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When did luc longley divorce?

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Answer # 1 #

By Martin RogersFOX Sports Columnist

Back in the mid-1990s, when the Chicago Bulls were not so much a team but a global phenomenon on a rock band scale, there was every kind of themed memorabilia you could possibly think of.There was all the official merchandise: banners, towels, jerseys, basketballs, key chains, bedsheets, beer steins and even sunglasses, plus all kinds of irreverent bootleg stuff. Amid the more humorous, and surprisingly popular, was a set of Matryoshka dolls, one fitting inside the other and so on, featuring each member of the squad.Along with three rings, a Russian doll set is about the only memorabilia Luc Longley, starting center on the 1996-98 championship teams, keeps at his home in a tiny Australian coastal town. It is a rare one, too. Virtually every set, as you might expect, had Michael Jordan as the biggest and most prominent carving. Longley’s one? It has himself in the prime external position. The "big dog.""We line us up in order of importance," Longley laughs on a recently released Australian documentary, arranging the dolls, mischievously placing himself and Steve Kerr first, then Scottie Pippen, then Jordan. "There we go."

The truth of it, Longley adds, turning serious, is that Jordan, Pippen and Dennis Rodman were "the three rockstars, Hall of Fame great players, and the rest of us down here found nice roles to win championships."

It is a generous and accurate admission, yet there was still some disquiet about how Longley, a mainstay in the middle across the last three seasons of the Bulls’ era of triumph, was virtually erased from "The Last Dance" documentary, chronicling one of the most iconic teams in sports history.The absence of any interview with him was explained by two main factors – cost and COVID – detailing the expense and logistical difficulty in trekking Down Under to get his thoughts. Yet even the action highlights and back footage from the docuseries would have left viewers unfamiliar with that squad wondering who Longley was, if indeed they noticed him at all."Luc was hurt by the fact that he was ghosted out of the series," said Caitlin Shea, the executive producer on the Australian Story documentary show with her homeland’s national broadcaster, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). "He wanted young Australians to know there was an Aussie on that team."

After "The Last Dance" came out, Shea reached out to Longley. It was a long shot, given his reticence at dealing with the media and notorious reluctance to be in the public eye. As it turned out, he was ready to talk.

Longley flew six hours across Australia to give a lengthy and endearing interview, which showed many things, but none more significant than that he would have been a worthy and fascinating admission into "The Last Dance." Described by Phil Jackson as a "bit of a fish out of water," he was a far different character to any other on the Bulls."I was a gentle and empathetic young kid who had to figure out how to discard some of the gentleness and adopt some MJ, if you like," Longley said in the documentary. "I had to change an awful lot of who I was in order to really do the job. Coming out of that I learned not all of that suited me very well. It has taken me quite a long time to unpick it – and I’m still unlearning it."The tale gives some deep backstory, explaining how the breakup of his parents’ marriage as a youngster affected him and how he became an accidental basketball star, more interested in a career as an architect before getting scouted by the University of New Mexico when local teammate Andrew Vlahov invited him to meet a visiting Lobos scout. The show pulls no punches, getting into topics such as his own divorce and remarriage, and even includes news footage of a tearful Longley when his new family home was lost to a fire."The Last Dance" was largely told through a Jordan-esque lens. It is not all glowing about the GOAT, but shows his "carnivorous" (Longley’s words) and sometimes bullying side as a means to an end, trying to win championships. The storyline was scathing about former general manager Jerry Krause and gives little bandwidth to those who did not enhance the Jordan narrative, like 1991-1993 champ Horace Grant and perhaps Longley.

Yet Jordan seemingly had cause for regret at how Longley’s piece had become so diminished, and when the Australian Story came calling, he gave full and unfettered access to speak about his old colleague.

"I can understand why Australia would say ‘why wouldn’t we include Luc’ and we probably should have," Jordan said. "I guess if you look back and say ‘could I change anything’ that’s what I could have changed."Luc matters to me. We went through the trenches, we shared a lot. We competed together. I would take him any day of the week. If you ask me to do it all over again there is no way I would leave Luc Longley off my team."

Shea, an award-winning producer whose work rarely ventures into the sports field, was stunned by the extent of Jordan’s commitment to the cause, adding that her request was initially turned down by his management – before the problem was solved when Longley called Jordan directly. By the time filming ended, she had also landed interviews with Pippen, Jackson and Kerr, the only big-name absence being Rodman, who agreed to talk but could not settle upon a mutually agreeable time.Jackson, with all his Zen philosophies, understood Longley perhaps better than anyone, knowing that to get the best out of him required gentle suggestion rather than fiery exhortations. Jordan didn’t necessarily get that – and pushed Longley relentlessly."You don’t have to love a bloke to be on his team to care about him, to play basketball together," Longley said. "I didn’t love MJ. I thought MJ was difficult and unnecessarily harsh on his teammates and probably on himself and I just didn’t enjoy being around him that much. That was cool. It was cool with MJ and it was cool with me. We found a way to coexist."

