It didn’t take long for Michael Jordan to establish himself as one of the most dominant players to ever walk onto a basketball court upon entering the NBA and it was only a matter of time until he transcended the sport and became one of the most recognizable names on the planet.
However, he didn’t achieve international superstardom thanks solely to his unreal set of skills, as seemingly every move he made was part of a carefully calculated plan to boost his profile and reap the financial rewards that came with doing so.
One of the key factors in realizing his vision was maintaining a relatively clean public persona that served in stark contrast to that of his teammate Dennis Rodman, as it’s unlikely he would’ve been as likely to ink monster endorsement deals with McDonald’s and Gatorade in the 1990s if he’d been covered in tattoos, worn wedding dresses in public, and had a penchant for headbutting referees.
However, it wasn’t exactly a secret that Jordan’s “nice guy” image was anything but an accurate reflection of his actual personality, and over the years, plenty of stories concerning his competitive nature have emerged that suggest he’s actually kind of a massive dick.
When you have a net worth of over $2 billion, you’re in a pretty good position to no longer really give a shit about what people think about you, which I can only assume played a role in His Airness agreeing to participate in The Last Dance, the ESPN docuseries that has provided us with an unprecedentedly raw look at his career thanks to a combination of interviews and footage that was shot during his final season with the Bulls.
If the first six episodes have proven anything, it’s that Jordan has reached a point in his life where he’s prepared for his story to be told without any filters (or the interference of the network’s censors), which has resulted in some pretty eye-opening revelations.
However, if director Jason Hehir is to be believed, The Last Dance might outdo itself when the seventh episode airs, as he recently appeared on The Dan Patrick Show and said the upcoming installment features some footage he thought he’d be asked to remove from the final cut before surprisingly getting the seal of approval, saying, “There’s things in there, there’s language in there that I’m shocked ESPN let us keep in, and there’s behavior in there that I’m shocked Michael let us keep in.”
As The Spun notes, Jordan’s infamous fight with Steve Kerr at practice will be covered at some point on Sunday night but there’s really no way to tell what portion of the broadcast Hehir is referring to until we watch it ourselves.
Are you just trying to drum up some excitement to get me to tune in, Jason? If so, it worked really, really well.