'The Last Dance' was one of the best pieces of content to come out during the early stages of the pandemic last year. When all sports were halted, the eyes of the sports community turned to Michael Jordan, as he and the rest of his teammates chronicled their history with the Chicago Bulls. The documentary was mostly centered around the career of Jordan, but several other players who were on the Bulls with him got significant air time and attention. Players like Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright, and Steve Kerr among others didn't play as big a role in the Bulls as Jordan did get a significant spotlight through the docuseries.
But not everyone that was part of the Bulls teams got that treatment. Bulls big man Luc Longley, who played in Chicago for four seasons between 1994 and 1998. Longley was important for the Bulls, as he was the starting center for the team, and played significant minutes during the Bulls' second three-peat with Michael Jordan. But that begs the question: if Longley had been such a relied-upon star, why didn't he get a shine during 'The Last Dance'?
According to the director Jason Hehir, the reason for Longley's exclusion was simply due to logistical and budgetary issues. Because Longley still resides in Australia, they would have to send a separate film crew to have him in the documentary, something that would have cost a lot of money. Michael Jordan himself spoke about Longley's exclusion, noting that if he could go back and include Longley, he would definitely do that.
“I can understand why Australia would say, ‘Well, why wouldn’t we include Luc?’ And we probably should have. And if I look back and could change anything, that’s probably what I would have changed.”
Jordan also explained why he had issues with Luc Longley when they were playing together. For MJ, Longley's demeanor wasn't enough to find success in the NBA. And Jordan took it onto himself to push Longley in order to reach that level, by giving him some tough love. But even Jordan had to acknowledge that gifts that Longley had that helped the Bulls achieve the success that they did during the tenure of the second three-peat.
“I don’t think Luc had the mentality of what it took to win. I felt the need to push him. You had to show him a little tough love, you know. That’s what I call it – tough love...He had the skill set, you know. He could shoot, he was very smart, good passer. He knew how to position himself well.”
While Longley didn't get featured in the docuseries, his former teammates have spoken in different interviews about how important he was to the team. Players like Kerr have said that it was very unfair that Longley didn't get the focus that the others did, especially because of how long he had been with the team during their second three-peat.
However, Longley is getting his own docuseries with Australian Story, which features several stars from 'The Last Dance' such as Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Phil Jackson. Feel free to check out the documentary above to see more stories about Longley during his time with the Chicago Bulls.