A rarely seen side of MJ should be on display for all to see

Documentary "The Last Dance" provides chance to see all sides of MJ

Credit Craig Larson

Sunday night the world will receive their first glimpse into "The Last Dance" and the behind the scenes footage of the Chicago Bulls sixth and final NBA Championship, chronicling the 9 season. Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, it was hard to even conceive of anything trumping the Chicago Bears in the Chicagoland public consciousness and popularity. Even now, the 85' Bears, hold a special place in Chicago's heart and NFL lore. Michael Jordan is Chicago's adopted son, someone who was relatable with a strong work ethic, competitive drive, who evolved his game and learned how to trust his teammates along the way in crucial moments.

In 1990, I was in the locker room of The Palace of Auburn Hills after the Bulls lost to the Pistons (yet again) in a playoff series, scoring a meager 74 points in a 19 point loss to Detroit. Michael commented that he was going to come back "even stronger" the following year as he fought back tears. I remember driving back home thinking, "Jordan will never get over the hump, the Pistons are just too deep" The following Summer, Jordan would claim the first of his six NBA Titles and he never looked back.

In 1993, I can recall Phil Jackson blowing off practice, us in the media getting word, for favor of taking a ferry ride to see the Statue of Liberty prior to Game 5 of a playoff series against the Knicks. On that ferry ride, Bulls power forward Horace Grant asked aloud "is that a man or a woman" as he traveled past Lady Liberty. MJ just shook his head in the distance.

September 1994, I covered Michael returning to the Old Chicago Stadium in Scottie Pippen's charity game. At conclusion, in front of 18,676 he knelt center court, kissing the center Bulls logo. Many of us felt that would be the last time we'd see Michael in a live basketball setting.

Several years later, we met up again in Lake Tahoe for a celeb golf tournament. At 6am the entire week, Michael was the first on the tee box hitting drives with his signature Nike attire. Three hours earlier, he was seen at the craps table, yet never missed a beat. I think the most remarkable trait of what I witnessed was his non-stop energy, he would pack an entire week into 1 day.

My hope is that everyone will get to see in this upcoming documentary the humbling moments, the challenges, the humility along the way, and how Michael evolved as a basketball player, but more importantly, evolved into a leader who was accepting of his coaches and teammates.

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The Texans should swing for the fences. Composite image by Jack Brame.

With each passing day, the Deshaun drama thickens. It's progressed to Mayor Sylvester Turner tweeting, basically humbling himself to Deshaun.

A city that a few short weeks ago offered up mega star power across the board, has now seen James Harden, Russell Westbrook, and George Springer all depart for a variety of reasons. The impact of Deshaun leaving would be irreversible guaranteeing the Texans resting comfortably in the bottom of the AFC South for the next decade, wallowing in futility.

The saga will only intensify in two weeks should Patrick Mahomes collect another Lombard Trophy. As 2017 draft class contemporaries, Deshaun is comparing his career to #15. Another ring would place Mahomes up 2-0 in that discussion with Watson.

Perhaps the Texans should take a play from the Oilers playbook and inquire on Dabo Swinney. In the pursuit of securing the services of Warren Moon, the Oilers made a power play and secured the services of Moon's former CFL coach, Hugh Campbell. I've attended several luncheons and engagements in which Deshaun served as the keynote speaker. In many of those venues, a short video presentation would include personal greetings and feel good overtures directed to Deshaun from Dabo. The end result was Deshaun lighting up like a Christmas tree. There's a viable relationship in place there.

At the end of the day, Deshaun is a competitor. Losing DeAndre Hopkins was a major loss, but not to the degree that you might think. Deshaun still went out and threw for over 4,000 yards this season, and with a sub-par supporting cast, even pulling guys off of the practice squad in late December contests to fill out the receiving corps. The issue for Watson is trust, and culture. Hence, the recent headlines surrounding the Jets as a future home make very little sense. The Jets in 4 of their last 5 seasons have had double-digit losing seasons. Until the recent resurgence of the Browns, the Jets far and away have held the title of the "laughingstock" of the NFL.

The biggest challenge for the Texans is who could persuade Deshaun to stay? Could team President Jamey Rootes calm down the noise? It certainly won't come from Texans Ring of Honor recipient Andre Johnson. If I were Cal McNair, I would place a call to 105 Sikes Hall in Clemson, SC and ask for Dabo's office. That's as good of a place to start as any other.

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