Director of 'The Last Dance' compares Patriots' drama with Michael Jordan's exit from Bulls

Rob Bradford
May 17, 2020 - 6:51 pm
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As the 10-part documentary "The Last Dance" has been rolled out on ESPN the parallels between the drama surrounding Michael Jordan and his last year with the Bulls and Tom Brady's recent exit from the Patriots have been routinely surfaced.

But what does the person who put together the highly-rated project on the Chicago dynasty think about the comparison? 

Jason Hehir, a Newton native, appeared with Marc James on WEEI Sunday afternoon to weigh in on if he believed there were similarities between the two.

"It’s an interesting thing to think about. I haven’t been asked that question yet," Hehir said. "Pat Riley called it the disease of more when he was talking about why it is the most difficult thing to do in sports is to repeat, not to win the first one, it’s to win the second one. The disease of more is everybody who is one those teams want more credit, more adulation, more playing time, more money and it’s very difficult to strike that formula over and over and over again. They were able to do it. I think that eventually, egos get in the way. Relationships get in the way.

"We may never know exactly what happened behind the scenes (with the Patriots). Maybe I will be having that conversation in 10 years when we do their story. When you reach that level of greatness and that level of celebrity and people either out in front or behind the scenes take the credit for doing everything it’s bound to fall apart eventually. But we were lucky as hell for 20 years to have the experience we had. We have been a spoiled fan base. I am a diehard Pats fan but I have nothing to ask of them for the rest of my life because we just have such an incredible experience watching them."

Hehir certainly knows his Boston sports, not only having served as a ballboy for the Boston College men's basketball team but also playing collegiate baseball for Newton North High and Williams College. So when a hypothetical Boston-centric sports argument was thrown his way, he gladly weighed in.

If Hehir had the choice of trading Michael Jordan winning six championships for the Celtics for the six titles brought to him by Tom Brady and the Patriots, which would he make the swap?

"No way," said the 43-year-old documentarian. "No way because the memories that I have with my family … My parents are home listening to this right now in Newton and they are probably on the same couch I used to watch with them - hello Mary and Joe Hehir ... all those experiences I have with my friends and my brothers and my extended family, there is something different about NFL football and Super Bowl parties and knowing we are going to go to the playoffs every January like it’s a birth-right. My nephews are 16 years old and he knows nothing but domination from the Patriots. He’s about to get the shock of his life when they go 8-8 next year maybe. But, nah, I wouldn’t trade that. And also we had the Bird Celtics all through the ’80s. We were spoiled with them. I can’t picture Michael in a Celtics uniform. I think he was destined to wear red and black."