Sport

"You're going to think that I'm a horrible guy" - Jordan on Last Dance

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

04:30 16 Apr 2020


Share this article


Michael Jordan - perhaps the greatest player to ever take to a basketball court - is worried that time will not be kind to the perception of him. 

A 10-part documentary series The Last Dance will debut on ESPN this Sunday looking back on Jordan's career through the prism of his final season with the Chicago Bulls. The series will be available from Monday April 20 in Ireland.

But the Bulls great fears that the intervening 22 years may not cast his actions in the kindest of lights.

"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", Jordan told The Athletic.

"When you see the footage of [me riding with Bulls teammate Scott Burrell], you're going to think that I'm a horrible guy.

"But you have to realise 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."

Speaking in the documentary itself, Jordan says there were standards that needed maintaining in the Bulls locker-room, "When people see this they are going say, 'Well he wasn't really a nice guy. He may have been a tyrant.' Well, that's you. Because you never won anything.

"I wanted to win, but I wanted them to win to be a part of that as well. Look, I don't have to do this. I am only doing it because it is who I am. That's how I played the game. That was my mentality.

"If you don't want to play that way, don't play that way."

Jordan was an All-Star in 14 of the 15 years he played in the NBA, winning six championships along the way.

The former no.23 told Good Morning America on Thursday that the final 1997-98 season with the Bulls was mentally taxing, "It was a trying year, we all were trying to enjoy that year knowing that it was coming to an end.

"Phil [Jackson] started off the year by saying, 'this is the last dance,' and we played it that way."

Jordan attributes his success to the hard-working nature instilled in him by his family, but singles out one member for particular praise.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my brother Larry", he told GMA. Larry pushed me and we used to fight after every game, but through that fight, you know, emerged someone like me.

"He supports me and he works for me and the team and I never would have gotten this far without him."


Share this article


Read more about

Basketball Good Morning America Michael Jordan NBA The Last Dance

You might like

Live: Title

Description

Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share

Next up on queue

Title
Description
Duration

There are currently no podcasts in the queue

Go to podcasts

On Air

The Sound of the City with And...

The Sound of the City with Andy Clarke

12:00-16:00

Share

Up next

The Sound of the City with Kar...

The Sound of the City with Karl Dawson

16:00-19:00

Share

98FM Throwback Anthems with Ba...

98FM Throwback Anthems with Barry Dunne

19:00-22:00

Share

98FM’s Hotmix

98FM’s Hotmix

22:00-00:00

Share

The Sound of the City at Night

The Sound of the City at Night

00:00-06:00

Share

The Sound of the City with Bre...

The Sound of the City with Brendan Roache

06:00-09:00

Share

Sunday Social

Sunday Social

09:00-12:00

Share

The Sound of the City with And...

The Sound of the City with Andy Clarke

12:00-16:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on