The Last Dance (2020): Season 1, Episode 7 - Episode VII - full transcript

Are you surprised
the team has stayed together

and the chemistry has been good

with the backstabbing between you
and coach and everything else?

First of all, there's no backstabbing
going on here, okay?

Okay? You understand me when I say that?

There's no backstabbing
going on here, okay?

Second, no, I'm not surprised at all.

And I'm amazed that you would
even make a statement like that,

but I'm not surprised at all because
this team is composed of professionals.

It's composed of guys who understand
what they have to do and who are winners,

unlike the comment you just made.
Gentlemen, good night.

Way to go, Craig.

A spectacular move!

The game's over!

Chicago Stadium is going wild!

First of all,
there's no backstabbing going on here.

It's time for me to move on.

This will be Phil's last year
as the coach of the Bulls.

- Are the expectations too high?
- Where do we go from here?

The only question:
how long can it last?

We're at
the United Center in Chicago,

opening of the NBA playoffs.

Tonight, game one of round one

and the start of a best-of-five series
against the New Jersey Nets.

Michael Jordan said
to lose a game to the Nets,

lose a game to the Nets,
his team would have to "fall asleep."

Can that backfire on him or does that
just not happen to Superman?

These are the Bulls.
They're not worried about the Nets.

This is a sweep. Bring the brooms out,
3-0, move on to the next series, man.

Come on.

Starts off with hard work,
ends in champagne. Let's start.

- What time is it?
- Game time!

The playoffs is the highest level
of competition that we have in our game.

You got 82 games in the regular season,

but you can kick all that aside.
The playoffs is the playoffs.

And to be able to play against
the best competition,

that was the driving force for me,
without a doubt.

Opening tip,
and it'll be Bulls possession.

And Keith Van Horn
gives the Nets the lead.

Now, you can see the athleticism
of the New Jersey Nets early on,

and a shocked crowd and Phil Jackson
watches the Bulls trail by seven.

And here is Kerry Kittles
with a great sweeping lay-in,

and New Jersey have taken a 12-3 lead.

Here's Ron Harper, stuffing it through.

And the Bulls have come back
to trail John Calipari's Nets.

Jordan over Kittles, hits.

But the Nets keep coming.
Under two minutes to go, it's Gatling.

He had 24, here are two of them.

Tied at 89, we go to overtime.

Knocked away, stolen by Michael!
MJ on the right.

Michael dunks the ball and a foul! Oh, my!

And here come the Nets.
Douglas for three. At the horn.

Short. Rebound Pippen, and that'll do it.

The Bulls win it.
Not without a scare from the Nets.

A pretty bumpy start
for the Bulls.

If Friday's opener is any indication,
Chicago could be in for a long series.

Watching this team
as they embarked on the playoffs,

you just had the feeling
that Michael Jordan

was mentally, emotionally exhausted.

He kind of looked like
the Michael Jordan of 1993.

Oliver Miller plays it.
Here's Johnson.

Johnson gets...
No, he could not get it off.

Knocked away by Grant. It's over!

The Chicago Bulls have made it
three straight NBA championships!

After we won the championship,
I sat in the gym with my father.

In the back of my mind,
I knew that was probably my last game.

And no one really knew
except for my father and myself.

He was my rock.
You know, we were very close.

He constantly gave me advice.

I remember in ninth grade,
I got suspended three times in one year,

and my father pulled me aside
that summer and said,

"Look, you don't look like
you're headed in the right direction.

You wanna go about doing all this
mischievous stuff, you can forget sports."

That's all I needed to hear.

From that point on,
it was like tunnel vision,

and I never got in trouble
from that point on.

He had a very strong influence
on Michael's life.

He just was a wonderful, positive man.

Hey... And I feel cool with this man.

I wanna negotiate my contract...

If you knew Michael,
you pretty much knew James

because they were always together.
They were very close. Best friends.

We'd hang out before the games,

and he'd find some kid
in the stands, somewhere,

some kid that never had a chance
in the world to meet Michael Jordan.

When the game was over,
he'd walk that kid in the locker room.

The kid would be through the roof.

James Jordan was there

when his son Michael led the Chicago Bulls
to their first NBA championship in 1991.

James and Deloris Jordan
remained an anchor for him.

They attended every Bulls game they could.

Around the NBA,

James Jordan relished his stand-in role
for a superstar son.

To tell you how proud I am, uh...

I'd have to search for more words
than what I've got.

He's a voice of reason
that always drove and challenged me.

