Basketball legend Michael Jordan has opened up on his relationship with Luc Longley, the Australian teammate who was alongside him for the Chicago Bulls’ second NBA three-peat in the late 1990s.
Longley was the starting centre for the Bulls team that captured the world’s imagination on its barnstorming run to three championships in 1996-98.
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But the 220cm giant revealed his disappointment in not being included in the popular Netflix documentary The Last Dance, which chronicled Chicago’s 1998 championship, featuring interviews with coach Phil Jackson, Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and several other members of the team.
“Sitting there on the couch and watching episode after episode where I wasn’t in it — yeah, I was bummed about that,” Longley told the ABC’s Australian Story program.
“Why was I not in the doco? I don’t really know, to be honest.
“The self-deprecating Australian in me thinks it’s because I’m not that exciting. I was playing a huge role but it wasn’t one that was that sexy.
“There were so many beautiful, bright, shiny stars out there to focus on, that, you know, it makes sense to me that that story wasn’t about me. Makes perfect sense.
Jordan revealed he deeply regrets his teammate was left out from the docuseries.
“I can understand why Australia would say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t we include Luc?’ And we probably should have,” Jordan said.
“And if I look back and could change anything, that’s probably what I would have changed.”
In the second episode of the ABC program Jordan, viewed by many as the greatest basketball player of all time, delivered a touching tribute to Longley.
When asked why he agreed to be interviewed in this new series focused on Longley, Jordan responded: “He matters to me. He does matter to me and his story needs to be told.”
“Sure, there’s some good and there’s some bad but that’s all a part of life.
“You’re going to have friends that you have good and bad things about but we shared a lot.