ESPN’s The Last Dance covers a lot of ground. The series is nominally about the Chicago Bulls’ 1997-’98 season, but there are frequent detours for Dennis Rodman, the Dream Team, and the “Republicans buy sneakers” controversy. Still, the documentary’s main selling point is its trove of never-before-seen, behind-the-scenes footage of Michael Jordan’s final championship season. In previous episodes, these looks back provided a fascinating glimpse of Jordan’s off-court fashion (who knew M.J. was such a hat guy?) and introduced us to instantly iconic bodyguard John Michael Wozniak. Now Sunday’s installments promise to bring the holy grail of Jordan footage — scenes of the greatest basketball player of all time being a complete and utter jackass to his teammates.
Stories of such douchbaggery have been part of the MJ legend ever since Sam Smith’s The Jordan Rules, and in this exclusive clip from episode seven, we get a short but telling glimpse of his cold-eyed practice demeanor, which go a long way in demonstrating the “fear factor” he brought to the court. “Let’s not get it wrong, he was an asshole,” Bulls center Will Perdue recalls. “He was a jerk. He crossed the line numerous times.” Of course, since this footage was only made public with Jordan’s approval, there’s a rosy conclusion — this unpleasantness ultimately brought out the best in his teammates. Still, don’t take it as a model for how to act in your own professional environment.