Ahead of ESPN’s release of The Last Dance, a ten-part documentary series that profiles the Chicago Bulls’ final season, I caught up with for Bulls guard, Scott Burrell.
Burrell also discussed Tex Winter and Phil Jackson’s complex triangle offense and the Bulls’ electric pre-game starting lineup.
Check out snippets from our dialogue below:
Scott Burrell on late Chicago Bulls assistant coach, Tex Winter:
“He was a perfectionist. He worried about footwork every day, worried about spacing every day – the importance of spacing offensively. It was a culture that was built by Tex, taught by Phil and carried over by Michael and Scottie. You had to do your part and spacing in the Triangle Offense was key. You were too close… you couldn’t make the right reads and the right cuts. So I mean, everybody was — Tex, I think… he started the Triangle Offense but he was also the one that EVERYONE listened to for details of being great in the offense.”
Scott Burrell on the difficulty of the Triangle Offense in the beginning:
“It was very difficult. I think the hardest part was because I was one of the only new guys. It was me, Rusty LaRue (Wake Forest), Keith Booth (Maryland)… so it was like three or four new guys – Joe Kline… that had to learn the offense but at the same time, you’re learning the offense played from the best team in the world. Two time champions before you got there. They won five out of the last seven championships, and you don’t want to hurt Michael. So you’re always a step behind trying to learn the offense, because they’re already in the same page all those guys already. They know every in and out – all the ins and the outs of the offense. You’re trying to be perfect and you’re not being a player. You’re not being you as an athlete and player right away until you learn the offense and got on the same page.”
Scott Burrell on excitement during the Chicago Bulls’ pregame starting lineups:
“The hyped up part for that gave me goose bumps before we ran on the court was when Randy Brown would ask, What time is it?!? When he yelled, What time is it?!? …. Because once you step on that court, and that you knew you were running on that court and it was GAME TIME. You’d better be ready to play you know what I’m sayin’? I think that was the time you get goose bumps.”