REPORT: 2 players refused to be in Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’
“The Last Dance” aired its final two episodes on Sunday in what was undeniably a bittersweet finale. With the unparalleled success of the hit docu-series, one would think that anybody and everybody would have jumped at the opportunity to take part in the historic documentary of NBA legend Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls.
As it turns out, however, this was not the case for two former Utah Jazz players. According to “The Last Dance” director Jason Hehir, both Karl Malone and Bryon Russell refused to be interviewed for the show.
Last Dance director Jason Hehir says Karl Malone and Bryon Russell were the only notable players to decline to be interviewed.
— Andrew Perloff (@andrewperloff) May 18, 2020
Hehir did not go into detail as to why the pair declined to take part in the series, but it would be safe to assume that they did not want to relive the heartbreak of losing to Michael Jordan and the Bulls in back-to-back NBA Finals meetings in 1997 and 1998.
At that time, Malone was one of Jordan’s biggest adversaries, with Episode 9 of “The Last Dance” even giving focus to how Jordan himself felt a little bit aggrieved by how Malone was voted as the 1997 MVP over him.
As for Russell, we all know what role he played in Jordan’s legacy. Unfortunately for the former Jazz guard, he was the victim of MJ’s game-winning and championship-clinching shot in Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals. The image of Russell skidding off as Jordan gave him a slight nudge before taking off for the game-winner will forever be etched in the history of the game.
For what it’s worth, John Stockton made an appearance on “The Last Dance,” and being an integral part of that Jazz team, there’s no denying that he still feels the pain of those defeats to this very day. Nonetheless, the NBA Hall of Fame point guard still opted to swallow his pride as he helped complete the epic documentary about one of, if not the greatest player of all time.