ESPN's "The Last Dance" was a sporting spectacle for these strange times. Not only did the documentary series tell an intriguing story, but featured multiple notable figures along the way saying their piece in their own words for the first time. From Michael Jordan himself to teammates Scottie Pippen and Steve Kerr and other NBA legends like Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Charles Barkley, the series ran the gamut -- but this is not to say every last relevant star was willing to take part in the documentary.
DirectorJason Hehir revealed two notable figures in the drama that refused to sit for interviews: Hall of Famer Karl Malone and Utah Jazz teammate Bryon Russell. Important to note that Hehir identifies these icons as the only people to decline invitations, which speaks to just how many slain adversaries were willing to speak on the record.
Malone and Russell were plausibly disinterested in re-living the disappointments of the 1997 and 1998 NBA Finals. Russell guarded Jordan during Game 6 in '98, as Jordan hit his iconic game-winning jumper -- his last as a Bull -- to bring an incredible sixth championship to Chicago.
Russell did later play a single season in Washington as Jordan's teammate, making his absence from the documentary a bit more interesting.
Malone hotly competed with Jordan as one of his biggest adversaries throughout the 90s. After an MVP season in 1997, MJ made a point to outclass the Jazz big man on the biggest stage. He did, and the Bulls did so again the next season. The Jazz failed to overcome the Bulls in their two tries, and Malone, despite being one of the greatest players ever to step on the hardwood, retired without a championship.
Despite Malone and Russell's absence, many of Jordan's other primary foes appeared in the documentary. And with Jordan's dominance of so many of the NBA's greatest, it is only natural that not all would want to recount the memories.