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Craig Hodges Wasn’t Intentionally Excluded From ‘The Last Dance’ He Just Wasn’t That Good

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Craig Hodges says that when he was released by the Chicago Bulls in 1992, “everybody in the league knew it wasn’t about [his] game.” (Robert Furnace) How much demand was it for a 6’2 shooting guard?

Growing up in Chicago I remember vividly Craig Hodges winning three-point championships in 1990, 1991, and 1992, he was a good three point shooter but also didn’t play defense. He played a role in the Bulls winning two NBA championships but he was lucky to be on the team with career averages of 6.2 points, 0.8 rebounds, and 1.7 assists in 241 regular season games with the Bulls. Hodges also is the record holder of the Three Point Contest record for the most consecutive shots made (19), a record he broke in 1991, proving most of his accolades revolved around winning consecutive three point championships, not his performance on the court.

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The former professional basketball player resigned from coaching high school basketball in 2017.

He later coached basketball on the “dismal” Division I basketball team Chicago State University, and was an assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, largely because of his connection too Tex Winter who he played for at Long Beach State University, his main contribution to the Bulls was helping teach the triangle offense. After his NBA career he eventually ended up coaching for Rich East before resigning in 2017, so it is understandable that he would eventually become bitter at some point, suing the NBA in 1996 and pushing the false notion that he was “blackballed”. It isn’t shocking that liberal pundits such as Marc Lamont Hill are trying to rewrite history by attempting to rebrand him as the Colin Kaepernick of the NBA, but if we are being honest that is a bit of hyperbole.

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Marc Lamont Hill and others defend the legacy of Hodges but was he released by the Bulls because of his politics or because of his lack of tenacity on defense? More evidence points to the latter.

After the Bulls won the NBA championship in 1992, they visited the White House with George H.W Bush. Craig Hodges was the only Bull in a dashiki, if that isn’t clout chasing I don’t know what is!! He brought a letter for President Bush, asking him to address the concerns of poor and minority communities. That last part is commendable but no one thinks that some of his behavior seemed a bit extra, coming from someone who was lucky to be on the roster?  Not to mention him asking Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson to convince the Bulls and Lakers to not take the court in the 1991 Finals. Imagine how hard LeBron James and Steph Curry would laugh if Alex Caruso did the same thing.

Of course he later went on to sue the NBA in 1996 which had extended courtesy for him to participate in the 1993 three-point contest, even though the rules stipulated he couldn’t participate because he wasn’t on an NBA roster, for the record he was “torched” by Mark Price!! Just because you like his politics doesn’t make his role more significant. Craig Hodges wasn’t included in ‘The Last Dance’ because he was insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Such as the video below where he gets beaten on defense in the last seconds of Game 5 in the 1989 playoffs by Craig Ehlo, Jordan would make up for Hodges lackluster defense with “The Shot”.

A lot of rumors persist that the Bulls dropped the 6’2 shooting guard, who was also 32 years old at the time, not because of skills but because of his politics. Even with Hodges being one of the first high-volume shooters and having excellent three point and field goal percentages it made more sense for the Bulls to go after future shooting guards such as Pete Myers and Ron Harper who had more ability on defense and the four championships the Bulls won without Hodges illustrate that. His first round elimination in the 1993 three-point contest also is proof that he had lost a step.

Also his off-court domestic violence issues in 1991 certainly would have been a distraction for the Bulls.

Check out the self-proclaimed “greatest shooter in the world” getting knocked out of the Three Point Shootout in the First Round in 1993 in the video below. The only conspiracy is the NBA bending over backwards to let Hodges participate, he later repaid the league with a lawsuit in 1996 that was thrown out of court.

2 Comments on Craig Hodges Wasn’t Intentionally Excluded From ‘The Last Dance’ He Just Wasn’t That Good

  1. Wearing a dashiki was clout chasing?! lmao the irony… this article will drum up support for Craig’s stance as much as Marc’s tweet. Who even knew he had haters lol thx

    • No one is hating on Craig Hodges. You just like his political beliefs but this post is about his performance as a player. Explain how he was blackballed but the NBA allowed him to participate in the 1993 All Star Game when the rules clearly stated he needed to be on a roster. Wearing a dashiki to the White House is a form of clout chasing because how many times has he been in one before or since?

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