Conspicuous by his absence in “The Last Dance” is Karl Malone, one of Michael Jordan’s chief rivals at the end of the Bulls dynasty, which concluded with two consecutive NBA Finals wins over Malone’s Jazz.
Jason Hehir, the director of the 10-part ESPN docuseries, revealed on “The Dan Patrick Show” that Malone declined to be interviewed and Malone didn’t say why.
“He declined through another party. We asked him multiple times,” Hehir said.
John Stockton did sit down with Hehir, who did try to persuade Malone by going through Stockton.
“Believe me, we exhausted just about every avenue,” Hehir said. “We started in January 2018 on that one because we knew that (Malone) was gonna be a tough sell.”
But even getting a Stockton was a challenge. They interviewed Stockton on March 10, which Hehir said was the last possible day for them to conduct interviews.
“I finally got (Stockton) on the phone after like two years of chasing him,” Hehir said. “(Stockton) said, ‘I don’t want to be a part of a Michael Jordan puff piece.’”
Hehir and his team kept trying for Malone into March; the docuseries ended up premiering on April 19, moved up because of the sports void left by the coronavirus pandemic.
“We tried to get them to sit down together. Thought that might be a better option and (Malone would) feel more comfortable with that, but there was just no convincing him,” said Hehir, who added Bryon Russell was another Jazz player who never responded to an interview request.
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