The final two episodes of "The Last Dance" centered around the Chicago Bulls facing the Utah Jazz in back-to-back NBA Finals at the conclusion of the Bulls dynasty. One star player that very clearly was missing from those final episodes was Hall of Fame big man Karl Malone. In an interview on "The Dan Patrick Show," director Jason Hehir revealed that Malone turned down an opportunity to be appear in "The Last Dance."
"He declined through another party," Hehir said. "We asked him multiple times. Believe me, we exhausted just about every avenue. We started in January 2018 on that one because we knew that (Malone) was gonna be a tough sell."
Hehir was able to get former Jazz point guard John Stockton to sit down for interviews to be featured in the documentary series, but even he had to be sold on the idea. The crew ended up interviewing Stockton on March 10, right before the coronavirus outbreak spread throughout the United States.
"I finally got (Stockton) on the phone after like two years of chasing him," Hehir said. "(Stockton) said, 'I don't want to be a part of a Michael Jordan puff piece.'"
Hehir admitted that his team persistently pursued Malone throughout the entire process of the documentary, but he wouldn't budge -- even after Stockton agreed to talk.
"We tried to get them to sit down together. Thought that might be a better option and (Malone would) feel more comfortable with that, but there was just no convincing him," Hehir said
Along with Malone, Hehir also wanted to interview Bryon Russell for "The Last Dance." He never responded to an interview request.
It's understandable that Hehir would want two of the biggest factors in the 1998 NBA Finals to be interviewed. Malone was coming off an MVP regular season -- which Jordan said fueled him at the end of the Bulls' run -- and Russell defended Michael Jordan on MJ' iconic game-winning jump shot that clinched Chicago's sixth NBA title.