Sunday evening concluded the 10-part series of “The Last Dance”, the penultimate episode devoting considerable time to the final of the 1998 Eastern Conference between the Chicago Bulls and the Indiana Pacers. Michael Jordan and Reggie Miller took turns to detail the events of this streak of seven hard-fought games, Jordan concluding that thethe Bulls faced east during these championship years – apart from the Bad Boys Pistons.
Miller’s prospect of playing against Jordan was a welcome addition, because even though the Pacers and Bulls don’t have as rich a history as the Pistons or Knicks, Miller’s confidence provided memorable moments between the two players.
“He and I had a somewhat unique relationship,” said Miller in the documentary. “Most people feared Michael Jordan, and rightly so. But I didn’t fear Michael Jordan like the rest of the league, and we had to lock the horns on it. I respected him so much, but he probably thought I was just a kid, a skinny kid. “
However, getting Miller to agree to being interviewed for the docuseries was quite a journey. “The Last Dance” director Jason Hehir discussed the possibility of interviewing Miller on the “Jalen & Jacoby Aftershow” on ESPN after the Sunday night finale.
“It took us a while to get Reggie,” Hehir told Jalen Rose and David Jacoby. “We called and called and called and emailed and called and called and called, and finally he agreed to sit down. “I don’t know if he didn’t receive these calls or if he avoided them or what. But he gave an excellent interview. You have to give it to the guy, because I know it has to sting to this day to be so close, because this team was amazing. “
This persistent sting of losing in game 7 of the conference finals is apparently the reason why Miller didn’t want to be interviewed in the first place. Rose, who had been Miller’s teammate for five years in Indiana, couldn’t even get Miller to agree to be part of the documentary.
“I was originally trying to get him interviewed for this documentary, and he doesn’t want to do it,” said Rose. “It was too much pain. “
In the end, Miller decided to participate in the documentary, but it is understandable why he would not want to be part of it in the first place. As Hehir noted in the Sunday evening interview, Jordan’s greatness came at the expense of a significant amount of Hall of Fame talent who did not win championships, or even reach the finals of the NBA. Miller is certainly on this list of players, but by agreeing to be interviewed for the documentary, he shows how much respect he still has for Jordan.