… Rick Mahorn: I ain’t watching no Last Dance, the hell? Plus when the Pistons did lose, I wasn’t here! I wouldn’t have shook their hands. It’s basketball, c’mon man. ‘Thank you for kicking my ass, I gotta keep walking.’ Man, please. I’m walking off that court, man. You beat us, bye. I’m done.

The Bad Boys have been in the national spotlight a lot these past seven years, looking at “The Last Dance” last year and then the Bad Boys 30 for 30 in 2014. Have you seen more of a national focus in the last decade compared to the previous decade? Rick Mahorn: I do. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t watch the Jordan doc because I wouldn’t give a damn or hell about what Jordan did. We whooped that ass, that’s all that matters. But it’s a respect. I finally watched the 30 for 30 probably this year for the Bad Boys because it was something that, I said, ‘I already know about all that.’ But you learn about the players that are around you. It keeps us in contact. It’s nice to get that. We were never acknowledged as one of the best teams in the league, it was always the Celtics, the Lakers and then it was Chicago. You skip over two teams that won back-to-back with the Pistons and also the Houston Rockets. You gotta give these teams their due, because we’re in history. It didn’t skip from the Lakers to Chicago. It was a blip in all this stuff. The thing is, I’m glad that we’re finally getting the respect and the NBA is giving it to us.

Scottie Pippen: 'I wasn’t too pleased with The Last Dance'

How accurate was the The Last Dance in showing what went on? Scottie Pippen: I don’t think it was that accurate in terms of really defining what was accomplished in one of the greatest eras of basketball, but also by two of the greatest players – and one could even put that aside and say the greatest team of all time. I didn’t think those things stood out in the documentary. I thought it was more about Michael trying to uplift himself and to be glorified [the series was co-produced by Jordan’s Jump 23 company]. I think it also backfired to some degree in that people got a chance to see what kind of personality Michael had. Have you spoken to him about your opinion of series? Scottie Pippen: Yeah. I told him I wasn’t too pleased with it. He accepted it. He said, “hey, you’re right”. That was pretty much it.

Isiah Thomas: Now if people think that I’m trying to slight somebody by talking about these two, then they have an agenda of their own, not necessarily mine. So, but anyway what would we talk about?… I don’t know but… Hey look, I’m not afraid of anybody. I’ll sit down and speak with anybody and anybody who’s ever been around me, seen me, been close to me…I’m not one who walks around with fear and I’m not one who walks around with hate. So you know, like I said; I never knew that he felt that way until I watched the ‘Last Dance’.”

Anybody with $5,000 to spare — minimum — can own part of the same bling Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson won during the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s. A complete rings set from all six championship seasons hit the online auction block on Oct. 9 and will remain open until Oct. 22. The rings from both three-peats once belonged to longtime Bulls security guard John Capps, who appeared in the Jordan documentary about the 1997-98 season, his final with the Bulls, “The Last Dance.”

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, “The Last Dance” documentary about the the final championship run of Michael Jordan as a member of the Chicago Bulls captivated sports fans around the country. The 10-part series provided an in-depth look into Jordan both on and off the court and fans couldn’t get enough of it. Now basketball fans will get another look at Jordan’s final championship run in the form of “Michael Jordan to the Max. Michael Jordan to the Max” which is is being remastered for an IMAX release on Oct. 9 and, like “The Last Dance,” focuses on Jordan’s final season with the Bulls.

How do you feel about the criticism that it was a heavily one-sided documentary? I.e, that MJ had too much creative control and it painted him in an overly positive light as a result? Jason Hehir: Hey! We worked very hard to address topics that MJ hadn’t addressed on this big a platform. We didn’t shy away from some of the controversial issues that have dogged him throughout his career. We went in-depth on the murder of his father, on the conspiracy theories surrounding his departure for baseball, on the notion. that he was somehow responsible for his dad’s death, on his hyper-competitiveness as a teammate and an opponent, on his infamous “republicans buy sneakers too” comment. The idea that MJ had total control is false. All partners: ESPN, Netflix, NBA and Jordan Brand (as well as my own internal team) had the right to give notes. There were MANY instances were MJ’s team wanted to go one way and we declined. Michael himself was extremely distant in the process. There wasn’t one issue that we were told to avoid. There wasn’t any question MJ wouldn’t answer. I was adamant that this should be a comprehensive, transparent doc from the inception of the project, and I proud of what we accomplished.

