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    Luc Longley did all he could, even changed phone number, to avoid Last Dance spotlight

    May 20, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    DESPITE his name being dragged into conversations as Michael Jordan’s documentary hit viewership records, Luc Longley has kept silent.

    The former Chicago Bulls center has avoided interviews, even reportedly canceling one at the last minute recently, and now a teammate has confirmed he has also changed his phone number to stay away from the glow of the recently relit spotlight.

    Fellow Australian basketball great Andrew Gaze said Longley was simply being Longley.

    “He changed his phone number because he didn’t want to be bothered with that stuff. That shouldn’t be a criticism of him. We’re all different and that’s the way he is,” Gaze said in an article on news.com.au.

    “He lives out in his farm in the middle of nowhere.

    “That’s just the way he was. He didn’t seek out the limelight.”

    It doesn’t keep his name from being included in the conversation as The Last Dance continues to make noise.

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    Publications recently have referred to an article from 1998, described by Rick Telander on ESPN The Magazine as Phil Jackson's reflections on what he believes is the last running of these Bulls, in presenting one of the mild-mannered Aussie’s encounters with the documentary’s villainous protagonist.

    “Sometimes in a film session, I get upset and wonder what we're doing, why we can't put it together consistently. The other day, I stopped the film after watching Luc Longley screw up again, and I just said, "Everybody makes mistakes. And I made one coming back here with this team this year." I meant it in sort of a light-hearted way. But then Michael says, "Me too." So it weighed pretty heavy on everyone.

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    “Later on in the session, Luc says, kind of to everyone, in the dark, "It's easy to criticize." He was hurt. Then Tex Winter jumped in and said, "Luc, I don't understand you. You don't have the right attitude." A shrug is a big deal for Luc; he is a loveable guy. But he says to Tex, "I wasn't talking about the coaching staff. Michael is the one being critical. I just want to let him know it's easy to criticize.'' And then Michael says, "The only thing that upsets me is when we lose. I think you should resolve to make yourself better the next time. Change.”

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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