Michael Jordan’s tenure with the Washington Wizards left plenty of bad feelings. Now he’s saying he knows that he messed up.
The Last Dance had an enormous pull for the basketball community, bringing together millions of fans for five Sundays in a row. The docuseries was supposed to offer an honest and unprecedented look at the legacy of Michael Jordan. While it was clear that some issues were handled lightly, the documentary did wrestle, to some degree, with the way Jordan’s intensity created friction with teammates, particularly younger ones.
The documentary did not cover his later stint with the Washington Wizards at all, but Jordan’s bullying behavior during this era is a bit more well-known, if only because his declining athleticism made it all seem a bit more “old man yells at cloud.”
The most well-known example is Jordan’s relentless abuse of Kwame Brown, although Brown has denied parts of the story including that Jordan brought him to tears or called him a slur. But Jordan apparently spoke recently with his Hornets’ players and expressed regret for a different badly handled relationship in Washington.
Michael Jordan knows he made mistakes with the Wizards young players.
“Honestly, I wish I never played in Washington and for a number of reasons. The kind of picture I had in my mind of Michael Jordan and the reverence I had for him, I lost a little bit of it during the course of that year. We got off to a pretty good start, and he didn’t like the way the offense was running because it was running a little bit more through me. And it just kind of spiraled in a way that I didn’t enjoy that season at all.”
It’s clear that the participating in The Last Dance, has sparked some introspection on the part of Jordan. He was famously apolitical during his playing days but made a strong statement in support of the nationwide protests sparked by George Floyd’s killing, and followed that up with a $100 million donation over 10 years from the Jordan Brand. It’s never too late to right a wrong or try to make things better.