‘The Last Dance’ Director Reveals His Favorite Michael Jordan Story That Didn’t Make 10-hour Docuseries
“They begged him to stay for a second week because more college coaches wanted to see him play, and the parents said ‘we can’t afford it.'”
Jason Hehir, director of ESPN’s 10-part docuseries on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls season, The Last Dance, had a ton of material to work with, but he still had to leave out some favorite stories regarding the infamous and iconic no. 23, Michael Jordan.
Appearing on The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz, the director told his favorite Jordan story left on the cutting room floor. It was about lies, embellishments, and Jordan working as a waiter to gain more time at an exclusive basketball camp. Seriously. Here’s Hehir’s anecdote as noted by CBS Sports:
[Jordan’s high school basketball coach] was embellishing his stats just to get him in there because he was not on the map at all. No one was coming down to look at high school kids in Wilmington, North Carolina. He was there for a week and that’s what his parents could afford, and he did so well that first week that he got MVP of the entire camp.
You had Patrick Ewing, Len Bias and some other guys were at the camp as well, but Michael, or Mike, at that point, blew everybody away. They begged him to stay for a second week because more college coaches wanted to see him play, and the parents said ‘we can’t afford it.’
So they said ‘OK, we’ll pay for him if he works in the kitchen as a waiter for all the other kids.’ Michael got MVP that second week and he was a waiter serving kids fruit punch and grilled cheeses and then going out and wasting these kids later on on the court … Little anecdotes like that, I would have loved to get it in, but we had a lot of story to tell and it’s all grounded in that ’97-98 season…
Jordan wasn’t the only one who believed in his abilities, obviously. Below, watch a video preview of episode 3 tweeted by Good Morning America on Friday, April 24th.
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 24, 2020
Check out a new pair of Last Dance clips below. One is a close look at Dennis Rodman’s approach to constructing his wild persona, the second examines the “drama surrounding Michael Jordan and GM Jerry Krause,” according to ESPN .
ESPN notes that “Censored versions of each episode will air on ESPN2 and the ESPN App at the same time.” Below, watch a video preview tweeted by Good Morning America on Friday, April 24th.
The Last Dance airs Sunday nights on ESPN.
On April 26, beginning at 7 PM ET, ESPN will re-air episodes 1 and 2 then follow with new installments 3 and 4, per the sports network’s schedule here.
Sunday, April 26
- 7 p.m. ET | “The Last Dance” Episode 1 (re-air) | ESPN | ESPN App
- 8 p.m. ET | “The Last Dance” Episode 2 (re-air) | ESPN | ESPN App
- 9 p.m. ET | “The Last Dance” Episode 3 | ESPN | ESPN App
- 10 p.m. ET | “The Last Dance” Episode 4 | ESPN | ESPN App
The series finishes its run on May 17th. After that, it will be available on Netflix beginning July 19, 2020.