The documentary “The Last Dance” left fans wondering if the leaders of the Chicago Bulls could have brought the team back for a possible shot at a seventh NBA championship.
Team owner Jerry Reinsdorf and Michael Jordan both had their final say on whether the team could have been brought home for a final run.
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“After the sixth championship, things were out of our control because it would have been suicidal at this point in their careers to bring back Pippen, Steve Kerr, Rodman, Ron Harper. Their individual market value was going to be too high. They weren’t worth the money they were going to get in the market, “said Reinsdorf.
“So when we realized we were going to have to rebuild, I went to see Phil [Jackson] and said, “You are happy to have the opportunity to come back next year. But he said, “I don’t want to go through reconstruction. I don’t want to coach a bad team. It was the end. It just ended on its own. If Michael was healthy and wanted to come back, I have no doubt that Krause could have rebuilt another championship team in a few years, but that was not going to happen instantly. “
Jordan said he did not believe Reinsdorf because then general manager Jerry Krause had already said before the season started that Jackson could have remained unbeaten and that the team would not be returning.
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“We knew they weren’t going to keep the team. Now they could have deleted everything in early 1998. Why say this statement in early 1998? Wondered Jordan.
He added that if everyone were offered a one-year contract to try to get a seventh title, everyone, including themselves, would have signed the contract and tried.
“If you ask all the guys who won in 98, Steve Kerr, Jud Buechler, blah blah blah, we give you a one year contract to try a seventh, do you think they would have signed them? Yes, they would have signed them. Would I have signed for a year? Yes, I would have signed for a year. I had signed one-year contracts until then. Would Phil have done it? Yes. Now, Pip, you should have shown conviction, but if Phil was to be there, Dennis was to be there, if M.J. was to be there, to win our seventh? Pip is not going to miss this, “he said.
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Jordan said he did not have a chance to win a seventh “maddening” title.