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Why Michael Jordan’s wives, Craig Hodges, Joe Dumars weren’t interviewed for ‘The Last Dance’

NBA, The Last Dance, Michael Jordan, Craig Hodges, Joe Dumars

While ESPN’s “The Last Dance” captivated basketball audiences around the world during the NBA’s hiatus, the series also has some conspicuous absences.

The 10 episodes of “The Last Dance” provide insight into Michael Jordan’s rise to the top of the NBA, as well as the inner machinations of the Chicago Bulls. Director Jason Hehir also made sure to dive into Jordan’s reputation as a demanding teammate.

However, some fans have wondered more about what did not make it into the series, including an almost entirely absent perspective on Jordan’s family life. “The Last Dance” executive producer Mike Tollin said he and Hehir did not feel the family fit in with the film’s general narrative.

Via Howard Bryant of ESPN:

“We had a checklist: gambling, conspiracy theory about retirement, his father’s death, his lack of activism and his teammates,” Tollin told me. “I think we touched on all categories. From the start, we asked ourselves, ‘Is this a workplace drama or is it a domestic one?’ We both believed it was a workplace story, and [director] Jason [Hehir] and I shared a general disinterest of the wives and children of the lead characters. Michael is one of the most private people of our lifetimes. He’s glad this is over. He wants to get on with his regularly scheduled life. Michael never said you can’t talk to either of his wives. We didn’t feel doing so advanced the story.”

Tollin attempted to make it clear Jordan did not preclude certain interviews or segments from being part of the film. There were 100s of people on the list to be interviewed for “The Last Dance,” but 105 people besides MJ getting an interview.

As Tollin stated, some of the interviews — including Jordan’s former teammate and social activist Craig Hodges — never “materialized.”

Moreover, Bryant said he asked former Detroit Pistons star and Hall of Fame guard Joe Dumars why he was not in the film. Dumars said he felt it was Jordan’s story to tell.

Jordan was one of the most domineering athletes in history. His competitive nature and historical sensitivity to criticism have lent a bit of skepticism as to how much of the narrative he controlled in “The Last Dance.”

But it seems, according to Tollin, some elements of the story never bore fruit in production.