Charlotte Hornets majority governor Michael Jordan likes to remain out of the limelight after being in the spotlight his entire NBA career with the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards. However, he changed his schedule for former Bulls center Luc Longley, whose documentary recently came out.
Jordan was interviewed for Longley’s documentary, One Giant Leap, and he had a genuine reason for taking time out of his busy agenda to participate in it.
Michael Jordan on Luc Longley: “He matters to me”
Caitlin Shea, Longley’s documentary producer, asked Jordan why he decided to be interviewed for the two-part series. The Bulls legend, one of the most ruthless competitors in NBA history, showed off his compassionate side in his answer.
“He matters to me,” Jordan said. “He does matter to me, and his story needs to be told. Sure, I mean there’s some good and some bad, but that’s all a part of life. You’re gonna have friends that you have good and bad things about, but we went through the trenches. We shared a lot. We competed together. I would take him any day of the week if I had to go through a competition again. If you asked me to do it all over again, there’s no way I would leave Luc Longley off my team. No way possible. Because he mattered. He had an impact on me. He made me better as a player.”
Shea got a hold of MJ’s manager, but she needed Longley to secure the Bulls icon.
Luc Longley emailed Michael Jordan
Shea told Jack M. Silverstein that Jordan’s manager replied to her interview request with a “thanks but no thanks” email. That’s when she talked to Longley, and the rest is history.
“I let Luc know, and Luc then emailed Michael because they still keep in contact with each other and have a very warm and friendly email relationship,” Shea said. “Michael said ‘yes’ straight away. Then it was all systems go.”
Jordan’s interview was so powerful that Shea is releasing his entire 30-minute interview as a standalone piece. As expected, she was nervous going into the interview since she had never interviewed someone as famous as the six-time champion. However, Shea received some excellent advice from Longley.
Producer enjoyed talking with MJ
Longley called Shea before her interview with Jordan, and the three-time champion gave her guidance on how to talk to the man who is widely regarded as the best basketball player of all time.
“I was really nervous about doing it. I’ve never interviewed anybody of that profile before,” Shea said. “Luc had called me up beforehand, just to talk it through. In hindsight, he was coaching me. Giving me a little bit of a game plan, in a way. What he said to me was, ‘The thing with Michael is you don’t want him to feel defensive. He will give you all you need. He will talk. He will be wanting to tell you stuff about me. Just don’t make him feel like he’s under attack in any way.’ Not that I think that I would’ve adopted that interview style but, as the interview was playing out, I went, ‘Yes, Luc was right. This man is just really keen just to talk.’ It was really good.”
Jordan and Longley won three straight titles together on the Bulls in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Although Longley isn’t in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, he clearly played a significant role in Chicago’s three titles. Otherwise, Jordan wouldn’t have agreed to be interviewed for his documentary.