Why was the decision made to really elevate Steve Kerr especially with respect to the 1998 playoffs? He was always a role player. Meanwhile, Toni Kukoc kept them alive in Game 7 versus Indiana. Jason Hehir:We needed to find places within the doc to tell individual backstories. Toni’s was in Episode 5 when he faced the Dream Team. Steve’s was in Episode 9 when he hit his famous ’97 Finals shot. Hardcore NBA/Bulls fans couldn’t be our target audience, but unfortunately they’re our biggest critics because they wanted this largely to be about on-court events. We had to keep in mind that our audience is also the 20-year -old kid from France who barely knows what basketball even is. The amount of positive response we’ve gotten from countries that aren’t basetkball-crazy tells me we struck the right balance. I hope so, anyway.

Jordan called out Pippen in the second episode for making a “selfish” decision to delay offseason surgery on a ruptured tendon in his ankle until after the start of the 1997-98 season. Jordan said in the documentary he didn’t understand Pippen’s decision. There were reports that Pippen was unhappy with his portrayal in the documentary, but he said Tuesday, “I wasn’t upset about it.” The documentary also included Pippen’s refusal to enter Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference semifinals in the final seconds.

Sam Smith: Jordan has never said a word to me about “The Jordan Rules.” Never once, in thirty years. At the end of the interview, I said, “Hey, tell me something. Did you have to ask Michael permission to talk to me?” And the guy kind of stammered a little bit. And he said, “Well, we actually did ask him if it was O.K.” And I said, “Well, what’d he say?” He said, “I don’t give a fuck who you talk to.” The way I understood it is, he didn’t say whether they could or could not. They weren’t sure whether they should.

Sam Smith: I had extraordinary access that doesn’t exist anymore, in any form. You can develop relationships. Media guys still develop the relationships. But these men and women who do that now have to produce something, like, every two hours. I would make other calls. I would check on things. I would hang out with players. The Bulls practiced in a public health club. I joined it as a member. So when they would lift weights after practice, I would be next to them. I wouldn’t lift weights, but I would be sitting with them. Now everything is privacy. The locker room was just open. For a 7 p.m. game, Jordan would come at, like, 3 p.m. or something, so I’d get there and just talk with him for three hours. Now you’ve got ten minutes with guys, if that. LeBron is celebrated for being one of the few in the whole league who comes out before the game and gives the media five minutes. Jordan gave everybody three hours.

“We had a checklist: gambling, conspiracy theory about retirement, his father’s death, his lack of activism and his teammates,” Tollin told me. “I think we touched on all categories. From the start, we asked ourselves, ‘Is this a workplace drama or is it a domestic one?’ We both believed it was a workplace story, and [director] Jason [Hehir] and I shared a general disinterest of the wives and children of the lead characters. Michael is one of the most private people of our lifetimes. He’s glad this is over. He wants to get on with his regularly scheduled life. Michael never said you can’t talk to either of his wives. We didn’t feel doing so advanced the story.”

Every person should be entitled to their story, especially for a person as forensically dissected as Michael Jordan. I asked Joe Dumars, the Hall of Fame Pistons guard, why he wasn’t in the film. He told me the filmmakers reached out to him, but while he had enormous respect for Jordan and found it entertaining, the film was Michael’s show. His story, as he saw it. In a sense, Tollin and the director, Jason Hehir, got lucky that Jordan was willing to be seen as openly as he was. “I think the film did much to demystify him,” Tollin said. “There were many times when it took a hard, unflattering look at him.”

Dino Radja: It is difficult to write something about Drazen that has not already been written. Yet after watching the Last Dance I have to make a comparison. I’m not going to talk about playing qualities because it doesn’t matter in this situation. Just the mind. Everything in Jordan’s head was in Drazen’s. Identical. That’s why he was what he was. A winner above all. Games were lost here and there, championships and titles, but it was the mind that did not allow surrender and that pushed forward without compromise. From him, my mind also learned a lot and copied unconsciously. Who then has an idea of ​​anything. And now to confirm only one situation that few people know. Drazen’s last match against Slovenia in Poland. Totally irrelevant because we played the qualifying finals and the first three go to the European Championships. It means a match for nothing. Nobody even needs to play. However, this was never an option for him.

