The Last Dance documentary may have come at a steep price for the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty.
The Last Dance 10-part documentary which aired on ESPN chronicling the 1998 Chicago Bulls‘ championship has come to an end. In the midst of a global pandemic, it was exactly what sports-starved fans needed. For five weeks, it distracted everyone from the harsh reality that we all face in our daily lives as we continue to deal with a global pandemic.
While it was a much-needed reprieve for many and loved by millions across the globe, there were certainly a few who did not care for it, to put it mildly. In fact, since the documentary ended, it has come out through the press that some of those who disliked it the most were Michael Jordan‘s former teammates who were featured in the piece.
The first whiff we got of discord between the former members of the Bulls dynasty came from their former enforcer, Horace Grant. In the documentary, Jordan claimed that Grant was one of the sources who leaked information to Sam Smith for his book The Jordan Rules.
Grant immediately fired back on ESPN’s Kap and Co.
Lie, lie, lie. … If MJ had a grudge with me, let’s settle this like men. Let’s talk about it. Or we can settle it another way. But yet and still, he goes out and puts this lie out that I was the source behind the book.
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.
It would appear, based on those comments, Grant and Jordan won’t be exchanging Christmas cards this year, and perhaps their relationship was already strained, but Jordan’s statements in the documentary did nothing to mend those fences.
Another player whose relationship with MJ may be souring is his partner in crime during their six championships, Scottie Pippen. This one comes as more of a surprise considering the two seemed to have a pretty good relationship leading up to the show.
However, David Kaplan of ESPN again broke the news of some discord between former teammates. According to his source, Pippen is “so angry” and “beyond livid” with how he was portrayed throughout the documentary.
Certainly, the main source of his displeasure comes from how he was portrayed when he chose to sit out the final 1.8 seconds in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the New York Knicks. The BUlls were down 2-0 in the series, and with the game tied, the final play was designed to go to Toni Kukoc. This bothered Pippen who refused to enter the game, which Kukoc ultimately won at the buzzer.
Pippen, although he willingly participated in the documentary, apparently does not like how he has been portrayed in it. Perhaps he regrets participating or perhaps he thought he would be painted in a better light considering his contributions to the dynasty. Either way, it seems clear Jordan ‘s relationship with yet another one of his former teammates is souring.
Based on what we know about Jordan’s personality, perhaps he doesn’t care. He wrote off a long-time friend in Charles Barkley, and there is certainly no love lost with Isaiah Thomas with whom he has publicly beefed for a long time. That just seems to be who he is. However, for fans looking to the future for the Bulls to reconvene for a reunion or celebration of their dynasty, things could get really awkward.