Michael Jordan, according “The Last Dance” director Jason Hehir, was concerned footage of him and Bulls teammate Scott Burrell would make Jordan look like a “horrible guy.”
Just how did Jordan treat Burrell?
No one ever wanted to play MJ one-on-one. But Scott Burrell kept insisting on it. Steve Kerr just couldn’t believe how stupid that was, that Scott would poke the bear like that. Burrell just kept picking MJ to play one-on-one. Scott got close to him. He got within a point, but Jordan won. Scott wanted to play again. So Jordan said, ‘I’m sure you do want to play again. You want to tell your grandkids that you beat Michael Jordan. What the hell am I going to tell my grandkids? That I beat Scott Burrell?’
Jordan was a larger-than-life figure. He was viewed as the greatest player of all time while still in his prime. He was a huge celebrity, his fame transcending far beyond basketball. That’s part of what made Chicago’s great records especially impressive. Jordan got every opponent’s best effort while simultaneously managing a massive public image. Any slip by Jordan and the Bulls was a major story. There was always so much pressure on him.
And Jordan distilled that entire complex situation into a devastating quip at the expense of Burrell.