‘Mentally, I don’t think they were strong enough’: Dennis Rodman fires back at former Chicago Bulls team-mates who said criticism of Michael Jordan was edited out of Netflix show ‘The Last Dance’
- Netflix’s series ‘The Last Dance’ has been a hit but there has been criticism
- Former Chicago Bulls star Horace Grant labelled it a ‘so-called documentary’
- It has been claimed that criticism of Michael Jordan was edited out of the show
- But Dennis Rodman has hit back at his former team-mates over their ire
Dennis Rodman has fired back at his former Chicago Bulls team-mates and said they were not mentally strong enough to deal with Michael Jordan after criticism of ‘The Last Dance’.
Rodman was part of the ultra-successful Bulls side that won three straight championships in 1996, 1997 and 1998, completing a second ‘three-peat’ in the process and was featured heavily in the recently released Netflix series.
Despite its popularity, the documentary has attracted criticism due to its supposed pro-Jordan slant – with the legendary player having served as a producer.
Dennis Rodman has been discussing his time with the Chicago Bulls on Good Morning Britain
The former basketball player discussed ‘The Last Dance’ with Piers Morgan on the show
Rodman was part of the ultra-successful Bulls side that managed a second ‘three-peat’
Horace Grant, who left the Bulls in 1994, described it as a ‘so-called documentary’ and suggested Jordan was painted in a better light than reality.
‘I would say [the documentary was] entertaining, but we know, who was there as team-mates, that about 90 per cent of it [was] BS in terms of the realness of it,’ Grant said on ESPN 1000’s Kap and Co podcast.
‘It wasn’t real – because a lot of things [Jordan] said to some of his team-mates, that his team-mates went back at him. But all of that was kind of edited out of the documentary, if you want to call it a documentary.’
But Rodman has defended Jordan from the likes of Grant and hinted that they believed the star had thrown them under the bus.
Michael Jordan and the documentary have attracted criticism from other Bulls team-mates
Speaking on Good Morning Britain this morning, Rodman said: ‘It was amazing to see the documentary.
‘You saw Michael Jordan and (coach) Phil Jackson… one time I said, “You know what I need to take a break I need to go to Vegas for a weekend – I have to get my mind right”.
‘I didn’t need that. I just wanted to get that. Phil Jackson said, “Let him go”. Michael said, “If anyone needs a vacation, I do”. They said, “Go ahead” and gave me 48 hours.’
‘Of course I didn’t take 48 hours – I took like four days.
Rodman defended Jordan and suggested other team-mates were not mentally strong enough
‘He didn’t really pull me on that because I had already that will to win because I came from winners in Detroit and San Antonio.
‘The players were a little upset because they felt Michael was throwing them under the bus. “You guys wasn’t doing what I want you to do, I’m the greatest, I’m determined to win no matter what”.
‘The next thing you know Michael starts to talking about the whole team… the team-mates I played with.
‘Mentally I don’t think they were strong enough to handle that, because Phil Jackson is a laid back coach. Michael is more like, “I’m going to do it watch me be famous”. I didn’t care because I was already famous.’
Rodman also hailed Jordan’s determination and competitiveness, no matter the sport
Asked what made Jordan such a good player, Rodman continued: ‘I think his determination… he just wanted to win so bad, no matter what it is.
‘It can be tossing pennies against the wall, it can be who can sweep the fastest, spin the bottle…
‘I think he was beyond his years, transcending. I trusted him in a different way off the court.
‘Everybody wants to be like him, I hate to say the cliche but everyone wants to be like Mike.’
Former team-mate Horace Grant claimed that ’90 per cent’ of the documentary was ‘BS’
Rodman then clarified that he was still close with Jordan and Scottie Pippen, seeing the former regularly in Florida, New York and California.
Grant isn’t the only Chicago Bulls man left dismayed by ‘The Last Dance’.
According to ESPN Radio host David Kaplan, Jordan’s most integral team-mate, Scottie Pippen, is ‘beyond livid’ and ‘angry’ at his portrayal in the series.
The second episode details how Pippen is embroiled in a fierce contract dispute with the Bulls and he delayed surgery on his ankle until the beginning of the 1997-98 season, which kept him sidelined for two months.
Jordan labelled Pippen’s decision ‘selfish’ and it is that, according to Kaplan, that has sparked Pippen’s ire.
‘Pippen felt like up until the last few minutes of Game 6 against the Jazz (in the 1998 NBA Finals), it was just ‘bash Scottie, bash Scottie, bash Scottie”‘ Kaplan said.
Scottie Pippen (second left) is reported to be unhappy with his portrayal in the documentary
Kaplan also claimed on his ESPN 100 radio show that Pippen ‘didn’t know what he was getting himself into’ regarding the series overall.
The Last Dance director Jason Hehir responded to recent criticism earlier this week and made it clear that Jordan himself was not directly involved in producing the 10-part series.
‘There is never one moment where Michael Jordan or his representatives said you cannot talk about this subject, or this is off-limits,’ he told the Athletic.
‘Don’t ask this question. There wasn’t one moment that they said take this out because it doesn’t reflect well on Michael.’
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