Sam Smith Says Michael Jordan 'Made Up...Lied About' Things in 'The Last Dance'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2020

Michael Jordan (R) and Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson (L) congratulate each other 14 June after winning game six of the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, UT. The Bulls won the game 87-86 to win their sixth NBA championship.   AFP PHOTO/Jeff HAYNES (Photo by JEFF HAYNES / AFP) (Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images)
JEFF HAYNES/Getty Images

Sam Smith contributed plenty of details to The Last Dance documentary on ESPN.

The writer of the book The Jordan Rules recounted how demanding Michael Jordan was of his teammates and how he would get into altercations during practices, even when the Chicago Bulls were dominating the NBA.

However, Smith said Jordan "made up" and "lied about" a number of things in the documentary in an appearance Thursday on 95.7 The Game's Bonta, Steiny and Guru:

95.7 The Game @957thegame

“There were several things in the documentary that he (MJ) made up or he lied about...” Sam Smith saw some flaws in #TheLastDance 👀 (via @BontaSteinyGuru) https://t.co/aK4wyaZJi5

Jordan had a hand in producing the series, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that he looked like a mythological hero for much of it. He earned plenty of those accolades as arguably the greatest player in NBA history, winning six championships, five league MVP awards, 10 scoring titles and six NBA Finals MVPs during his Hall of Fame career.

Smith's comments, though, reinforce numerous criticisms of Jordan in the aftermath of The Last Dance.

Horace Grant, who won three championships as Jordan's teammate in Chicago, derided the series as a "so-called documentary" in an appearance on ESPN 1000's Kap & Co on Tuesday, and he called His Airness a "snitch" because he revealed his early Bulls teammates used drugs and partied.

Grant also took issue with the fact that Jordan believes he was the primary source for Smith's book: "He goes out and puts this lie out that I was the source. Sam and I have always been great friends. We still are great friends. But the sanctity of that locker room, I would never put anything personal out there."

The power forward denied being the primary source during his appearances on The Last Dance as well, and former teammate BJ Armstrong backed him up.

David Kaplan of ESPN 1000 reported Wednesday that Scottie Pippen was "so angry" and "beyond livid" with how he was portrayed in the documentary (h/t Daniel Greenberg of Wrigley Sports).

Jordan called Pippen his greatest teammate and gave him plenty of credit during The Last Dance. However, some of No. 33's more forgettable moments were also explored, including the migraine he suffered during the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals and his refusal to check into the final 1.8 seconds of a game during the 1994 playoffs because head coach Phil Jackson didn't draw the play up for him.