That's the type of father I had.

- Like a friend?
- Yeah, like a friend.

I had to pick up
Michael's father from the airport.

He was supposed to come into town
for a charity event Michael was throwing.

And I went to the airport to pick up
his dad, and he never showed up.

So, of course, I called his mom and said,
"Hey, Pops isn't here."

We knew he was down
at the Hilton Head house, playing golf.

When we didn't hear from him,
we both thought,

"Well, okay, they're still playing golf."

She said, "Well, just come on back.
Don't worry about him.

He probably got sidetracked a bit.
He'll show up."

I was off doing my thing, and my mom said
she hadn't talked to him in some time.

He drives and goes down to Wilmington
to visit old friends,

stay a couple of days, drive back,

but my mother's always
in dialogue with him.

When she got worried, we all got worried.

Was it unusual for him
to be out of contact?

Oh, yes, definitely unusual.

I knew something wasn't right.

James Jordan, the father
of Bulls superstar Michael Jordan,

has not been seen for three weeks.

His car was found stripped and hidden

in some woods
near Fayetteville, North Carolina.

The car, a red Lexus,
was missing the license plates.

It was battered.
The windows were broken out.

You know, we try to backtrack
what his actions were.

He left a certain day.
He was driving back,

and just got tired. Instead of driving,
he pulled off and he just took a nap.

Next thing you know,
things happen the way they happen.

We're coming on the air now
with word that the body of James Jordan

has been found in a creek near the border
between South and North Carolina.

Investigators say Jordan
was driving late at night

when he pulled off the road
to take a nap...

And he was awakened.

And at that time,
he was shot once in the chest.

Two 18-year-old men
are charged

with the robbery
and murder of James Jordan.

As for Michael Jordan,

he arrived back home today
in North Carolina.

Back to face the most painful moments
of an already troubled year.

Meanwhile, Jordan's murder
adds another bitter twist to the dark side

of an all-American success story.

You know, that's just such a...

It's just such a horrible,
hard thing to talk about.

I can remember that,
flying into... North Carolina.

Michael couldn't tie his tie.

So I had to tie the tie for him,
and that moment was just so hard.

So hard of what we were there for.

We all were together,
and it was devastating,

but it was about support.
We had to support each other.

My mother was so strong.

And the first thing she says,
"You gotta be thankful."

And I started looking at the positive.

Michael's the one who got up and spoke,
and he spoke about, I think,

what a father he had been to him.
More of a father but also a friend.

He'd been there. A lot of things
he wouldn't share with anybody else,

he shared with his dad.

One of the things he taught me
is that you have to take a negative

and turn it into a positive.

So I started looking
to the other side of it,

and that helped me get through it.

When his dad was murdered,

all the articles,
the speculation that came out,

it was not journalism's finest hour.

The violent death sparked
a half-dozen theories about the motive,

some including possible connections
to gambling.

That was really bad.
That was really unfair.

Imagine your father gets killed
and they're blaming you?

That was really cheap-shot stuff.

It did hurt,

but you had people that were throwing
darts who wanted to hurt me anyway.

It wasn't from the people that I loved,

or people that knew me
and people that care.

It was the people that got tired
of me being on top.

Basketball superstar
Michael Jordan

issued a statement Thursday.

He expressed that he was outraged
by some media speculation

linking his behavior
to his father's murder.

Jordan said, "I simply cannot comprehend

how others could intentionally
pour salt in my open wound

by insinuating that mistakes in my life

are in some way connected
to my father's death."

There isn't a thimble's worth of evidence

to connect that horrible incident

to Michael Jordan's gambling

or any other aspect
of Michael Jordan's behavior.

Police said it was no more
than brutality and greed,

that James Jordan
"could have been any one of us."

What is still unclear
and will be for some time

is what effect this tragedy
will have on Michael Jordan

and his future with the Chicago Bulls.

Haven't thought about basketball.

I didn't think about basketball
before all this happened, so, uh...

Right now, everything's tentative
for my schedule from this point on.

David Falk came over to me
at a charity dinner

that was sponsored by Michael,

and said, "You're not gonna believe this,
but Michael wants to retire."

I said, "I don't believe it."

At that time, we were coming off
of three championships.

I fulfilled my responsibility
to the city,

to the Bulls, to my teammates.

I did not try to talk him out of it,
but I did say to him,

"You can't make a final decision
until you talk to Phil."

Where was that meeting?

Reinsdorf's office in the Berto Center.

- Just the two of you?
- Yeah.

