WHILE the Michael Jordan documentary has elicited reactions from its secondary characters, one key player in that three-peat run has kept silent.
Luc Longley is mentioned, but not featured in the well-received series that presents Jordan, widely accepted as the greatest basketball player of all time, as a villainous protagonist.
Guard Steve Kerr recalled Jordan’s harsh language, and the Sydney Morning Herald noted in an article on Saturday “a lot of that talk was also directed at Longley.”
Part of the Bulls run of three championships from 1996, Longley reportedly declined requests for interviews. The Australia Boomers assistant coach recently seemed ready to open up, set for an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald, but suddenly cancelled.
“He's become so frustrated with the volume of approaches he's changed his mobile phone number,” the Herald said in an article by SMH chief sports writer Andrew Webster on Saturday.
“Why is anyone’s guess. Longley had been prepared to speak to the Herald at the start of the week before curiously changing his mind with no reason given.”
Webster noted that Longley wrote about the relationship with Jordan in his book “Running With The Bulls,” published in 1996.
“I’d have to say after he came back, I really didn't like the guy,” he wrote.
“I found him difficult to be around and he and I obviously didn't see eye-to-eye. We were at each other's throats in practice and that was a case of frustration from both of us, mostly from him.”
He could not be reached for new comment.
The Last Dance director Jason Hehir said budget constraints prevented them from to Australia and getting footage of Longley.
It also didn’t help that the Bulls starting center’s figure is dwarfed by the Big Three of Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman.
“Unfortunately, it was because of geography and budget,” Hehir told the Herald. “We were way over budget with the amount of people that we interviewed. It was tough to justify flying our crew to Australia. It would’ve been tens of thousands of dollars to go there.”
“If Luc was this gregarious storyteller, and had more of a vocal presence in the locker room, we may have worked harder to get him on camera.”