Simple basketball is best, says Luc
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MINUTES into the interview, former Chicago Bulls center Luc Longley immediately showed his sense of humor.
The 7-foot-2 center suggested that “NBA Cares” should be changed to “NBA Scares” after his experience in Cagayan de Oro where a surprised girl ran away and cried after getting a goodie bag during the outreach program last weekend.
With a wry smile, he shared a story about former coach Phil Jackson telling everyone in a gathering organized by the Australian Embassy early this year that Longley should have been the No. 1 option on offense during the Bulls’ glory years in the late 1990s because “he had too much inside firepower.”
But when it came down to doing things on the court during his playing days, he and the Michael Jordan-led Bulls were all business. And the reward? Three championship rings and recognition as a member of a Bulls team that went 72-10 in the regular season.
“I never worked so hard before I came to play in Chicago,” said Longley, who is in Manila for a series of NBA-related activities. “There was a common thread (within the team), a culture of excellence and we had to buy into that.”
“In a lot of ways, playing with Michael and Scottie (Pippen) made it a lot easy,” he added in a thick Australian accent. “The better we became, the simpler basketball was for us. Simple basketball is the best basketball.”
Longley believes the drive and determination to win stands at the very core of what the Hall-of-Famer does on the court and in practice.
“Michael can be very demanding, but mostly on himself. He can call you out in-your-face or be quiet yet suggestive. You know that the message is that ‘let’s just do a better job.’”