Bugs Bunny deleted interview for The Last Dance, about his time playing basketball with Jordan. This period of Jordan’s life is also covered in the documentary Space Jam.
Ehhhhh. What’s up Doc?
Thanks for doing this interview. You knew Michael at a tough time in his life. What was it like first meeting Air Jordan?
Air Jordan? The Michael I first met was not Air Jordan. He didn’t show up until much later. The Michael I first met was barely hitting .200 for White Sox AA ball. But we needed him to become Air Jordan. And he didn’t disappoint.
Why did you abduct Michael in the first place?
Well its like I told Mike at the time- these aliens from outer space wanted to make us slaves in their theme park. They were little. So we challenged them to a basketball game. Eh, what do we care? They’re little! But then they show up and they ain’t so little, they’re huge! We needed to beat these guys, ’cause they’re talking about slavery! They’d make us do stand-up… the same jokes every night… every night for all eternity! We were going to be locked up like wild animals and then trotted out to perform for a bunch of lowbrow, bug-eyed, bad-headed, humor-challenged aliens! Eh, what I’m trying to say is… We needed help.
What made you take a risk, and abduct Jordan to play on the Tune Squad? Why not a player who was playing in the NBA?
If you remember, the Monstars had already stolen the talent from Ewing, Barkley, Bradley, Bogues, and Johnson. Our choices were limited, and we knew that the Monstars weren’t going to abduct a baseball player for their team. So we thought it was the safest option. But also, we knew that if MJ wanted to, he could become His Airness again.
How did you get Jordan to join the team?
We lassoed him through a golf hole.
No, after that. How did you get him to want to play? He had retired.
Did anyone tell you about when the Monstars insulted Mike?
So, we just brought Mike into the gym. He still wasn’t sure about playing basketball again, claiming his ‘timing’ was all off since he hadn’t played in so long. Eh, we weren’t concerned, and we were desperate! So, we cleaned the gym to practice. Taz had just gotten the gym ‘lemony fresh’ when the Monstars burst in, showing their big ugly mugs, and bad-mouthing Michael! Saying they were better than the ‘Dream Team,’ they were the ‘Scream Team.’ And then they called Mike a ‘woosy man,’ called him a chicken, said he was washed up! And then they dunked him through a basketball hoop.
Wait a minute… They did what?
I know. Calling Mike washed up was the worst decision they ever made… He looked them right in the eye and said, “Ehhhh, Let’s play some basketball.”
Was Michael a good teammate?
*long pause* Well, he helped us win? We aren’t in slavery. But Mike was tough. Especially on Porky.
The one and only. See, Porky is slow… he is fat… but he is slow, much like Stan was. And Mike wanted to see him workin’ a bit harder to get up and down the court. He would let him know what he thought about him during practice. He was constantly trash-talking him, trying to get him to fight back. There was also the incident at halftime of the big game.
What happened at half time?
Porky wanted to forfeit.
Mike had lost the team. They were tuned out, gone, done-zo. MJ was trying to pump ‘em up, get ‘em ready for the second half. We got a game to play! That’s when Porky said he wanted to forfeit. I thought MJ was going to fry him into bacon with his eyeballs the way he stared at ‘im. I had to step in and save the team. MJ was always going to do whatever it took to win. He didn’t care about what people thought about him.
Could Michael have won the big one without Lola Bunny?
It was beautiful to watch MJ and Lola play together. Jordan was the playmaker and player-coach and Lola was his outlet, a competitive partner. I know that in the first half Mike tried to do too much. We found ourselves in a 66-18 hole at halftime. And part of the reason the team wasn’t responding to MJ was because he was trying to do too much. It was iso after iso.
But the Monstars were like the Bad Boy Pistons, they beat him up, they physically dominated the game. It wasn’t until the second half, when we played like a team, that we made our epic 48-2 run and caught back up. It was like when MJ finally embraced the triangle offense and started passing to Paxson against the Suns in game 6 in the finals. Lola gave him the confidence to play as a team.
Did Jordan ever doubt his team’s ability to win that game?
Never. He had faith in his team. He bet his own freedom while still down by 48 points.
About that. Were you ever worried about Jordan’s gambling?
Worried? I visited MJ’s house. If he had a gambling problem, he wouldn’t have a house that nice. I met his kids, his kids wouldn’t love him like they do if he had a gambling problem, his wife would’ve left him. He doesn’t have a gambling problem.
You don’t believe that Jordan was suspended because of gambling for 18 months?
Listen, I was with Jordan when he decided to play basketball again. He wasn’t waiting for a suspension to end. He missed his dad and needed to re-fall in love with the game. And when he took off from half court to dunk the game winning points, and as the Monstars grabbed onto his legs in one of the great no-calls of the modern era, and when he stretched his arm out to 60 feet in order to win the game as time expired, Mike became Air Jordan again.
Are you saying you are the reason Michael Jordan returned to basketball?
Ehhh. I believe you said it, not me.
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