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The Last Dance may have aired earlier this year, but sports fans and casual viewers alike are still buzzing about it. The ‘90s-centric docuseries was meant to examine the final championship run of the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls, and the final product was a sight to behold. Despite nearly unanimous praise from critics and fans, the show did garner mixed reviews from former players. Current NBA coach and former Bulls sharpshooter Steve Kerr has had mostly positive thoughts on The Last Dance, but he did recently admit that he found one aspect to be somewhat embarrassing:
I thought I was frankly portrayed a little too much and a little too often. It’s interesting because you make a documentary like that, even though it was ten hours of coverage, they could’ve gone on and done fifty hours probably. But I know a lot of us felt like Ron Harper and Luc Longley should have been mentioned. They were starters on that team, actually starters on all three championship teams, and we didn’t get much reference to them. So it was a little bit embarrassing that I was on there so often. But I understand the filmmakers had to focus on what they wanted and who was accessible. Luc’s buried somewhere down in western, remote Australia. So there were some things that I would’ve liked to have seen.
Steve Kerr’s comments on Jemele Hill Is Unbothered are probably some of the humblest critiques The Last Dance has received thus far. It sounds like the championship-winning player and coach believes others deserved more time to shine. He does make a fair point, as both Ron Harper and Luc Longley should’ve been featured more prominently. As Kerr says, the two were integral parts of that team. Still, the NBA vet should give definitely give himself more credit, as he hit his fair share of big shots during his tenure with the Bulls, including a championship-clinching dagger.
Although Kerr doesn’t see too many negatives within The Last Dance (aside from his physical appearance during his interview), he did reveal that there is something he takes issue with. Like a number of Bulls players, he didn’t care for the way Scottie Pippen was portrayed and questioned why the filmmakers opted to go the route that they did with the Hall of Famer:
All in all, it captured that era really well, but I think a lot of us were disappointed in the depiction of Scottie Pippen. A couple of times they showed him miss a couple big free throws. We all missed big free throws. I don’t know why they had to show that on the documentary. It just seemed like there were a couple of shots at him that were unnecessary that maybe were just used to kind of provide some edge and a little more texture to what was happening back then with his relationship with management and Michael. Scottie was everybody’s favorite player on that team. Everybody loved Scottie Pippen and one of the most amazing players and teammates I’ve ever had.
There were a number of fans and sports analysts who argued that The Last Dance portrayed Pippen as somewhat selfish, especially when it covered his decision to delay an off-season surgery. This led many to wonder what the former player thought about the doc. While it was initially reported that he was displeased with his depiction, Pippen would later say that he was fine with the show.
Like any documentary, The Last Dance isn’t perfect, and there are a few areas in which it could have been improved. Still, even with its flaws, it’s hard to deny its merits and the intricate discussions it creates. And it’s also great to hear former players like Kerr chime in with their honest opinions of it.
The Last Dance is currently available to stream on Netflix.