When I told Phil, I said,
"Look, I'm about here. I'm about done.

I have no more challenges,
I have no motivation."

I was done.

This was... a young man that'd
gone through some heart-rending things.

You're denying a gift to society,
but I understand.

You know, I understand.

Game one of the
American League Championship Series

as the Chicago White Sox greet
the world champion Toronto Blue Jays.

Michael was scheduled
to throw out the first pitch.

He threw out the first pitch
of game one of the ALCS.

Then he went up into a private box
with his family.

I'm watching a White Sox
playoff game

in Comiskey Park.

A kid comes up and says,
"Mr. Reinsdorf wants to talk to you."

So I went up and I grab Jerry and,
"What's up?"

He said, "Michael's quitting."
I said, "What?

No, no. What's up? Don't joke with me,
that's serious stuff."

He said, "No, he's quitting, Jerr."

That game was a Tuesday,

and I wanted to hold the story
until Wednesday,

but it leaked out.

Breaking story here.

The Chicago Bulls have called
a press conference for tomorrow morning,

and there's high speculation and a report

that Michael Jordan will retire
from basketball forever.

So, all hell broke out at the ballpark
on a Tuesday night.

Media trying to get into my box
to get to Michael. It was wild.

Michael decided
to exit stage left in the seventh inning.

Jordan speeding away
from Comiskey Park without comment.

Did Michael
talk to you about it?

So, too, Chicago Bulls owner
Jerry Reinsdorf.

Before we continue tonight,

a late-breaking story
of enormous interest.

A shocking revelation tonight
for all Chicagoans.

Sources with the Chicago Bulls
have confirmed

that Michael Jordan will announce
his retirement effective immediately

at a Wednesday morning press conference.

CBS News will carry
Michael Jordan's announcement live.

Our coverage will begin this morning
at 11 o'clock Eastern time.

Allison, this is the ultimate
press conference.

Every cameraman and reporter
I've ever known in this business

from all parts of the country,
from Dick Schaap to Tom Brokaw,

to everyone here waiting for the arrival

of players, Michael Jordan, his entourage
and the Bulls management...

Whether you agree or not

that this should be the news story
of the year, it is.

Close to 100 cameras
from around the world...

Get ready for entry on camera.

...and three times
as many reporters.

They've come from everywhere,
from the local weeklies to network news.

That's a tribute to Michael Jordan's
presence in American life

as the greatest basketball player
who ever lived.

Here they come. Here they come.
Here he comes. Here he comes.

Michael Jordan now...
is entering.

Here's Michael Jordan,
taking his place at the podium,

surrounded by security.

It's hard to overstate
the loss of Michael Jordan

to the National Basketball Association

and to the heartbeat
of this community of Chicago.

He has led this team
to three NBA championships, of course.

The superstar's frequently
the talk of the town.

This time, the talk is more like
a chorus of mourning.

Michael all smiles.

Jerry Reinsdorf, Phil Jackson,
Jerry Krause.

NBA Commissioner David Stern
even in attendance.

It looks like The Last Supper.

This is a very bittersweet day.

There's a certain sadness

because the greatest athlete to ever play
a team sport is leaving the game,

but it's really, for me,
a very, very happy day

because somebody who I admire
and respect...

is doing exactly what he wants to do.

And I'm absolutely convinced that
he's doing the right thing.


Thanks, Jerry.
I'm a very optimistic person.

I guess the biggest positive thing
that I can take out of

my father not being here with me today
is that... he saw my last basketball game.

And that means a lot.

The word "retired" means...

you can do anything you want
from this day on.

So if I desire to come back
and play again,

maybe that's what I wanna do.

Maybe that's the challenge
I may need someday down the road.

I'm not gonna close that door.

I was at peace with that decision.

Totally, 100%.

You know, I felt ready.

Michael Jordan's retirement in 1993
was one of those seismic

"where were you when you
heard the news" moments.

And you immediately think, "Why?"

Nobody could rationalize
that Michael would just walk away.

There's one side of this

we ought to mention.
I don't wanna sound negative

but, uh, Michael did leave abruptly
in the middle of a gambling investigation.

Look at some of the events
that have recently happened.

His father was tragically murdered.

There's a number of questions
about his gambling.

And you start to connect some dots
and you think, "Is this all related?

Was this a secret suspension?"

The retirement,
there were people who said,

"David Stern suspended him. Wink, wink.

It's suspension, right?"

And that was... It was out there.

