Longley breaks silence on Bulls

Australia’s three-time NBA champion, Luc Longley, has broken his silence on the Chicago Bulls’ final championship in 1998, as featured in the award-winning documentary The Last Dance.

Longley appears in a new Australian-based documentary, Imported, which details America’s influence on basketball Down Under.

The Boomers legend opted not to comment during the hugely popular Last Dance documentary last year that detailed Michael Jordan’s influence on a star-studded Bulls side set to be torn apart at season’s end due to business realities initiated by then general manager Jerry Krause.

Former Chicago Bulls basketballer Luc Longley in Melbourne for NBA Madness, with a replica of the NBA championship trophy.Source:News Corp Australia

Superstar Chicago forward Scottie Pippen was left disgruntled after it emerged he was also significantly underpaid.

Longley admits he was also disillusioned with the situation, which would also see him leave for Phoenix after the ’98 season, but he was determined to be professional in his quest to win another championship.

“Yeah, I was confused,” Longley confesses in the Australian basketball documentary, Imported.

“I understood it to be more about his (Jerry’s) relationship with coach Phil (Jackson), than whether or not the players had any good years left in them.

“Jerry did the right thing by me. He signed me to two contracts. My second contract which was in Chicago and then a sign and trade with Phoenix.

“I think Jerry identified me along with Phil for being good at what I did, which not everyone was doing at the time, and did the right thing by me.

“So, basically I’m not going to jump on the shit can Jerry bandwagon. I was confused and disappointed, but I was just getting on with the job.

“I wasn’t getting engaged in who said what and who had done what and all that stuff that was going on.

“I knew what I said or cared about wasn’t really going to affect the plan, so the best thing I could do was focus on the things I can control, which was guarding Karl Malone and hitting my mid-range jumper and that was what I was about.”

A candid Luc Longley talks about his role in the Chicago Bulls’ last championship-winning season in 1998 in a new Australian basketball documentary called ‘Imported’.Source:News Limited

Longley’s take on the Bulls’ championship season in 1998 is just one of many intriguing insights in the documentary, Imported.

Produced and edited by Chris Appleby, a Victorian filmmaker who wrote Longley‘s book, Running with the Bulls, Imported is based around the 1990s when basketball in this country took off.

It looks at the American influence on the game in Australia – the US imports, their sons now having an impact in the NBA, NBL and national team, dramatic moments like Shane Heal and Charles Barkley, Andrew Gaze at Seton Hall, Darryl McDonald‘s backstory growing up in Harlem, Luc Longley being drafted in 1991, the St Mary’s University Australian pipeline… the list goes on.

The inspiration for the project came about after the Boomers beat Team USA for the first time at Marvel Stadium back in 2019, and Appleby thought, “How did we get to the point where we could beat the Americans at their own game? Turns out the Americans have been helping us every step of the way.”

Unfortunately, the documentary’s production/funding partnership fell over when the coronavirus pandemic hit last year.

In a bid to recommence production, Appleby is asking the Australian basketball community for financial assistance to complete his documentary, which will be a two-hour, two-part series.

He has already interviewed some of hoops’ biggest names in 70 interviews, including Andrew Bogut, Brett Brown, Brian Goorjian, Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, and Gregg Popovich.

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