Craig Ehlo discusses “The Shot” and “The Last Dance”

Craig Ehlo discusses “The Shot” and “The Last Dance” in an interview with Chris Fedor in The Wine and Gold Talk podcast. It’s an amazing story, as Michael Jordan explained in “The Last Dance” that he felt that Lenny Wilkins made a mistake putting Ehlo on him over Ron Harper. Harper claimed that he asked Wilkins to guard Jordan but claimed that Wilkins said no.

Ehlo took no offense by anything in the documentary but didn’t remember Harper saying anything like that, though Ehlo concedes that Harper may have said something directly to Jordan.

It’s a great interview, as Ehlo is a class act, and he tells some great Jordan stories that show a good side of Jordan.

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Great start to “The Last Dance”

“The Last Dance” was always going to be a significant TV event, given the topic of Michael Jordan and his last championship run in Chicago. But obviously, with all of us thirsting for sports during this pandemic, everyone is watching this documentary.

Having lived through this, the documentary brought back some great memories. I wasn’t a Bulls fan, but like everyone I respected the brilliance of Michael Jordan. I always rooted for him in The Finals.

“The Last Dance” covers the drama of this last title run while also telling the backstory of the key figures like Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Phil Jackson. And of course it covers all the drama surrounding Jerry Krause and the tension between the front office, Jackson, Jordan and Pippen.

So many things stand out from the first two episodes. Of course, the whole Michael Jordan backstory is always fun to watch. I had forgotten about Jordan’s offensive explosion against Larry Bird and the 1986 Celtics in the first round of the playoffs.

Pippen’s backstory was also fascinating, seeing his challenging family situation and how he managed to work hard at a small college and get to the NBA.

I remember at the time how ridiculous the situation seemed when the Bulls made it clear that season would be Jackson’s last season. In some way it was a relief for the rest of the NBA. Now we get to see the behind the scenes look at how it all played out . . . the rest of this documentary series should be just as fun.

What were the Bulls thinking in Jimmy Butler trade?

Are the Bulls nuts? Practically everyone is ripping the deal sending Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves. You have a superstar player with several years left on his contract, and you don’t get a superstar or a haul of assets in return? Bulls fans have to be furious.

Meanwhile, Minnesota fans get the perfect addition to a young, talented team. Players like Andrew Wiggins and Karl Anthony Towns need to learn how to play defense, and Butler is the perfect two-way player to help Tom Thibodeau create a defensive culture in Minnesota.

Lebron James flop?

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau got hit with a $35,000 for suggesting that Lebron James flopped the other night after being shoved by Nazr Mohammed. Anyone who reads this blog knows I’m not a fan of traitor Lebron, but that claim is pretty ridiculous. Mohammed shoved Lebron out of the blue, and I’m not at all surprised that he naturally fell backwards. Thibodeau should have been fined.

That said, Thibodeau’s strategy versus Lebron is brilliant, even with some execution issues like Mohammed’s stupid shove. The idea is to get into Lebron’s head, and frankly Lebron had a bad game but was bailed out by his teammates. It may not lead to a Bulls win since they’re so overmatched, but with Lebron you have to challenge him physically and mentally as we’ve seen him wilt many times before both when he played for the Cavs and in 2011 with the Heat.

Of course, Lebron can also rise to the occasion and make you pay for it, but leaving him alone spells certain defeat for most teams. It’s playoff basketball and you have to challenge Lebron and hope he suffers a meltdown or at least starts altering his game.

Derrick Rose continues to sit out

The Chicago Bulls are a mess with all their injuries, but Derrick Rose won’t be suiting up for game 7 against the Nets. Rose finally spoke to the media and basically reiterated that he’s physically cleared to play, but . . . mentally he’s not ready.

He left open the possibility of playing against the Miami Heat if the Bulls advance.

It’s hard to criticize anyone coming off an ACL injury, and we ave no idea what this guy is feeling. But it’s still a little odd that he’s not willing to take a chance with the playoffs on the line.

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