Jordan passionately stated why he believes the principals should have been kept intact to try for a seventh championship in 1998-99. “I was not pleased. How’s that?” Reinsdorf told NBC Sports Chicago in a phone conversation, when asked for his reaction to the scene. “He knew better. Michael and I had some private conversations at that time that I won’t go into detail on ever. But there’s no question in my mind that Michael’s feeling at the time was we could not put together a championship team the next year.” Don’t get it twisted. Reinsdorf called his current relationship with Jordan “great” and said his favorite part of the documentary is that it should put to rest any doubt about the NBA’s greatest player of all-time.

To Reinsdorf, the revisionist history of the end of the dynasty is less so. “I asked (coach) Phil (Jackson) to come back. Phil said no. Michael said I won’t play for anybody other than Phil,” Reinsdorf said, reiterating facts that were reported 22 years ago. “I met with Michael on the 3rd of July of that year and I said to him, ‘We’re in a lockout. Who knows when we’re going to play? Why don’t you wait until the lockout is over and maybe I can talk Phil into coming back?’ And he agreed. When the lockout was over, I still couldn’t talk Phil into coming back. And the big thing is Michael had cut his finger with a cigar cutter, and he couldn’t have played. So what’s all this talk about bringing everybody back when Michael couldn’t have come back?”

Like anyone missing basketball, Embiid watched “The Last Dance” documentary. There are some parallels to be made as Embiid and Ben Simmons have had their share of disappointment in the postseason. Much like Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen did with the “Bad Boy” Pistons, the Sixers’ All-Star duo may have to overcome their playoff boogeymen in Boston and Toronto. Embiid believes he can push his teammates the same way Jordan once did. “I did watch it. It was interesting,” Embiid said. “I saw a lot of similarities and a lot of people have told me that. … I can also be that guy, I just need to keep putting in the work and that’s what I’ve been doing.”

Nearly 28 years later, Drexler respectfully declined to engage in any trash talk. He laughed and expressed foggy memory of joking with former NBA on NBC reporter Ahmed Rashad that Jordan “stole all of my moves.” Drexler said the Blazers challenged Chicago in a six-game series that he called “ultra competitive.” “Everyone has a healthy respect for each other at this stage of their life,” Drexler said. “You have to take it in perspective. We were truly competitive. I haven’t seen (the documentary). So I don’t know how to respond to your question. But I have a lot of respect for Michael and Magic. I wish them nothing but well.”

That may not have been enough for the Trail Blazers to win an NBA title. Drexler experienced that in 1995 after getting traded to the Houston Rockets. But Drexler hopes viewers appreciate Portland’s impact after watching “Rip City Revival.” “It gives them some content. Everyone is starving for content right now,” said Drexler, who offered sympathy for those affected by the pandemic. “This country needs sports, trust me. But only when it’s safe.”

Drexler responded during an interview with SportsTalk 970. Drexler said: “That’s Michael’s documentary so obviously it’s going to be from his perspective. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. A lot of times guys didn’t like each other from other teams, but as you get older, you’ve got to get beyond all of that and show some love and some respect for the people you played with and against. “This is a team game, it’s not one guy,” Drexler added. “You can have 50 points and 40 rebounds, but if you lose, are you less of a player than anybody on the other team? No, it’s a team game. So I hate when people act like it’s an individual competition. I didn’t take 35 shots and get 20 free throws a night, so I wasn’t going to score 40 points a night.”

Hall of Famer Clyde Drexler is depicted as one of the archrivals of fellow NBA legend Michael Jordan in the final few episodes of “The Last Dance.” In the docuseries, Jordan says he was “offended” when the media compared him to Drexler, and the latter has just clapped back at Jordan with his own response. According to Drexler, it’s all part of the game: “That’s Michael’s documentary so obviously it’s going to be from his perspective,” Drexler said on a recent interview with the “The A-Team” on SportsTalk 790. “Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. A lot of times guys didn’t like each other from other teams, but as you get older, you’ve got to get beyond all of that and show some love and some respect for the people you played with and against.”

Drexler then went on to take a bit of a shot at Jordan, taking aim at the Chicago Bulls legend’s knack for taking matters into his own hands: “This is a team game, it’s not one guy. You can have 50 points and 40 rebounds but if you lose, are you less of a player than anybody on the other team? No, it’s a team game. “So I hate when people act like it’s an individual competition. I didn’t take 35 shots and get 20 free throws a night, so I wasn’t going to score 40 points a night.”

