Steve Kerr Discusses Upcoming Series “The Last Dance”
The 10-Part Documentary Airs on ESPN, Netflix
In the fall of 1997, filmmaker Jason Hehir was granted unprecedented access to the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls as he documented the team’s quest for a sixth NBA Championship in eight years. Two decades later, basketball fans will have the chance to go behind the scenes to watch Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and even Dubs’ Head Coach Steve Kerr (then a reserve on the team) compete through the season amid internal tensions.
The team agreed to let Hehir and his film crew follow them all season long, even into the locker room and team practices, as Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls began their quest to win one last title as a group before many of of their contracts ended. Basketball fans will now have the opportunity to see the intensity Jordan brought to games and practices, as well as watch never-before-seen footage of one of basketball’s great dynasties.
The first two episodes will premiere on ESPN this coming Sunday, April 19th, at 6:00 p.m. Two more episodes will debut each Sunday thereafter.
Kerr took part in a phone conference earlier this week to discuss the upcoming release and recall some of what happened that season. Take a look at some select parts from that call below:
What do you think Michael Jordan’s sort of candor will mean to the general public, and what sort of level of candor did you see from him as a teammate?
STEVE KERR: I'm excited for this movie because I think there's a whole generation of young basketball players and fans who have only heard about Michael and who didn't really experience his dominance, and so to really see it up close, to see the impact he had on the game, to see not only the physical but the mental and the emotional dominance he carried with him on the court every single game I think will be really interesting and enlightening for an entire generation of young fans.
What was it like with the camera crews around all the time during that season, and what was sort of the team's collective reaction to granting that kind of access?
KERR: Yeah, it was definitely strange at the time. That was not an era where there was a ton of access behind the scenes. And for Phil Jackson, the locker room and the team's space was always very sacred, so it was kind of a surprise at the time when we were alerted to what was happening. But I think everybody embraced it pretty quickly because we were well aware we were playing in a very historic era and playing for a historic team. And so I think we all understood that someday this would all be captured and it would be great for us to see it and remember it and show our kids and grandkids.
20-plus years later there's always a feel-good vibe in Chicago to the championship run and all that went with it, but heading into that '97-' 98 season before the sixth title run, what do you recall about that lingering tension between the front office, coaches, and players?
KERR: Well, it definitely felt like the last season. It wasn't something that was concocted by (Head Coach) Phil (Jackson) when he called it the last dance. It was real. Everybody's contracts were up, basically had an entire team full of free agents, and it just felt like that was going to be it. And so we wanted to make the most of the moment.
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