When Michael Jordan retired from basketball to play baseball in 1993, Luc Longley was signed to the Chicago Bulls by Jerry Krause.
The Australian big man was one of the most popular members of the Bulls’ threepeat roster. However, he didn’t always fall on Jordan’s good side, especially not during his early days in 1994-95.
Jordan was working his way back into full basketball fitness at the end of that season. He had little patience for teammates who didn’t display the same competitive spirit and drive for improvement as he did himself.
As a result, Jordan’s relationship with yet another big man was soured. In case you didn’t know, Jordan didn’t get along particularly well with Bill Cartwright either.
A fallout of that came to affect Jordan’s relationship with his big man over 2 decades later. Longley was not interviewed by the documenters who filmed The Last Dance. This caused an uproar of sorts Down Under.
ABC News has since done an in-depth documentary series on the 7’2″ center’s own Last Dance experience. It was released this morning by the media outlet on their YouTube channel.
Michael Jordan accepts blame for cutting Australian big man out of The Last Dance
Unlike Jordan’s camp, however, the filmmakers for this documentary series had the common courtesy to approach Longley’s former teammate for a comment.
To MJ’s credit, he owned up to the error in his ways in not focusing on his big Australian teammate. In a statement to ABC News, he accepted the blame for not bringing Longley up in his doc:
“I can understand why Australia would say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t we include Luc?’ And we probably should have. And if I look back and could change anything, that’s probably what I would have changed.”
Luc Longley himself, however, does not hold a grudge with Michael Jordan for this slight. He did indeed feel negatively about being snubbed initially, but his latest statement reveals his current feelings:
“Why was I not in the doco? I don’t really know, to be honest. The self-deprecating Australian in me thinks it’s because I’m not that exciting. I was playing a huge role but it wasn’t one that was that sexy.”
“There were so many beautiful, bright, shiny stars out there to focus on, that, you know, it makes sense to me that that story wasn’t about me. Makes perfect sense.”