Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls won their last two titles against the Utah Jazz of Karl Malone and John Stockton. Those defeats were extremely painful for the Jazz, who hasn't forgotten about those series.
During the 10-part docu-series 'The Last Dance', we recalled these two series and how Jordan dominated the Jazz, even ill, not feeling himself, he always found a way to reach the next level and beat their rivals. That Jazz team had great players, including Malone and the man in charge of guarding Jordan throughout the series, Bryon Russell.
Curiously, these two players declined the invitation to participate in the documentary, as Jason Hehir revealed in a Q&A session on Reddit.
Q: Were there any players that you wanted to reach out to for the documentary that denied it?
And were there any other areas that you wanted to touch on about MJ and the 98 Bulls that you ultimately couldn’t or didn’t?
A: Karl Malone and Bryon Russell both declined to participate.
In an old interview, Malone talked about MJ and how he felt about the Bulls legend and all the duels they have on the court during the 90s.
"I have the utmost respect for Michael, but I never thought I was playing Michael Jordan. I was playing the Chicago Bulls," he said.
"Everybody says this person was a bad man and all that. Well, yes, I give them respect. But I've got a setup. I'm a man, and I was a bad son of a bitch, too, so that's how I look at that, and that's who I am," he said.
Understandably, Malone doesn't want to remember any of those things. He knows he lost, he accepted that defeat and moved on. He doesn't want to be reminded that he lost back-to-back Finals against the Bulls and he played a big role in the definitions.
As for Russell, MJ scored the last two points of Game 6 in 1998, and we're pretty sure those memories don't please him.