You're telling me...

that David Stern, the ultimate capitalist,
takes his number one player

on his number one franchise,

and unilaterally decides
to lower the value

of the rest of the league franchises
by taking him out

and the Bulls out effectively...


for some secret penalty,
and no one ever finds out about it?

What's your opinion
of the theory that

Commissioner Stern suspended Michael
for 18 months?

How can I phrase this delicately?

Total bullshit.

Can you use that?

Total bullshit.

There was so much speculative reporting.

Nobody had concrete facts,
nobody had anything.

The folklore, the urban legend that
I sent him away because he was gambling...

Ridiculous. It never...
No basis in fact whatever.

I could bang on the table
and say it's a calumny,

a slanderous lie or whatever.
It's just not true.

Never was and never will be, no matter
how many times people ask the question.

So Michael Jordan left
the league of his own volition in 1993?

Yes, he did.

I didn't retire
because he kicked me out

or they suspended me
for a year and a half.

That is not true.
There is no truth to that.

I needed a break, you know,
my father just passed and I retired.

I retired with the notion
that I wasn't going to come back.

The conspiracy stuff was stupid

because I had sat with him a year earlier,
and he told me what he was gonna do.

It was the summer of '92,
and it's the Dream Team summer.

You could tell he was really tired.

As tired as he looked
and as beat up as he looked,

I said, "So, what are you gonna do?"

Long pause, and he said,
"I'm gonna shock the world.

Now I'm gonna quit and go play baseball."

And I said, "When?"

And he said, "Well, I'd do it right now,

except Bird and Magic never won
three in a row,

and I gotta do the Olympics,

but if it wasn't for that,
I'd be playing this summer."

The big top for this circus
went up at 10:45 this morning.

Michael went through a series of drills,
including fielding, catching and throwing.

With batting practice done,

MJ headed to his news conference,
and rumor became reality.

Thank you all for coming out here today
and getting a glimpse of Michael.

After watching the progress that Michael
has made in the past two months,

I'd like to announce
that the Chicago White Sox

are extending an invitation

to Major League camp in Sarasota.

Hope you got a pen.

Along with the Bulls,
I owned the Chicago White Sox,

and when Michael was signed
to play baseball,

I continued paying
his basketball contract,

which was something
over $3 million a year.

There was no reason to pay him other than
he was underpaid his entire career,

and he made a lot of money
for a lot of people.

Picture this now. Bottom of the ninth,
bases loaded, 3-2.

Michael Jordan takes one out of the yard.

Michael Jordan
got what he wanted.

He is a rookie again.

A lot of people may think this...
off the wall.

Maybe it is but, I mean,
I'm doing something that I choose to do.

That's try to follow one of the dreams
that I had when I was a kid.

He'd always
loved playing baseball.

We thought we was going to be Major League
Baseball players, growing up as a kid.

He loves baseball, and his father
always wanted him to play baseball.

Do you recall
your last conversation with him?

We were debating, me and him.

We were debating
about me playing baseball.

"Dad, I wanna go play baseball.

I'm thinking about retiring.
I wanna play baseball."

And all the things that he was saying,
"Do it. Do it."

Because he got me started in baseball.

It was always his father's dream
that he'd be a baseball player.

I didn't try to talk him out of it,
but I did say,

"Playing baseball
is a lot harder than you think it is."

I said, "What position you gonna
be playing?" He says, "In the outfield."

So, I said, "Michael, let's understand
something here."

I said, "The workouts are going to be
totally different.

Two totally different methods
of training your body and muscles.

This is going to be detrimental
to your basketball game."

He's like, "I don't care.
Baseball. I'm all in."

He played baseball
until he was 17 years old.

Then doesn't play baseball again
till he's 31 years old.

We don't send anybody to Double-A after
they come out of college or high school

because it's too high a level.

We start them out
either at rookie ball or at A-ball.

But we couldn't do that with Michael

because the press facilities
were inadequate below Double-A.

So we put him at Double-A strictly because
we needed to be able to handle the media.

Michael Jordan went to
the Birmingham Barons,

the Double-A farm team
of the Chicago White Sox.

When we found out he was coming
to the Birmingham work group,

there was four days left
in spring training,

and I just said, "Hey, man, I'm Terry,
and I guess I'm gonna be your manager."

I remember him being
in Birmingham, Alabama.

You never would have thought
you were at a minor league game.

You can't believe... commotion,
the excitement.

Never has one rookie
gotten so much attention.

Folks are lying on the ground
for a glimpse of MJ.

Reporters and photographers

continue to arrive
from all over the world.

