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Former Michael Jordan Teammates React to ESPN's 'The Last Dance'

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Chicago Bulls Horace Grant (C). (Photo by DOUG COLLIER / AFP)

ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance,’ a 10-part documentary series about the 1998 Chicago Bulls provided an unprecedented, intimate look at this legendary team. Most people think that it was the best sports documentary ever made but some of Michael Jordan’s former teammates disagreed.

BetOnline recently released ‘The Final Dance,’ a roundtable session with Horace Grant, Ron Harper, Bill Cartwright and Craig Hodges reacting to ‘The Last Dance.’ The interview, hosted by David Kaplan from SportsTalk Live and ESPN Chicago, counters some of MJ’s claims.

Grant, Harper, Cartwright and Hodges also discussed Scottie Pippen’s portrayal, why Jerry Krause deserved more credit, what Phil Jackson meant to the team and the comparisons between Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.

Initial Reactions

Five-time NBA champion Ron Harper said that ‘The Last Dance’ was good, even though he wanted it to be more about what the team did. He then added: “I understand they gave the copyrights to MJ, so it was more like come fly with me…”

Bill Cartwright, who won three NBA Championships with the Chicago Bulls as a player and three more as an assistant coach, also shared his impressions:

“Well we knew that it was going to be really one guy’s perspective of what happened.” Cartwright added that it was interesting to watch and that he watched it for entertainment value, since he was there and already knew what happened.

Craig Hodges played an integral role in the first two championships of the Bulls but he wasn’t interviewed for ‘The Last Dance.’

Hodges explained that he wasn’t disappointed about not being able to share his perspective. He also said that he was grateful about having the chance to see Cartwright, Harper and Grant again. He said that being part of ‘The Final Dance’ with them “was good enough” for him.

Horace Grant, who won three NBA Championships with the Bulls from 1991-93, said that he wasn’t portrayed as a player who took defense as a badge of honor and that the documentary was for MJ.

Scottie Pippen (R) of the Chicago Bulls watches teammate Ron Harper enjoy a cigar. AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo by JEFF HAYNES / AFP)

Horace Grant Refutes MJ’s Claims

According to Horace Grant, a lot of the documentary wasn’t exactly accurate. He denied Michael Jordan’s accusations about him being the main source of information for Sam Smith’s ‘The Jordan Rules’ book.

“That’s a damn lie,” Grant stated with frustration when asked about Jordan’s comments.

Horace Grant didn’t understand why Jordan just pointed him out. Grant said that if MJ had a problem with him he should have come to him first so they could take care of it like men. “Don’t try to put me out there because I didn’t say anything to Sam in the sanctity of that locker room,” Grant said.

The four-time NBA champion also pointed out that Sam Smith spent more time with other Bulls players than with him. Grant told Kaplan it “is a blatant lie, lie, lie, lie” that he leaked any of the information.

MJ vs. Kobe

Ron Harper and Horace Grant played with both Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant and won NBA Championships with them. They compared both legends.

Harper explained that Kobe Bryant was a great player with an incredible career and a good teammate. To him, that while the comparisons are fair, Jordan faced tougher opponents and had a unique mindset.

Horace Grant said “MJ is 1 and Kobe is 1A” He added that he has nothing but respect to both of them. “I sat down and of course watched MJ just takeover games and I sat down and watched Kobe do the same when Shaq got into foul trouble.Grant concluded saying that when he talks about Kobe taking over he is speaking of MJ takeover.

Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls guarded by Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. AFP PHOTO/Vince BUCCI (Photo by VINCE BUCCI / AFP)