Warriors turned down the chance to have a Last Dance-like documentary during their championship run

As The Last Dance documentary continues to capture the nation’s attention amid this unprecedented time of no live sports due to COVID-19, one of the most surprising aspects of it is the fact that the Chicago Bulls allowed so much access in order to create such a documentary. In the first two episodes alone, there’s footage from coaches and player’s meetings, and shots from inside the training room to give a different perspective on what was going on during the 1997-98 Bulls title run.

Naturally, it’s started the conversation over what teams could be next in creating a Last Dance-style documentary. Of course, the immediate reaction is the Golden State Warriors, given the constant similarities drawn between the two dynasties. However, Warriors executive Peter Guber said it’s not going to happen.

Guber told USA Today Sports that, while he’s had conversations with Warriors majority owner Joe Lacob and others within the franchise, the team decided not to have a camera crew following them around during their five-year NBA Finals run. 

“Once you do that, you actually affect the outcome of other things,” Guber said via USA Today. “Turning the camera on with an expectation that you’re going to get to a particular point with a sports team or career or something like that? It’s a dangerous business. It’s hubris.”

Guber has a special connection to The Last Dance documentary given that he’s a producer for the film. Warriors coach Steve Kerr was also a member of the team in the ’90s, so it’s not surprising that the idea came up. Though, unlike the Bulls, who had a very good sense of when their run would end given Jerry Krause blatantly telling Phil Jackson that he wouldn’t return as coach even if the team went 82-0, Guber said the Warriors had no idea of knowing when the franchise’s run would start or end. 

“You have to let Steve Kerr, Bob Myers and the players build their culture and their organization, and hope that it will emerge into a really unique enterprise and success,” Guber said. “Then you go back and try to paint the painting of it with a film or documentary afterwards, rather than say, ‘Let’s capture it now because we’re going to win nine championships in a row or something like that.’ I don’t think you can do that. I don’t think that’s a good undertaking. It will affect what you are doing.”

While the Warriors will undoubtedly be commemorated with some long-form documentary in the future, Guber’s comments just magnify how special it was that the NBA was granted permission to follow around Michael Jordan and the Bulls for a whole year. It also speaks to how timing is everything when trying to create something like The Last Dance. Jordan repeatedly said he wouldn’t play for anyone other than Phil Jackson, and Scottie Pippen already had a rocky relationship with Bulls management, so everything lined up perfectly to get that footage at that time. In today’s league, it’s far more difficult to pinpoint the rise and fall of a dynasty, which makes the Bulls documentary even more fascinating to watch.

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