Everyone knows that Michael Jordan was insanely competitive. He would do anything to win, and his teammates saw it firsthand.

ESPN’s upcoming documentary series “The Last Dance” will give everyone else a chance to see that side of Jordan, too. Jordan was very careful with his public persona, but behind closed doors and at practice was a different temperament.

The Athletic’s Richard Deitsch had an early viewing of the first eight episodes of the 10-part series and gives lots of extra detail about the production in a wide-ranging story. He leads with a quote from Jordan after being asked if his intensity came at the expense of being thought of as a nice guy.

“Look, winning has a price,” Jordan said. “And leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn’t want to be challenged. And I earned that right because my teammates who came after me didn’t endure all the things that I endured. Once you joined the team, you lived at a certain standard that I played the game. And I wasn’t going to take any less. Now if that means I had to go in there and get in your ass a little bit, then I did that.”

This shows Jordan’s win-at-all-costs mentality. It also shows that he may display a more raw, real version of himself in this series than he’s presented in the past.


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There’s also a story about how Jordan rode forward Scott Burrell, a newcomer to the Bulls that season, hard throughout the year. Burrell is also an interview subject in the series, so that’s bound to be a juicy storyline.

“The Last Dance” debuts on Sunday, and it sounds like it’s going to be very revealing about Jordan and the Bulls.

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