The interviews, topped off by Jordan, enabled Shea to produce a tremendous piece of filmmaking that aired over consecutive Mondays in Australia and generated an overwhelming response.

Yet the real star of the piece is Longley himself, self-effacing and genuinely likable in the kind of way that only someone who doesn’t obsess about being liked or not can pull off."I might not have been a killer like MJ but you don’t need 12 killers," he said. "You need a group of humans who appreciate, understand, push and pull, work together."I’m a realist. I wouldn’t have been anywhere near the NBA if I hadn’t been 7-foot tall."But he was, and he became a part of history. Not the most important part, not the loudest or most prominent, not the guy who made game-winners, but the one who put his body on the line against Shaquille O’Neal and Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning, quietly and professionally and with a minimum of fuss."The Last Dance" ignored him and who knows who was really behind that - Jordan, the director, the producers? Yet Longley did dance along with those unforgettable Bulls, entrenched in the greatness, his story a missing link in the modern telling of the tale.Until now.

Martin Rogers is a columnist for FOX Sports and the author of the FOX Sports Insider Newsletter. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Ibrahim A.Venkat
Answer # 2 #

Lucien James Longley AM (born 19 January 1969) is an Australian professional basketball coach and former player. He was the first Australian to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA), where he played for four teams over 10 seasons. Longley most notably played for the Chicago Bulls, with whom he won three championships from 1996 to 1998. He represented Australia as a player at three Olympic Games in 1988, 1992 and 2000, and has worked as an assistant coach for the Australian national basketball team.

Longley began his career in Australia with a brief stint playing for the Perth Wildcats of the National Basketball League (NBL) in 1986. He played collegiately for the New Mexico Lobos and was drafted 7th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 1991 NBA draft. Longley played three middling seasons with the Timberwolves before he was traded to the Chicago Bulls in 1994. He became the Bulls' starting center during their historic 1995–96 season when they set the NBA record for most wins in a regular season with 72. Longley was an important component of the team's success and stayed in the Bulls' starting lineup during their championship three-peat. Following the demise of the Bulls after their 1998 championship win, he had brief stints with the Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks.

Longley was born 19 January 1969 in Melbourne, Victoria, to Sue (née Hansen) and Richard Longley. Longley's father is an architect who stood 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) tall and represented Australia at international level in basketball, including being a member of two Olympic squads. His mother, who is 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) tall, is an equestrian who has been divorced from Richard since 1984 and resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States. Longley has two brothers, Sam, a journalist and actor, and Griffin, also a journalist and who also played briefly for the Perth Wildcats.

Longley grew up in Fremantle, Western Australia. At the age of 16 he was a member of the Australian Under-19 side and the following year, 1986, he joined the Perth Wildcats, with whom he played two games.

Longley was recruited out of Scotch College in Perth by the University of New Mexico's basketball coach, Gary Colson, who went to Perth to recruit Longley's childhood friend Andrew Vlahov, who ended up attending Stanford University. Vlahov and Longley both played their junior basketball for the Perth Redbacks on the same team. Longley attended college at the University of New Mexico, from 1987 to 1991, where he averaged 19.1 points, 9.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists in his senior year. He helped New Mexico reach the NCAA Tournament in 1991. At nineteen he was a member of the national team for the Seoul Olympics, where they finished fourth, at the time the best result an Australian senior men's basketball team had achieved in Olympic competition.

Longley also spent time at the Australian Institute of Sport in 1986 and 1987 (before heading to New Mexico) under the coaching of Australian Boomers head coach Adrian Hurley, attending the AIS with Vlahov and another emerging basketball player from Adelaide, Mark Bradtke. Throughout the 1990s, that trio would form the nucleus of the Australian Boomers front court with Longley at centre, 6'10" (208 cm) Bradtke at power forward, and 6'7" (201 cm) Vlahov at small forward.

When Longley returned home to Perth during college breaks, he regularly suited up for the Perth Redbacks, helping the team to consecutive State Basketball League (SBL) championships in 1989 and 1990.

Longley was drafted 7th overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves in 1991. After long contract negotiations that were still going on when the 1991–92 NBA season started and actually prevented him from playing for the first month, Longley made his NBA debut for the Timberwolves on 30 November 1991. In 1992, he again represented Australia at the Barcelona Olympics. After two-plus mediocre seasons with the struggling franchise, the 7 ft 2 in (2.18 m) center was traded to the Chicago Bulls for Stacey King late in the 1993–94 season.

Longley became the Bulls' starting center. He won three straight championships with the Bulls from 1996 to 1998, becoming the first Australian player to win an NBA title and the only to have won three championships.

