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"You're going to think that I'm a horrible guy" - Jordan on Last Dance

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

4:30 PM - 16 Apr 2020



Michael Jordan - perhaps the greatest player to ever take to a basketball court - is worried that time will not be kind to the perception of him. 

A 10-part documentary series The Last Dance will debut on ESPN this Sunday looking back on Jordan's career through the prism of his final season with the Chicago Bulls. The series will be available from Monday April 20 in Ireland.

But the Bulls great fears that the intervening 22 years may not cast his actions in the kindest of lights.

"When people see this footage I'm not sure they're going to be able to understand why I was so intense, why I did the things I did, why I acted the way I acted, and why I said the things I said", Jordan told The Athletic.

"When you see the footage of [me riding with Bulls teammate Scott Burrell], you're going to think that I'm a horrible guy.

"But you have to realise that the reason why I was treating him like that is because I needed him to be tough in the playoffs and we're facing the Indiana's and Miami's and New York's in the Eastern Conference.

"He needed to be tough and I needed to know that I could count on him. And those are the kind of things where people see me acting the way I acted in practice, they're not going to understand it."

Speaking in the documentary itself, Jordan says there were standards that needed maintaining in the Bulls locker-room, "When people see this they are going say, 'Well he wasn't really a nice guy. He may have been a tyrant.' Well, that's you. Because you never won anything.

"I wanted to win, but I wanted them to win to be a part of that as well. Look, I don't have to do this. I am only doing it because it is who I am. That's how I played the game. That was my mentality.

"If you don't want to play that way, don't play that way."

Jordan was an All-Star in 14 of the 15 years he played in the NBA, winning six championships along the way.

The former no.23 told Good Morning America on Thursday that the final 1997-98 season with the Bulls was mentally taxing, "It was a trying year, we all were trying to enjoy that year knowing that it was coming to an end.

"Phil [Jackson] started off the year by saying, 'this is the last dance,' and we played it that way."

Jordan attributes his success to the hard-working nature instilled in him by his family, but singles out one member for particular praise.

"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my brother Larry", he told GMA. Larry pushed me and we used to fight after every game, but through that fight, you know, emerged someone like me.

"He supports me and he works for me and the team and I never would have gotten this far without him."



Read more about

Basketball Good Morning America Michael Jordan NBA The Last Dance

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