ESPN’s recently aired documentary series “The Last Dance,” chronicling Michael Jordan’s final championship season with the Chicago Bulls, rekindled interest in Jordan’s long-running feud with Isiah Thomas, including how the Pistons’ star was left off the 1992 Dream Team that won Olympic gold in Barcelona. Author Jack McCallum addressed the controversy in the most recent episode of his “The Dream Team Tapes” podcast series. McCallum said Jordan brought up the issue of Thomas himself in a 2011 interview. “When they called me and asked me to play — Rod Thorn called me. I said ‘Rod, I won’t play if Isiah Thomas is on the team.’ He assured me. He said, ‘Chuck doesn’t want Isiah. So, Isiah is not going to be part of the team,’” Jordan said on the recording that McCallum played during the podcast.

Hodges said he is upset over the documentary portraying that Jordan achieved everything by himself like a “hero” as the roles of other players and staff were underestimated in the achievements. But he believes that The Last Dance is the best sports documentary ever as it came at the right time for sports lovers amid this self-quarantine period. “That’s the main thing — that everybody got a chance to get their minds off this [coronavirus] madness for a little while. And you know, every time, they get two hours of Michael Jordan.”

Hodges was known for social justice activism and never hesitated to raise his voice for black rights during his career. A three-time winner of the NBA’s Three-Point Contest, he previously publicly criticized other black NBA players over their lack of support in the fight for the black community against the discrimination they suffer. “For me, I grew up as a baby during the civil rights movement.” “So obviously, there’s a reason in his (Jordan) mind and in the mind of the producer, who’s an executive producer, that Craig Hodges wasn’t relevant to his story,” he said. “And I’m cool with that. When you look at it from that perspective, he has to answer that question of why did you have Craig Hodges part of it, where you can talk to all of our teammates.”

“We were on that first team. He said we were a traveling cocaine circus. This is divisiveness. There are players among the team that loved Jordan, played hard for him, and others who are sitting at home watching the documentary, but he threw them under the bus.” Hodges confirmed that some Bulls players used cocaine at the time, but the documentary would talk about it in a diplomatic way. “During that period of time — and that was the height of the cocaine, that was the height of it — it was party time in America.”

Hearing Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan in “The Last Dance”, crying on the locker room floor following his Father’s Day championship in 1996 — MJ’s first title since his dad, James, was murdered — caused Harris himself to become emotional. “I ain’t going to lie, I was shedding a tear when I saw Jordan crying,” Harris told Yahoo Sports in a recent telephone interview. “I thought they should’ve just stopped the episode right then and there. It was touching. I’d seen the photo a whole lot, but I was probably too young to understand. And now you can really see all the emotion that’s in it. I did some research after the show ended. You hear about his father passing away, but then you dive in and it’s a pretty crazy story.”

Harris, a Long Island native, was fortunate enough to see Jordan play at Madison Square Garden when he was a kid alongside his father, longtime NBA agent Torrel Harris — founder and CEO of Unique Sports Management — and his older brother, Tyler Harris. It proved to be a memorable evening. “We kept asking my dad if we could meet him after the game and he was just telling us maybe,” Tobias recalled. “But it ended up happening and it was unbelievable. As we were walking away I realized I didn’t get him to sign my card. So my dad had to pull him back and get him to sign our cards. Tyler and I were so excited on the train ride back. I kept thinking my dad was so cool because he knows Michael Jordan. I ended up losing the card on the way back, but it didn’t matter because I had gotten to meet him. It was an unforgettable experience.”

While most of the responses have been incredibly positive, Michael’s 27-year-old daughter, Jasmine Jordan, exclusively tells ET that her dad “hasn’t paid any attention” to what people are saying about it on social media, including “all the new memes/gifs being created.” In addition to Jasmine, Michael shares two sons, Jeffrey, 31, and Marcus, 29, with ex-wife Juanita Vanoy, and 6-year-old twins Victoria and Isabel with Yvette Prieto, whom he married in 2013.

One person that was noticeably absent from the 10-part docuseries was Jasmine’s mother, Juanita. Jasmine tells ET that her mom was not in it “simply because she already lived it, of course.” “The doc’s focus was on the team as a whole and their last season,” she said, referencing her dad’s sixth NBA championship with the Bulls in 1998. “My dad is a major focal point, obviously, but it still was about the team as a whole in their final run together, so that’s why she wasn’t in it.”

