In anticipation of “The Last Dance,” bits and pieces of the story have been leaking out about what to expect in the 10 part documentary. If there’s one thing that won’t catch anyone off guard, it’s the fact that MJ was a tough teammate. It can’t get more intense from what we already know. Or can it?
We may be in for a surprise. Richard Deich got to see some of the footage, and one of the main things Jordan talked about was his skepticism about the whole project. Despite the fact his competitive nature’s been mostly glorified and mythologies, Jordan is still unsure how some of the scenes are going to sit with people. Here’s the interaction between Jordan and director Jason Hehir.
“I said to him, ‘Why do you want to do this?’ And he said, ‘I don’t.’ And I said, ‘Why not?’ And he said, ‘When people see this footage I’m not sure they’re going to be able to understand why I was so intense, why I did the things I did, why I acted the way I acted, and why I said the things I said.’”Jason Hehir, via The Athletic
Either MJ’s not been reading a thousand different stories about his intensity and insane competitiveness, or we only heard the mild versions. In a way, I’m hoping it’s the second scenario. But, it would mean someone got a rough deal playing with the Bulls. According to MJ, we are going to feel very sorry for Scotty Burrell.
“He said there was a guy named Scotty Burrell who he rode for the entire season and, ‘When you see the footage of it, you’re going to think that I’m a horrible guy. But you have to realize that the reason why I was treating him like that is because I needed him to be tough in the playoffs and we’re facing the Indiana’s and Miami’s and New York’s in the Eastern Conference. He needed to be tough, and I needed to know that I could count on him. And those are the kind of things where people see me acting the way I acted in practice; they’re not going to understand it.’”Jason Hehir, via The Athletic
ESPN plans two versions of ‘The Last Dance.’ One, with all the athletes’ rough language intact, will air on the company’s flagship cable network; the other, with profanity edited out, will air simultaneously on ESPN2. I hope you won’t have to watch it on ESPN2.