Ken Burns, one the best living documentarians, criticized “The Last Dance” basically saying it’s more of an infomercial than a documentary. The fact that the main subject of the doc is also a producer and has the final say on everything that we see is “not the way you do good journalism.” It appears Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen agree.
Grant was vocal in one of the episodes, explicitly saying that he was not a source for “The Jordan Rules.” The doc implied Sam Smith got a lot of his inside stuff from Grant, who was known for having a good relationship with the journalist.
“Sam and I have always been great friends. We’re still great friends. But the sanctity of that locker room, I would never put anything personal out there.”Horace Grant, ESPN
Grant pointed out Smith was an investigative journalist before writing about sports and that everything he wrote had at least two sources. Yet the doc only talked about him as a source for the book. What would be MJ’s motive for this?
“It’s only a grudge, man. I’m telling you, it was only a grudge. And I think he proved that during this so-called documentary. When if you say something about him, he’s going to cut you off, he’s going to try to destroy your character.”Horace Grant, ESPN
If we learned something about Michael Jordan, it’s that the man is the GOAT of holding grudges. He cut off Barkley after decades of friendship for criticizing his GM moves with the Hornets. Never got over the Bulls putting him on a minutes restriction after he secretly played at North Carolina while recovering from a broken foot. It’s no secret “The Jordan Rules” pulled down the curtain on Jordan’s image, and if he thought Grant talked to Smith for the book, that is something Jordan would never let go.
Players take the sanctity of the lockerroom seriously; that’s why Grant is so outspoken about the issue. “Snitch” is one of the worst attributes a player can get. What troubles Grant is that Jordan isn’t judged by the same standards as the rest – that’s why he constantly refers to “The Last Dance” as a “so-called documentary.”
“And my point is, he said that I was the snitch, but yet and still after 35 years he brings up his rookie year going into one of his teammates’ rooms and seeing coke, and weed and women. My point is: Why the hell did he want to bring that up? What’s that got to do with anything? I mean, if you want to call somebody a snitch, that’s a damn snitch right there.”Horace Grant, ESPN
Grant didn’t stop there. According to him, a lot of the scenes have been edited to make it seem everyone was intimidated by Jordan. His most glorified attribute is his competitive drive, no matter how far it went. Practice was often harder than games, and everyone was on their toes – that’s the story we were told. Grant says a lot of them went back at Mike, and he would rarely step up.
“Let me clear something up about this food thing, that he tried to take my food. I would have beat his ass, guys … you come back and try to take my food? I would have whipped his ass. [There] wouldn’t be no Air Jordans right now. It wouldn’t be no six championships, I guarantee you that.”Horace Grant, ESPN
Grant isn’t the only Bull unhappy with the documentary. Jackie MacMullan pointed out that “Pippen has been notably silent since the documentary began its run last month, and those close to him say he’s wounded and disappointed by his portrayal.” Pip’s migraine game and the time he refused to go into the game when Kukoč got the last shot were covered a lot more than his heroic performance in Game 6 in Utah with an injured back.
For MJ to call him out on the migraine game and fighting with Reinsdorf over his contract was a low blow Pip never expected, and definitely did not deserve. Forget about everything he did on the court – Pippen kept the locker room together. Scottie was one of the main reasons MJ’s whole shtick didn’t burn everyone out.
If the 90s Bulls have a group text and only one guy isn’t on it, my money would be on MJ.