Every ballpark we'd go to sold out.

Everybody wants a piece of him.

♪ If you can't take the heat
Get yo' ass out the kitchen ♪

♪ We on a mission ♪

♪ Come along and ride
On a fantastic voyage ♪

♪ Slide slide who-ride ♪

Nice hit, Mike.

It was kind of fashionable
to roll your eyes at him playing baseball.

After I met him, I realized quickly
how much he respected what we were doing.

One-one pitch to Michael.

Looping drive. It'll score at least one.

The thing that people
forget about that season

was he started out
with a 13-game hitting streak.

Jordan, base-hit left field.

Jordan delivers a two RBI single
to right-center field.

Every night
during that 13-game hitting streak,

I'm going, "When's it going to happen?"
And finally it did.

He did not see a fastball
in the strike zone

for probably a month and a half.

They're trying to get him out
with breaking balls.

It's breaking ball after breaking ball.

And he's swinging at every one of them.

Second strikeout in a row
for Michael Jordan.

Seen a lot
of breaking balls the last two nights.

That hitting streak
in April was kind of a fluke.

At that point, the national media
was just giving him some shit.

I think his chances of being
any good are almost nil.

Playing and...
can't make the play.

Just because
you're considered the best

to have ever played basketball

does not mean you'll find
similar success on the diamond.

And now they put him on the cover
of Sports Illustrated.

He's missing a pitch by about that much

and it says, "Bag It, Michael.
Jordan embarrasses baseball."

I remember seeing it
and thinking "Oh, no."

He calls it his dream that he wants
to be a Major League Baseball player.

I call it a delusion.

He never spoke to anybody
from Sports Illustrated again.

Did you feel betrayed
by that SI cover?


I never was interviewed for that.

They came out to critique me

without understanding
what my passion was at the time.

If you had a question to ask...

and then if you want to write it,
then you write it.

That's fine. No problem.
That's your opinion.

But I can care less what people do.
This is what I want to do.

It's not what... I'm not doing
what they think I should be doing.

My father already told me
I was doing the right thing and I did it.

Being away from basketball
gave him an opportunity

to adjust his life
to not having his dad...

and moving on.

So when you want to
get in the cage?

- 7:30?
- I'm there.

That fueled me more than anything
and it drove me to make this thing work.

"I gotta play catch-up
but I'm gonna do it."

I had fucking blisters, the second skin,
swinging that bat.

His work ethic
was the best I've ever been around.

He would hit early in the day.
He'd hit off the breaking ball machine.

He would come in
after regular batting practice,

hit some more before the game,
and then would hit again after the game.

By the time we got to August...

you can see it just building,

and he kept getting better and better
and better. the seventh.

It's a fly ball, that's deep,
that's back and... gone!

Home run, Michael Jordan. Barons lead.

And he hit over .200.
That was amazing that he did that well.

I can't believe he actually hit .202
and he drove in 50 runs.

We had a lot of good prospects
that didn't drive in 50 runs.

In my opinion, with 1,500 at-bats,

he'd have found a way
to get to the Major League.

Swing and a fly ball!

I think the time away in baseball
freed his mind of, you know,

what had happened to his father.

When you're on the road
with a baseball team,

that's who you're with.

Your family doesn't travel with you

so you hang out
with the guys that you're with,

and that was all of his teammates.

I think he enjoyed it immensely.

Sure, I mean,
I was this big icon...

but they treated me
as I wanted to be treated.

Just one of the guys.

It was good for him.

He was like a kid again.

The pre-playoff buzz around the league

was that the Chicago Bulls
were vulnerable.

Now we've heard
those same declarations in the past

from the so-called pundits

but maybe this year,
they finally have some merit,

especially after the injury-riddled
and eighth-seeded New Jersey Nets

took the five-time NBA world champions
into overtime.

Every time we would play good

and we were winning games,

everything was okay.

But everybody was always on alert
around Michael after a bad game like that.

He would say, "You motherfuckers
didn't do a thing today.

Come ready tomorrow to practice."

His theory was, "If you can't handle
pressure from me,

uh, you're not gonna be able
to handle pressure of the NBA playoffs."

And so he talked trash in practice.

He went at guys.

He challenged guys.

Hee! Hee! Hee!

Hoo! Hee! Whoo!

Whoo! Yeah, I remember, yeah.

He wants to win
and you gotta earn everything in Chicago.

There was nothing easy.
Nothing given to you.

You better go out there and earn it.
You earn it in practice.

