The fourth night of “The Last Dance” included one of the most human moment’s of Michael Jordan’s career. The legend helped the Chicago Bulls clinch their fourth championship in six years on Father’s Day 1996, a meaningful moment after his father, James Jordan, was killed in 1993.
Jordan has talked about his father over the years and their relationship was featured on episodes seven and eight on Sunday night. James Jordan also had a solid relationship with Jordan’s Bulls teammates, so much so that former Bulls big man Will Perdue said the players were closer with James than Michael.
Perdue, an analyst for NBC Chicago, discussed the legend’s father on CBS Sports HQ. While Jordan “went his direction” and had “business relationships,” he said, his father built personal relationships with the Bulls.
“As far as M.J.'s dad, he was the nicest person. You'd be so surprised ... his dad was always around the practice facility. As soon as practice was over, Michael would be gone, but his dad would drive separately, and his dad would stay behind and hang out with us. I remember numerous occasions when we were at the Berto Center, the practice facility, him and I would just sit down and have conversations about anything and everything.
“If you were there shooting late, he might come out and rebound for you, he might come out and just start talking to you when you're shooting free throws, walk with you as you walk off of the floor. He might come in the locker room, he had the run of the joint. He was so genuine, he was such a gentlemen. Quite honestly, a lot of the players had stronger and better relationships with him than they had with Michael, and a lot of it was that he made himself more available than Michael did."
Perdue spoke with the Chicago Sun Times on Monday about the episodes and gave a similar sentiment. He called James Jordan “just like the all-American dad.”
“People would be like, ‘That’s Michael’s dad? Damn, he’s just like a regular guy who just loves talking to you.’ ’
“People don’t realize that guys on the team had a better relationship with his father than we did with him. I’m not saying we didn’t have relationships with Michael, but Michael was really guarded in how he did things.’’
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