ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary gave basketball fans an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the Chicago Bulls’ dynastic run through the 1990s. Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who was an integral part of those Bulls teams as a player, has said he didn’t want the same type of access to his Golden State team during the recent five-year run of consecutive trips to the NBA Finals.
Kerr joined former two-time Super Bowl champion Chris Long on his podcast this week, and talked about how he and his teammates in Chicago handled the constant presence of cameras chronicling Michael Jordan’s final season with the Bulls.
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“The first couple months, it was really weird,” Kerr explained. “Especially because Phil Jackson had always been a coach who felt like the locker room was sacred, that you couldn’t just have anybody walk in.
"So our locker room was really private, and then all of a sudden we go into that season in ‘98 and Phil says ‘there’s gonna be a camera crew following us around’ we’re all like ‘what? What the hell?’ ”
He did emphasize that players eventually got used to the attention.
“After a while, they just kind of blended in so it wasn’t too intrusive,” Kerr said.
The distraction didn’t seem to faze those Bulls, as they completed MJ’s second three-peat and won the 1998 NBA Finals.
The 2018-19 Warriors dealt with similar media scrutiny as the world wondered whether the organization could complete a three-peat of its own, and whether two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP Kevin Durant would remain in the Bay Area long-term.
Unfortunately for Golden State, the ending of that 2019 NBA Finals didn’t mirror the Bulls’ victory, as injuries took the Larry O’Brien trophy out of the hands of the Warriors.