You know, there weren’t major things, but it was like… when a TV movie comes on, and they say, ‘This is based on a true story.’ That’s what that was. It was based on a true story. There were all of the outlines of what happened, but a lot of the detail… like the pizza thing, the poison, that was complete nonsense. There were a couple of other things like that I won’t go into. They weren’t major, but the thing at the end was a complete, blatant lie.”

Smith also went into more detail about Jordan’s comments on wanting to return for a seventh title (around the 10:40 mark of the Dan Patrick interview). He didn’t want to play that next year. He could’ve, in any number of ways. So he made that up too at the end. That ‘I wish I could’ve come back.’ ‘I wanted to come back.’ He didn’t want to come back. … If he wanted that one year and the $40 million, he could’ve gotten it. He just didn’t want to play. I mean, we saw it with Ahmad (Rashad) in all those scenes. ‘Hey, I’ve had enough. I’m outta here. I gotta move on.’

Success of ‘The Last Dance’ may be enough to fuel ESPN in the absence of live sports. The Michael Jordan docuseries is now the network’s most-watched documentary and the positive numbers have led ESPN to move up the release dates of three other ‘30 for 30’ documentaries. The network has also ordered a nine-part series on Tom Brady that will air next year. ‘The Last Dance’ By The Numbers Averaged 5.6 million U.S. viewers across the 10 episodes. 23.8 million households have watched it outside the U.S. Ranks as 10 of the 11 most-watched telecasts among the key 18-34 demo since mid-March. No. 1 trending topic on Twitter for five straight Sundays. More social conversation on a per-episode basis than any TV series this year.


The Houston Rockets guard told CNBC Wednesday that he’s halfway through ESPN’s documentary “The Last Dance,” which details the last championship run of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls during the 1997-98 season. Harden said he’s slowly dissecting the documentary, analyzing Jordan’s competitiveness as he awaits the NBA’s return. “I just can’t watch it to watch it,” Harden said. “I want to see the ins and out and everything because at the end of the day, I am a competitor and I want to see what those dudes were going through.”
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May 21, 2022 | 6:32 am EDT Update

Darvin Ham the coach LeBron James wants?

The Lakers may be willing to take that leap of faith because Ham spent two years with the organization. His personality isn’t easily forgotten. Ham brings a lot of energy to a gym. He’s arguably the best fit for the locker room, with veterans like LeBron James, Anthony Davis and possibly Russell Westbrook in need of a coach they can relate to and respect. “He’s the guy LeBron wants,” a competing source said. It will be up to Ham to spell out his basketball vision, in general and in context to the Lakers’ roster makeup. He could be the hire if he can sell that side to the team’s front office.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 119 more rumors
He also has a reputation for being a bit headstrong or rigid in personality. He’s going to demand respect, but he’s going to need to clarify precisely why he and the Nets divorced in-season. Is he the right coach for star players with strong personalities like James? Atkinson may have the most outside-the-box style of the three finalists. Per a competing source, he’s similar to Toronto Raptors head coach Nick Nurse, willing to experiment with unconventional strategies to win by whatever means necessary.

Warriors overcome 19-point deficit, take Game 2 vs. Mavs

The Warriors came back from a 19-point deficit to beat the Dallas Mavericks 126-117 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The Warriors now have a 2-0 advantage in the series. The first two quarters of the game were owned by the Mavericks. They hit 15 3-pointers in the first half, setting a new franchise record for 3s made in a playoff half. Luka Doncic and Jalen Brunson became the second pair of starting guards to each score 20 points in the first half of a playoff game in the past 25 seasons. “I told them that if we developed some poise in the second half, the game would come to us,” Kerr said. “But I thought we were so scattered in the first half. Maybe emotionally more so than anything. Dallas came out and just punched us. We felt confident that if we [got poised], they wouldn’t make 15 3s in the second half.”
On defense, Looney held the Mavericks to 1-of-11 shooting from the field as the primary defender, including holding Doncic to 0-of-3. He also grabbed 12 rebounds. Looney is accustomed to being switched onto guards like Doncic. During the Warriors’ dynastic runs, he was switched onto James Harden when Golden State faced Houston multiple times during the postseason. “I take kind of the same approach,” Looney said. “I’m just a little bit more battle-tested. That was my first time playing on a big stage like this. I don’t know if even my teammates had the most faith in me, but they put me out there and I handled it pretty well.