It's obvious that we didn't see a lot of things in ESPN's award-winning Michael Jordan docu-series 'The Last Dance,' where we discovered how Jordan and the Bulls came from being a terrible team to become one of the greatest dynasties in NBA history. His Airness played a key role in that success, as we already knew and remembered watching TLD from April through May of this year.
The creators did a really good job, but that is not everything they had for fans. It was announced that The Last Dance Limited Blu-Ray gift set includes more hours of video that we couldn't see in the original series. One of the most interesting things we could find there is a 1998 interview of Jordan with legendary journalist Stuart Scott. In the video, the late reporter asks MJ what he thinks of people putting the label of 'next Jordan' on young players.
This was a recurrent practice in the league during the late 90s and 2000s. Several players received the tag and not even one could live up to the expectations. As Jordan said, you can't fool the fans.
“It’s not fair, you know, but it’s a standard of measurement,” Jordan replies. “When I came in, [it was] Dr. J. It’s just a standard of measurement to compare to. But there’s never going to be another Michael Jordan. There’s never going to be another Dr. J. Magic Johnson. Larry Bird. Now, there’s gonna be a Kobe Bryant, there’s gonna be a Grant Hill, Anthony Hardaway. These guys are going to have similar traits, it’s how they manifest those traits to be the best basketball player.”
“No matter what the league does, in terms of trying to promote, you can’t fool the consumer, you can’t fool the fans. So I mean, the game is going to say, he’s the next, whoever. Your game is going to have to evolve to that label the league is trying to promote you with. It’s a danger to that because the credibility of the game could take a hit.”
Of course, this happened after LeBron James earned all the attention he received during his high school days. He was labeled as the next Jordan but James made sure to create his own history and legacy, contrary to other players who were seen as the next big thing and ended up being just a regular player for various reasons.