Scott Burrell.

What up, Scott?

You ready today?

We gonna bust y'all ass today.

Yeah, I know. We wounded. We're wounded.

When there's a sick dog down,
keep 'em down.

Yeah, but you better watch out
for the lead dog,

he'll bite the shit out of you.

I mean, they just rode Scotty

and Scotty just smiled at Michael

and took it and fired right back at him.

Scott, I advise you to guard
somebody else, like Jud.

You can't even guard Jud.

I don't wanna... I wanna guard you.

You don't wanna... Hey.

If you can guard me,

there's 290-something jobs
looking for you.

I got Scott.

Scotty Burrell
was a talented guy.

And Scott Burrell,
an exceptional basketball player

out of the University of Connecticut...

What Scotty was lacking was commitment,
determination, seriousness.

So he became, you know,
my guy to kinda push,

keep pushing.

I tried to get him to fight me
a couple of times, in a good sense.

Just to get him, "All right.
I'm tired of you picking on me."

You know, that type of mentality.

I could never get...

He's such a nice guy.

But I know we were gonna need him
at some point in time.

And he's gonna remember this

and he's gonna get out there
and he's gonna fight.

Garbage. Don't bring that bullshit.

You're playing with the guy

that has the highest standards
of any basketball player ever.

You wanna live up to that challenge.

It's tough. Tough love.

You gotta go out there and do your job.

Go sit your asses down! Game time!

That's nine, bitch!

Hey, Scott,
where your mouth at now, homie?

He'd get feisty in a practice
and maybe get up against people.

I'd have to talk a little bit
about toning it down

and make amends, and, you know,
keep that level of team camaraderie.

That's your role too,
as a part of this and being a captain.

My mentality was to go out
and win at any cost.

If you don't want to live
that regimented mentality,

then you don't need to be alongside of me

because I'mma ridicule you
until you get on the same level with me.

If you don't get on the same level,
then it's gonna be hell for you.

Why you keep fucking up that play,
you big, fat-head motherfucker?

Shoot a layup, you dumbass!

People were afraid of him.

We were his teammates and we were afraid.
There was just fear.

Catch the ball when I throw it to you.

I just threw it to you.

...ignore this guy,
he's come through, but he's overplayed...

The fear factor of MJ
was so, so thick.

Yeah, let's not get it wrong.
He was an asshole. He was a jerk.

He crossed the line numerous times.

But as time goes on and you think back

about what he was actually
trying to accomplish,

you're like,
"Yeah, he was a hell of a teammate."

He was pushing us all to be better.

Because he wanted to win.

And guess what?

It worked.

We needed that, you know what I'm saying?

I needed him to be the bad guy,
the tough guy.

You couldn't make
a damn jump shot all night long.

How many did you make?
You made one, didn't you?

One for seven.

I feel bad for you, dog, your cat's sick.
Go home and feed it Purina Cat Chow.

It was a struggle.

You know, Scott got a great personality.

He took it like a man and he embraced it.

Come on, Scott Burrell.

You wanna be on this damn team,
you better do something right.

Make this free throw.

Dance, boy.

There you go.

Each and every day,
he's going to push you

to try to get you where he is,

but I'm not sure if he knows
that only he can achieve those goals.

But he can push other guys
to try to get there, though.

The Bulls held their first
workout minus Michael Jordan today,

the central peg gone from a nine-year era

that left the Bulls with several
key challenges and question marks

about the upcoming season.

It's a great opportunity for ball players
that have wanted larger roles

on this team to step up
and fill some shoes.

Scottie has now stepped out
of the shadow of a great figure

and he's now got the light
all shining on him.

We just gotta put the story behind
with having Michael and go on.

I mean, our lives goes on,
the game goes on, basketball goes on.

Pippen on the move.

Pippen accelerates, down the lane.
That is vintage Scottie Pippen.

Rider takes it,
and blocked away by Scottie.

Horace Grant running down
the left side. Pippen on the right.

Gives it back to Steve Kerr.
Lets fly for a...

Time winding down.
Batted... Scottie Pippen!

And the reverse jam!

Oh, man!

Scottie was our prime motivator,
initiator, organized the offense.

He really stepped into that role.

How did the team do
that first season without Michael?


They had nobody yelling at 'em.

They got up plenty of shots.

Michael would just
bludgeon everybody around him,

and Scottie was the much softer touch.

He was the guy who would comfort you
when things weren't going well

and put his arm around you and,
"Hang in there. You'll be all right."

