Jason Hehir: Karl Malone, Bryon Russell Declined Interviews for 'The Last Dance'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistMay 18, 2020

Michael Jordan (L) of the Chicago Bulls smiles while standing next to Karl Malone of the Utah Jazz 07 June in the first half of game three of the NBA Finals at the United Center in Chicago, IL. The seven game series is tied at 1-1.        AFP PHOTO    Jeff HAYNES (Photo by JEFF HAYNES / AFP) (Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)
JEFF HAYNES/Getty Images

Dozens of people in and out of the NBA world took part in "The Last Dance" documentary that covered Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, but a pair of former teammates didn't want to take part.

Director Jason Hehir said Monday that Karl Malone and Bryon Russell were the only notable players who declined to be interviewed, via Andrew Perloff of the Dan Patrick Show.

Malone and Russell were both on the 1997-98 Utah Jazz team that lost to the Bulls in the NBA Finals. Jordan hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 over Russell. 


The Last Shot https://t.co/93R2q9W8Xc

Jordan discussed the notable shot during the final episode of the series, including whether it was a legal play.

"Now, everybody says I pushed off," Jordan said Sunday. "Bulls--t. The man, his energy was going that way. I didn't have to push him that way."

Malone and Russell were part of Jazz teams that reached the NBA Finals two years in a row but lost to Chicago both times.

The documentary did feature appearances from many other Jordan rivals, including those who were on the losing end during their careers.

Charles Barkley discussed the 1993 finals, and Gary Payton broke down the 1996 finals, while Eastern Conference competitors Reggie Miller, Isiah Thomas and others provided memorable moments discussing key playoff games.

The series also featured a wide-ranging cast outside of basketball from Barack Obama to Carmen Electra to Justin Timberlake.

Malone and Russell had a chance to tell their sides of the story but apparently decided against it.