‘Was Confused and Disappointed’: Former Bulls Player Opens up on Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance

Published 06/08/2021, 7:00 AM EDT


Back in the late 90s, the Chicago Bulls emerged as a brand name for the best quality basketball in the world. Michael Jordan being the superstar he is, led his team to six championships during that time. But why wasn’t there a seventh one?

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In 1998, with the second 3-peat successfully completed, the Bulls faced their biggest intra-team controversy in that time frame. Michael Jordan and many other Bulls players blamed their general manager for the Bulls dynasty’s breakup. Even to date, MJ believes that anybody on the roster would have given the seventh title a green signal. But Jerry Krause added twists to the already dramatic 1997-98 season for the Bulls.

The Netflix docu-series ‘The Last Dance’, primarily dedicated to Michael Jordan, also covered a major segment of this debate. Besides being a huge celebration, this series brought attention to immense issues that MJ faced in his starry career. Michael shared his honest opinion over how those events turned out and Jerry Krause’s role in the same.

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Australia-born former Chicago Bulls’ player Luc Longley recently opened up on his perspective on the 1998 banter in an Australian documentary named ‘Imported.’

Did Chicago Bulls’ GM Jerry Krause make the right decision?

Longley was part of the second three-peat between 1994-98. As part of the changes made to the Bulls’ roster in 1998, the Bulls traded Longley to the Phoenix Suns in a sign-and-trade deal. Unlike many players on the roster, Longley seems indifferent to and confused by the decisions made back then.

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Talking about the same, he said, “I understood it to be more about his (Jerry’s) relationship with coach Phil (Jackson), than whether or not the players had any good years left in them. Jerry did the right thing by me. He signed me to two contracts.” Those two contracts were the Chicago contract and the sign-and-trade with the Phoenix Suns who had him for two years after the exit.

He further added,So, basically I’m not going to jump on the s**t can Jerry bandwagon. I was confused and disappointed, but I was just getting on with the job.”

Longley didn’t pay much heed to the matter as Michael Jordan did

During the last dynasty season, Bulls struggled through an uncomfortable environment within the team. From injuries, aging players, and other matters, the Bulls were playing under the pressure that it was the last time this historic team would be together. Longley didn’t want to get involved in the matter as much as the other players at that time did. All he cared about was his performance against one of the best on the court.

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I knew what I said or cared about wasn’t really going to affect the plan, so the best thing I could do was focus on the things I can control, which was guarding Karl Malone and hitting my mid-range jumper and that was what I was about,” he further added.

The Bulls’ disintegration had attracted immense disappointment and despair amongst fans, players, and the team’s staff. It was an obvious reaction to one of the most favorite teams falling apart. But there must have been a few more like Longley who went with the flow and couldn’t say so out loud when things turned hot.

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WATCH THIS STORY: Teammates of Michael Jordan that Hardly Made any Contribution to the Chicago Bulls Dynasty

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Pavni Ahuja

393 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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