We’re only 3 days away from the start of what will be the GOAT of all sports documentaries, (the ESPN 30 for 30 ’85 Chicago Bears’ currently holds that title). The highly anticipated 10 part “The Last Dance,” which documents the extraordinary career of Michael Jordan with the Chicago Bulls; specifically his final season, ‘97-98.
The program will air on ESPN starting Sunday, April 19th and will run every Sunday, through May 17th. If there are any bright sides to this pandemic this is definitely one for the sports world. This documentary was not slated to be released until early June but ESPN heard our wish and it was granted.
Time for the Last Dance
Oh, the 90s. Hard to believe that decade started over 30 years ago and basketball during that time was some of the best you would ever see, especially if you were from Chicago. It was the decade where Jordan cemented himself as the greatest basketball player of all time, or the GOAT if you will. The decade whereby the turn of it the run of the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons comes to an end. Thus, the Chicago Bulls dynasty was born.
Just like the 90s was the golden era of rap, (now the genre is classified as hip hop), it was also the golden age of basketball with the Chicago leading the way. The Bulls six championships (via two three-peats) and the sheer dominance of MJ, his Airness, gave the sport a meteoric rise in popularity worldwide.
This was also the time a teammate, Scottie Pippen, developed into a bonafide superstar. If you need a reference, see his player card and the 1993-94 season…you’re welcome. In the 1996 campaign, we saw them break the single-season wins record going 72-10, a record that stood pat for 20 years until 2016 when the 73-9 Golden State Warriors broke it. Some, especially Chicagoans, may say the Warriors really didn’t surpass that Bulls team because the deal wasn’t sealed, no championship!
Who can ever forget one of the greatest shots in not only NBA Finals history but NBA history period! Michael Jordan’s final career shot over Bryon Russell to defeat the Utah Jazz in the 1997 Finals giving Chicago their sixth NBA championship. Well, we thought it was his last shot but you’ll have to tune into ‘The Last Dance’ to see.
Reminisce Over You!
Let’s flashback to that 90’s time, think about what you were doing then, (at least those of us that can). For myself, it was the start of those crucial teenage years we all go through. My formidable high school and college years as well. To my fellow Gen X’ers and millennials, who were definitely raised on it, think about the music you were listening to. My goodness, the music! Personally, it was R&B (it’s final hoorah) and rap (it’s golden era as mentioned before).
The artist that laid their foundations during this time, Jodeci, Mary J Blige, NWA, 2PAC, Jay-Z, Diddy and a host of others. Just blow the dust off that CD collection and look through it and watch how those memories flow through your mind. Yes, I said CDs, before the luxury of modern technology that was our Spotify and Pandora. Who else put their phones to the stereo speaker to record your answering machine greeting? We can’t reminisce about the 90s without mentioning the fashion, just google the styles for that decade. You’ll probably see the most popular footwear were Jordans, which is still true to this day. They debuted 35 years ago; yes 35!
What To Know Before the Big Dance
For those that need to brush up on some history of Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, here are a few points you want to know:
- Michael Jordan was drafted 3rd overall in the 1984 NBA draft.
- Phil Jackson and Tex Winter were the head coach and assistant coach, respectively. Winter was the architect of the iconic triangle offense that Jackson implemented to perfection.
- Jerry Reinsdorf is the owner and the late Jerry Krause was the GM.
- Jordan retired after ‘93 season to play baseball for the Chicago White Sox and returned in the middle of ‘95 season.
Now that we have some info to reference it’s time to dance, I’m sure we’re all in for a great one. Those who know the history and those who may be just novice, this will give even more insight into Michael Jordan the man and it will be breathtaking.