After Longley played 55 games from the bench in 1994–95, Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson made him the starting center in 1995–96. Post-season surgery to his left ankle and the recovery time forced him to miss playing for the Australian Boomers at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Longley missed almost two months of the 1996–97 season after dislocating his shoulder while body surfing at Hermosa Beach near the team's hotel after a game in Los Angeles. In a 2014 interview on Australian television, Longley joked that after a month he began receiving phone calls from Michael Jordan telling him to get back on court soon because he had no one to set screens for him.

Following the breakup of the Bulls roster after the 1997–98 season, Chicago did a sign-and-trade deal with Longley, sending him to the Phoenix Suns for Mark Bryant, Martin Müürsepp, Bubba Wells, and a conditional first-round draft pick.

Longley was traded to the New York Knicks prior to the 2000–01 NBA season in what was only the second four-team trade in NBA history. The Suns acquired Chris Dudley as part of the deal together with a first-round draft pick from New York and an undisclosed amount of cash, while New York received Longley, Glen Rice, Travis Knight, Vladimir Stepania, Lazaro Borrell, Vernon Maxwell, two first-round draft picks (from the Los Angeles Lakers and the Seattle SuperSonics) and two second-round draft picks from Seattle. Seattle received Patrick Ewing and the Lakers received Horace Grant, Greg Foster, Chuck Person and Emanual Davis. Longley spent one year with New York before retiring, due to a degenerative condition in his left ankle.

Luc Longley made his international debut for the Australia national basketball team in 1988 and would be, whenever possible, the preferred starting centre for the next 12 years. He appeared in three Summer Olympic Games (1988, 1992 and 2000) as well as at the 1990 FIBA World Championship. Unfortunately, injury prevented him from playing for Australia at the 1996 Olympic games as well as the 1994 and 1998 FIBA World Championships.

During his international career, Longley played alongside some of the greats of Australian basketball including Andrew Gaze, Phil Smyth, Mark Bradtke, Andrew Vlahov, Ray Borner, Brett Maher and Larry Sengstock.

Longley has made it known that although many focus on his three championships with the Chicago Bulls, he feels his time spent with the Australian Boomers is just as important. On the Aussie Hoopla podcast Longley discussed how important the Australian Boomers was to his growth as a player and noted this as the reason he wants to give back to the national program as an assistant coach

In 2001, he was inducted into the Australian Institute of Sport 'Best of the Best'. Longley was part-owner of the Perth Wildcats basketball club in the Australian National Basketball League for several years and was the #1 ticket holder at the Fremantle Dockers in the Australian Football League between 2006 and 2007. In 2006 Longley was inducted into Basketball Australia's Hall of Fame in Melbourne.

On 8 October 2009 Longley was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame at its 25th anniversary dinner in Melbourne, becoming only the fourth basketball player to be inducted along with Andrew Gaze, Michele Timms and Phil Smyth.

From 2013 to 2019, Longley was an assistant coach of the Australian men's national basketball team.

Longley was married to an American, Kelly Yates, whom he met in New Mexico while he was attending college and they had two daughters. He married an Australian, Anna Gare, a former musician and current television presenter, in 2008.

The Longley family are well known in the Fremantle area, to the extent a 25-year-old, then Chicago Bulls player, Longley was present at the Fremantle Football Club's unveiling and launch at the Fremantle Port. He cited Fremantle at the time as "one of the world's great spots".

In 1996, Longley bought a house in Riverwoods, Illinois.

Also in 1996, Longley wrote a book, Running with the Bulls, about the 1995-96 season; Bulls coach Phil Jackson wrote the foreword.

On 6 April 2007, Longley's $2 million home in Fremantle, Western Australia, was destroyed by a fire. It was initially believed much of Longley's memorabilia from his basketball career was lost, although he later stated he only lost his 1996 team photo. He then bought a warehouse on a nearby street which Gare's father, an architect, converted into a house for their needs. In 2015, the couple moved to a property near the coastal Western Australian town of Denmark.

In December 2009 Longley, who had previously participated in marine conservation efforts, named a newly discovered shrimp species Lebbeus clarehanna after his 15-year-old daughter.

His wife's sister Sophie is married to British comedian Ben Elton.

Rand Suchet
Public Relations Manager
Answer # 3 #

1986 - Perth Wildcats

1991–1994 - Minnesota Timberwolves

1994–1998 - Chicago Bulls

1998–2000 - Phoenix Suns

2000–2001 - New York Knicks

Olympic Games, 1988, 1992, 2000 - Australia Boomers

Career highlights:

NBA champion - Chicago Bulls 1996–1998

2× Australian State League champion - 1989, 1990

Gaze Medal winner - 1989

Luca Wootton
Engine Driver