Jason Hehir, the director of the wildly popular The Last Dance series, doesn’t think the reason for the Chicago Bulls’ infamous breakup went much deeper than jealousy over who got the credit for the team’s success.
There’s hardly any doubt the Bulls could have won more titles had they stayed together but their reign as the NBA’s premier team came to an end rather prematurely. Most of the blame has fallen on the shoulders of now-deceased former GM Jerry Krause but Hehir, who was a fly on the wall throughout the squad’s final season, says everyone involved should share the blame.
The director was interviewed by Uproxx.com this week and was asked whether there was more to the implosion than people simply wanting more credit.
“I spent years researching this before we even sat down with the major players here and I never got the sense that it was over much more than just pettiness and jealousy for attention and credit,” he remarked.
“And that doesn’t stop with Jerry – that’s everybody. That year, Phil was famous for giving books to players and anyone who was on that long road trip. The first long road trip of the year, he would give everyone a book that he had curated and chosen just for them. A reporter asked Phil, “What book are you giving Jerry this year?” And he said, “I don’t think Jerry’s getting a book from me this year.”
“Some of this stuff is so childish. It was like, well, what are you proving here? You’re in the course of making history with arguably the greatest basketball team of all time other than the Celtics in the ’60s and you’re going to break this up because people are sucking their thumbs over who gets credit and who deserves to be mad at who?
So, I think everyone, especially after Jerry’s passing, time heals all wounds and those wounds heal a lot quicker when people pass away. Before you get a chance to truly tell them how you feel about them. How much you appreciate them and if you’re sorry. What you’d be sorry about. And I think there would be a lot of reciprocal expressions of appreciation and apology to go around. But it’s too late now, and that’s a shame.”