As the next 10-part documentary about the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-98 season, The last danceis eagerly awaited, series star NBA icon Michael Jordan is concerned that the series will paint the best portrait of him as a teammate. Jordan was notoriously competitive, and just as he held himself to an extremely high standard during his playing days, he did the same with his teammates. And even if he won six NBA titles at the top of the Bulls with this style, it may sound a bit extreme or excessive for an average observer.
“When people see this sequence, I’m not sure they will be able to understand why I was so intense, why I did the things I did, why I acted the way I did and why I said the things I said, “said Jordan, via director Jason Hehir in an interview with Richard Deitsch of The Athletic.
“When you see the images of [me riding with Scott Burrell], you’re going to think I’m a horrible guy. But you have to realize that the reason I was treating him like this is because I needed him to be tough in the playoffs and we face Indiana, Miami and New York at the Eastern Conference . He had to be tough and I had to know that I could count on him. And that’s the kind of thing where people see me acting like I’ve done in practice, they won’t understand it. “
According to Jordan, once a player joined the Bulls, he had to meet a certain standard, and if that standard was not met, it was his job to intervene, as he explained in the seventh episode . of the documentary.
“Look, winning a prize,” said Jordan in the documentary. “And leadership comes at a price. So I trained people when they didn’t want to be fired. I challenged people when they didn’t want to be challenged. And I deserved this right because my teammates who came after me did not endure all the things that I endured. Once you joined the team, you lived to a certain level that I played the game. And I was not going to take any less. Now, if that means I had to go out there and get in your ass a little bit, then I did it. You ask all my teammates. The only thing about Michael Jordan is that he never asked me to do something he didn’t do.
“When people see that, they will say,” Well, he wasn’t really a good guy. He may have been a tyrant. “Well, it’s you. Because you never won anything. I wanted to win, but I wanted them to win too. I don’t do it because that’s who I am. That’s how I played the game. It was my mentality. If you don’t want to play that way, don’t play that way. “
Say what you want about Jordan’s methods, but you can’t dispute the results: six championships in six trips to the final and six MVP Awards. He may have been rough around the edges, but he made the most of the teams he was on, and for that reason – as well as many others – he is widely regarded as the greatest basketball player in all the time.