While Michael Jordan's The Last Dance is now ESPN's most successful documentary, Jordan's teammates are not quite happy with their portrayal in the ten-part docu-series. Reports have spoken about Scottie Pippen being upset over the documentary, while Horace Grant called Michael Jordan a 'snitch' after its conclusion. The series started on April 19 and came to an end this past weekend.
David Kaplan, who hosts the ESPN 1000's Kap and Company revealed that Scottie Pippen is 'livid' and 'so angry' with his portrayal in The Last Dance. Kaplan further explained Pippen's situation, stating that the Bulls great did not 'realise what he was getting himself into' when he agreed to do the documentary. He also revealed that Pippen believed it was only 'bash Scottie, bash Scottie, bash Scottie' till the final few minutes of the episode that covers Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz.
The Last Dance highlighted several negative moments of Pippen's career including the ankle surgery that made him miss the beginning of the 1997-98 season. Pippen reportedly demanded a trade as he was unhappy with his contract and decided to have the surgery in the summer so he would miss the first half of season. Jordan called Pippen 'selfish' for delaying his surgery and said Pippen could have been ready to play if he had gotten his surgery after the 1997 NBA Finals. The documentary also covered the second round of the 1994 playoffs against the New York Knicks. Scottie Pippen, who led the Bulls to their 55-27 win-loss record that season, was not given the chance for the final shot, which instead went to Toni Kukoc. In his interview for the documentary, the Pippen stated that he did not like how things transpired back then, but he would not change anything if he were to go back in time.
Convos with Scottie and Harp. pic.twitter.com/e1EQT7nVQR— Chicago Bulls Archive (@BullsArchive) May 22, 2020
Jordan also commented on the situation, having told coach Phil Jackson that he did not know "if Scottie is ever going to live this down". As per reports, Pippen is unhappy with how frustrated he has been portrayed as a person in the series. There was also speculation that the documentary left out certain details from the 1994 game, especially about how Pippen and Toni Kukoc were already at odds before the final shot as Pippen had messed up a previous offensive possession.
Horace Grant called The Last Dance a 'so-called documentary' and called Jordan a 'snitch'. He called Jordan's claims about him feeding information to Sam Smith for his book The Jordan Rules a 'downright, outright, complete lie'. He thinks that Jordan has a grudge against him and lied about him being the source. Grant added that though he has always been friends with Sam Smith, he would not 'put anything personal out there', especially the 'sanctity' of their Bulls locker room. He even pointed out that if Jordan did not have a grudge, why would he only mention Grant despite there being two sources for Smith's book.
While talking about the docu-series, Horace Grant stated that Jordan would cut anyone off who said something bad about him and would 'destroy' the person's character. He gave Charles Barkley's example, talking about how Barkley and Jordan were friends for over 20 years but stopped speaking after Barkley commented on Jordan's management with the Charlotte Hornets. He even called out Jordan for bringing up his rookie campaign, when he visited his teammate's room where he could see weed and drugs. Grant demanded to know why Jordan revealed that, as he does not think it was relevant. Grant further added that the documentary did not cover parts where teammates stood up to Jordan when he was challenging them. He confirmed Smith's story about Jordan denying him food after a bad game, stating that he did not take the action 'lightly'.
Director Jason Hehir revealed that former Utah Jazz stars Karl Malone and Bryon Russell refused to give interviews, while John Stockton agreed. During an interview, Hehir stated that Russell probably refused as he knew what questions would be asked, and maybe did not want 'to go there'. While talking about Malone, he added that they had always known he would be difficult to convince.