Karl Malone, John Stockton And Bryon Russell Wanted No Part Of The Last Dance

Photo Credit: Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images

Karl Malone, John Stockton And Bryon Russell Wanted No Part Of The Last Dance


The final two episodes of Netflix and ESPN’s 10-part documentary ‘The Last Dance’ dove deeper into the last two championships of the Chicago Bulls which completed their second three-peat. The Utah Jazz played a significant role as a stumbling block to the Bulls dynasty during the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals and played a key role in the episodes.

The storyline between the two teams became more compelling, especially having John Stockton discussing and sharing his insight regarding their competition against the dominant Jordan-led Chicago team. But somehow, the interview almost didn’t happen.

‘The Last Dance’ director John Hehir revealed on ‘The Dan Patrick Show’ that Stockton initially didn’t want to appear in the documentary. Hehir added that they ended up interviewing the retired superstar point guard on March 10 which was the last possible day of conducting interviews due to the coronavirus outbreak.


“I finally got (Stockton) on the phone after like two years of chasing him,” Hehir said. “(Stockton) said, ‘I don’t want to be a part of a Michael Jordan puff piece.’”


While Stockton was later convinced to join the documentary, it was evident that his running-mate Karl Malone was nowhere to be found. Malone played with the Jazz for 18 seasons and was a key piece that made their two back-to-back Finals run possible.

Hehir admitted that they were exhausted pitching Malone to participate. He also talked about planning to interview the two Jazz superstars at the same time together, but Malone still wasn’t convinced.


“He declined through another party,” Hehir said. “We asked him multiple times. Believe me, we exhausted just about every avenue. We started in January 2018 on that one because we knew that (Malone) was gonna be a tough sell.”

“We tried to get them to sit down together. Thought that might be a better option and [Malone would] feel more comfortable with that, but there was just no convincing him,” Hehir said.


Besides Malone, Bryon Russell also passed on the interview. Russell was known to be the primary defender guarding Jordan on the infamous game-winning shot during Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals.


“That was just a no response,” Hehir explained to Patrick. “Out of respect for Bryon, I think he knew the questions we were going to ask and maybe he didn’t want to go there.”



Perhaps, it just isn’t easy being on the other side of the history.

You may also like...