Everyone expected me to try to be the man,

but we beat teams by committee
and we just learned to play together

and share the ball and win together.

That particular season,
when Michael was gone,

that was the season
Phil did his best coaching.

I heard Chuck Daly say,

"Let's see the triangle offense work now
without Michael."

- Did he really say that?
- Yes.

Wait till I see Chuck.

Everybody criticizes the triangle

and says, "When you have Michael,
then it works."

But that one year,
his star player was Pippen,

who is not a scorer.

He's a facilitator...

and they ran the triangle to perfection.

Toni Kukoc makes the move on
the baseline. Back to Wennington. Paxson.

Over to Scottie, baseline.

Steve Kerr drives in,
delivers to Wennington.

Another surprise for the Bulls

has been the emergence
of rookie Toni Kukoc.

The international superstar from Croatia

came to the Bulls
after a long courtship

by Bulls general manager Jerry Krause.

For those...

For those of you
who are, uh, new to number seven,

number seven in Europe is
the most popular number on the continent.

A lot of youngsters wanna be like Toni.

He was a typical European player
at that time,

who was an incredible shooter,

but defense was not his thing.

One-on-three and put it in.

Phil was tough on him.

Well, I understood that part,

that coming here,
nothing's going to be given to me

just because I was really good in Europe.

Obviously, you needed time
to prove some things to each other.

That season, we were winning a lot.

And the Chicago Bulls
will advance to round number two...

I felt, "Okay. There is a chance

we might actually get to the NBA finals
without Michael."

We ended up playing the Knicks
in the east semis.

We're down 2-0 and we were trying
to get back in the series.

Patrick Ewing made a shot with about
two seconds left to tie the game

and we were at risk
of losing the whole series right there.

Chicago have taken
their last timeout

to set up a shot with 1.8 seconds
on the clock.

So we come to the bench
and I have this sequence

that Toni has run before
and he scored before on it.

I know he can do this.

I did hit a lot of last-second shots
during the season.

Gives it back.
Toni, long three.

Here's Kukoc,
he hits on the left...

Toni got it.
Put it up. Look out!

He got it!

So anyway, I set this up
and then Scottie was angry about it.

I felt like it was an insult,
coming from Phil.

I was the most dangerous guy on our team

so why are you asking me
to take the ball out?

This is a season
where he's taken the role of Michael.

He's had this MVP-caliber season.

He thought
it should be him taking the shot.

And so Jim Cleamons came over
and said Scottie's not going in.

Phil said, "What do you mean
he's not going in?"

I go down and said,
"Are you in or out?" He said...

"I'm out."

I remember Phil said,
"Fuck him. Pete Myers, come on in."

When Pip refused
to go in that game,

it was like a Twilight Zone moment.

Like, "What the hell is going on?"

Scottie's gonna sit here.

That's strange, isn't it?
That he would sit on this.

1.8 left,
no timeouts left for the Bulls.

triggers the in-bounds pass.

Kukoc, for the win...

Bulls win! Bulls win!

Kukoc with the life-saver. Oh, man!

What a basket by Toni Kukoc at the buzzer.

I would say I was obviously happy
for making a shot,

but the whole situation,
even going towards the locker,

you see everybody is pissed
that things are not right.

We don't know how to act 'cause
Scottie's one of our favorite teammates,

one of our favorite people.

He quit on us
and we couldn't believe that happened.

It was... it was devastating.

What he did, you know,
you just don't expect a teammate to do.

So I go out,
and just address it to the team.

This is something that we never thought
would ever happen,

that we would stop playing.

"It's affected us as a whole team,
Scottie, that you did this."

What I remember most, though,
is Bill Cartwright after the game.

Bill Cartwright gets up
and makes this speech...

saying, "Pip, you let us down.
I can't believe..." and he started crying.

Tears were coming down his face
and he said,

"Scottie, I cannot believe
that you quit on us like that."

We had come too far with that team
to go out like that.

Scottie was in tears and upset
and he realized, "I made a mistake.

I thought I was bigger than the game.
I'm not."

And he apologized to us.

I think the worst part was that we knew
it was not Scottie's character.

We knew that wasn't him,

uh, and we knew it was gonna be a stain
on his reputation.

The next day,
I get a call from Michael.

He said, "I don't know
if Scottie's ever gonna live this down."

It's always going to come back
to haunt him

at some point in some conversation.

Pip knows better than that.

It's one of those incidents
where I wish it never happened,

but if I had a chance to do it over again,
I probably wouldn't change it.

