Back in the spring, ESPN introduced the world to The Last Dance.
The documentary chronicles the Bulls’ last season of their epic dynasty that headlined the NBA throughout the 1990s.
The Bulls’ supporting cast included Toni Kukoc, Ron Harper, Steve Kerr and Luc Longley.
All creative control belonged to Michael Jordan.
“I think nobody should have been surprised,” NBA champion Craig Hodges told Brian Mazique, Ben Doody and myself while on the Heavy With Scoop B Show.
“When my son told me about it, I wondered why it’s called The Last Dance and then I saw that Phil Jackson always had his mantra and then I’m like: ‘Okay, I get it.’ But for me, it was one of those things, I look at it from a standpoint of Michael being heavy-handed. That’s what Air Jordan is about and Air Jordan is about his iconic image and the economics behind it. It’s not about the exploitation of people, it’s not about the opression of people, it’s about capitalism. And I think sometimes we can get stuck in thinking that.
“In the short term, no it didn’t surprise me that it was heavy-handed.
“I think the fact for me, I found out it was coming out the week before it came out because right now I’m in the process of doing my documentary and feature film, so we’ve been working on our project for 18 months before this came out.”
An NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s, it is believed that Hodges was blackballed by the NBA after he handed a letter to former President George H.W. Bush during the Bulls’ championship visit to the White House. The contents of the letter, according to Hodges, made Bush aware of the mistreatment of poor people and people of color in the United States. “Me in my youth, I asked Magic [Johnson] and him to boycott the first game of the  Finals,” Hodges shared.
“I was immature at that time of the economic consequences of standing up and not so much about John Carlos and Thomas Smith coming back from the Olympics and not being able to get economic jobs and that kind of thing, but it was one of those things like: ‘Man I’m one of the top shooters in the game, how can we play basketball and I’m not in the game?’ I realized that if I’m playing with Michael Jordan, a lot of people are looking and myself at times I would say: ‘To whom much is given much is required.’ People took that to mean Michael. But I was talking about Oprah and the city of Chicago because if you can go to South Africa and build a school, surely you can build one on the South and West side [of Chicago]. So it’s like a thing of where those iconic images where we thought we’d be hope for our people, it’s almost been a whirlpool affected and draining the economic lifeblood out of our community at times; just through the product involvement that they have within our communities.”