Craig Hodges Rips Michael Jordan 'Cocaine Circus' Comments in 'The Last Dance'

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorMay 6, 2020

CHARLOTTE - FEBRUARY 9: Craig Hodges #14 of the Chicago Bulls holds the trophy during the 1991 NBA Three Point Contest as part of NBA All Star Weekend on February 9, 1991 at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 1991 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

Former Chicago Bulls guard Craig Hodges took exception to ex-teammate Michael Jordan's revelations and comments about the 1984-85 Bulls' partying in the ESPN docuseries, The Last Dance, which covers MJ and the Bulls' 1990s championship dynasty. 

Hodges, who played with Jordan from 1988-92, explained his reaction to Chris Broussard and Rob Parker on The Odd Couple (h/t Wil Leitner of Fox Sports Radio):

"One of the things as players we call this a fraternity. So I'm watching the first episode and I was upset about the 'cocaine circus.' That bothered me because I was thinking about the brothers who are on that picture with you who have to explain to their families who are getting ready to watch this great Michael Jordan documentary event and they know you're on the team, and now you've got to explain that to a 12-year-old boy." 

Jordan was asked about the Bulls and their nickname, "The Traveling Cocaine Circus." The six-time NBA champion then recalled a story about a time when he (then a rookie) encountered his ex-teammates at a party in a Peoria, Illinois hotel room during the 1984-85 preseason.

Nick Schwartz of USA Today's For The Win provided a transcript of Jordan's comments:

"I walk in and practically the whole team was in there. And it was like, things I've never seen in my life, you know, as a young kid. You got your lines over here, you got your weed smokers over here, you got your women over here. So the first thing I said, 'Look man, I'm out.' Because all I can think about is if they come and raid this place, right about now, I am just as guilty as everyone else that's in this room. And from that point on, I was more or less on my own."

Jordan's dominant rookie season saw him make the All-Star team, lead the Bulls with 28.2 points per game and guide them to an 11-win improvement and playoff appearance.

In the years that followed, general manager Jerry Krause overhauled the roster around Jordan and added pieces such as Scottie Pippen, Horace Grant, Bill Cartwright and Hodges. The 1990s Bulls won six titles in eight years.

But Hodges, who was on two of those title teams, is unhappy with other comments as well, namely about Pippen and Grant:

"Then the Scottie Pippen part. Scottie was 'selfish.' C'mon man, c'mon. And then last night with Horace, that hurt me. I'm letting MJ know that that ain't right, dude. Horace did not deserve to take the fall for 'Jordan Rules.' If MJ knows something else and knows Horace's motive, then tell us how Horace did it for my sake, because I'm your teammate brother, just like they are, and I'm kind of salty how everybody got interviewed but me."

Hodges was referencing Jordan's comments about Pippen electing to delay foot surgery and miss part of the 1997-98 campaign in the midst of a contract dispute with the team.

The Grant comments were in regard to Jordan saying that his ex-teammate leaked negative stories about him and the Bulls to sportswriter Sam Smith for his book, The Jordan Rules. Grant denied those claims in the documentary.

The seventh and eighth episodes of the 10-part doc are set to air on Sunday at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET, respectively.