The next couple of days
were really important.

We had to refocus and get back at it
for the rest of the series.

Great passing!

Scottie had a great series
and he turned things around.

Scottie Pippen
just went over

to tell Spike Lee a few things, close up.

We all respected his apology
and we moved forward.

We came very close
to making a deep playoff run.

But we lost in seven games to the Knicks
in the Garden.

It has been a wonderful run

for the Chicago Bulls franchise
this season,

despite the loss of Michael Jordan.

He wanted solitude
from the cameras

to watch his former mates' final moments.

It's no different from a fan, you know?

It's Jordan, the fan,

who watches a replay
of the Bulls' futile attempt.

I'd rather just...
do it privately so it's no,

"Well, he's itching to get back
into the game"

or, you know, none of that stuff.

I'm happy to be where I am.
But I'm still a fan.

I like being around and watching the game.

Let's go out and play hard.

Let's prove we can play
better than game one.

Come on, fellas.

Here we are,

game two of the New Jersey Nets
and the Chicago Bulls.

Crawford's gonna toss it up
and we're going to be underway.

Pippen back.
Finds Kerr all alone.

And that's what usually happens.

And a reverse slam
by Bill Wennington.

Where did that come from?

This is a shot in the arm
for the Bulls.

Their bench much livelier today,

much more aggressive,
looking for their shots.

Chicago is gonna take
the two games at home,

but it turns out to have been
much more difficult than they anticipated.

Coming up,
game three of our best-of-five series.

The Bulls can pull off
the sweep tonight with a victory.

Filling the lane
is Burrell with the easy layup.

Burrell for another three and he's got it.
Scott Burrell...

What a game he's having.

9-of-11 shooting, 23 points.

Finishing touches, Jordan on point.

Time runs out. And the
Chicago Bulls sweep a first-round series.

So, Scott Burrell with 23 points tonight.

Final score, 116-101.
The Bulls, led by that man, with 38.

One down and three to go

if the Chicago Bulls are to claim
NBA title number six.

The New Jersey Nets having been
disposed of in three straight.

Next up are the Charlotte Hornets.

We all know Michael's tenacious
on the court.

It was business on the court,

but he was a good guy
to be around off the court.

You can relax around him off the court.
He's fun, he's enjoyable.

- You like that yes or no question? Yes.
- I had a follow-up for that too.

Yeah, I know.
That's why I answered it yes.

What's up, partner?

How you doing, Mike?

- Steve?
- Nice to meet ya.

Know this guy? What's your name?

- I'm Jerry.
- Nice to meet you.

- Can I get an autograph?
- Sure.

- I got some of your shoes. Appreciate it.
- You do?

Hell, yeah.

Could you sign this real quick for me?

I'm a collector, man.
You owe me a thousand bucks.

He gonna pay it too.

How long are you in town?

I dunno, we might leave tonight.

- We drove up from Connecticut.
- Yeah?

Yeah, we got about a 14-hour drive.

UConn's got a great women's team.

You had to say that, didn't you?
So does Carolina, though.

No, I mean, that's not a knock.

So does Carolina.

Off the floor, he was gonna
be cordial and accepting,

he was gonna be nice, but as a teammate,
he had certain expectations.

Was he a nice guy?

He couldn't have been nice.

With that kind of mentality he had,
he can't be a nice guy.

He would be difficult to be around

if you didn't truly love
the game of basketball.

He is difficult.

Through the years,
do you think that intensity

has come at the expense of being perceived
as a nice guy?

Well, I mean...

I don't know, I mean...

Winning has a price.

And leadership has a price.

So, I pulled people along
when they didn't wanna be pulled.

I challenged people
when they didn't wanna be challenged.

And I earned that right
because my teammates who came after me

didn't endure all the things
that I endured.

Michael Jordan
is down in pain.

Michael Jordan got taken out. He's hurt.

And Jordan
came down hard and is injured.

The Pistons have moved on

but you really gotta feel
for this man right here.

I mean, playing his heart out.

Once you join the team,

you live at a certain standard
that I play the game

and I wasn't gonna take anything less.

Now, if that means I had to go in
and get in your ass a little bit?

Then I did that.

You ask all my teammates?
"The one thing about Michael Jordan was

he never asked me to do something
that he didn't fucking do."

When people see this, they gonna say,
"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
and be a part of that as well.

Look, I don't have to do this.
I'm only doing it because it is who I am.

That's how I played the game.

That was my mentality.

If you don't wanna play that way...

don't play that way.


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