“It Was Too Much Pain”: Former Teammate Reveals Reggie Miller Never Wanted to Interview for Michael Jordan’s The Last Dance

Published 05/18/2020, 10:13 AM EDT


As curtains close on the intense series chronicling the legacy of Michael Jordan, we will forever be thankful to the entire crew and the producers for making it happen. ‘The Last Dance’ once again hyped up the world about MJ. In this quarantine period, the docuseries garnered millions of views and became the most successful documentary produced by ESPN. The final episodes show in-depth footages of the duel between Reggie Miller and Michael Jordan.

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 It is no secret that the Indiana Pacers gave the Bulls a run for their money in the 1998 Eastern Conference Finals. The Chicago Bulls, who were on the verge of achieving their second three-peat, faced the strength of the Pacers, led by Reggie Miller. 

The Pacers had a lot of talent in their roster. Michael Jordan had played in 36 playoff series, but it was his first time facing Reggie Miller and the Pacers in the postseason. While Indiana came in as the underdogs, they sure didn’t want to go down without a fight. 

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While the result of the game is obvious, the story of how the Bulls won is miraculous. Getting past Reggie Miller and his team was one of the hardest roadblocks the Bulls ever faced. Being a playoff veteran, the 1998 ECF was only the second time Jordan went till Game 7.

Though Indiana suffered a painful loss, it was a valiant one. Reggie Miller regrets the loss to this day. The director of the docuseries, Jason Hehir, spoke about his moments with Reggie while interviewing him. 

Reggie Miller still respects Michael Jordan

Speaking on ESPN’s Jalen & Jacoby show, Hehir revealed the respect Miller has for Jordan. “I think that Reggie’s feelings on Michael border between reverence and frustration. He’s got the utmost respect for Michael. It is clear when you speak with him.”

The frustration part that Reggie feels is because MJ kept him off the mountaintop. Playing in the Eastern Conference, every team had the initial task of getting past the Bulls, and only then they could dream about winning the NBA finals. 

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Hehir weighed in on this and revealed how his team e-mailed and called Reggie Miller numerous times and never got a reply. Maybe it was because of the frustration about digging up the troubled past. “I don’t know if he just wasn’t getting those calls or if he was avoiding them,” Hehir said. 

“But, he gave a great interview. You got to hand it to the guy. It must sting still to this day to get that close because that squad was incredible that Pacers team they had. In any other year, you could absolutely seem them going to the finals and winning.”

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Former teammate and host, Jalen Rose, also put forth his comments on Reggie Miller’s reluctance in interviewing for the docuseries. Rose was also a part of the Pacers team that lost to the Bulls in Game 7. “Interviewing Reggie, as somebody who played with him, I was trying to initially get him to interview for this doc. He didn’t want to do it. It was too much pain,” Rose shared.

However, Reggie Miller can hold his head high for bringing out the fear inside the Bulls. Miller and his team were simply fantastic in the comeback, but the Bulls delivered the final blow. 

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Arjun Athreya

2105 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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