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.
March 11th, 2020 will forever be known as the day the world stood still, the day that sports stopped. It’s been a little under 3 weeks (21 loooooong days) since the NBA shut down amid the coronavirus, aka COVID-19, aka code-19 pandemic. I know this has put one big thing in perspective, what the world looks like without sports, and I don’t like it one bit.
Living in a No Sports Zone with COVID-19
Baby, Come Back!
This is showing us how important sports are to our lives. You know how you’ve got that empty, pit drop in your stomach feeling after losing your first love? That’s how it felt hearing the announcement NBA was suspended indefinitely after Utah Jazz C Rudy Gobert tested positive for that ‘Rona.
Since that discovery, the COVID-19 pandemic has made its rounds in the sports world getting to several well-known athletes and even our favorite announcers. Reaching the likes of New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton, Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant and ESPN’s beloved NBA analyst Doris Burke. So, this thing is real!
I’ve been watching sports since the tender age of eight, (I’m 43 now), when my father introduced me to football. It was Super Bowl XX Sunday when the Chicago Bears defeated the New England Patriots 46-10. Like for everyone, in those 30-plus years since we’ve never seen anything like this. So, what does one do when you’re quarantined and stuck in the “No Sports Zone?” (For those that remember, that’s an ode to the Twilight Zone intro).
Finding an Alternative
Well if you’re like me, you get familiar with that lady in the house. Oh, that’s my wife, and it turns out she’s very interesting. I also finally have time to catch up with all those Netflix shows and movies I promised myself I would watch. My personal fave is The Ozarks with Jason Bateman, I’m already ready for season four! Another one to check out is the documentary, Tiger King, all I can say is whoa!
How about some personal gains, I have a language self-learning disc set I’ve had for the last five years. I think it’s time to crack that open. Hopefully, when we come out of this quarantine I’ll be a new, Spanish-speaking me (I wonder what my Vegas odds are). But this is a sports column so let’s get back to the business at hand.
Not All In
You know who else is going on as business as usual? The NFL, commissioner Roger Goodell said let’s keep the party going, starting with one of the most exciting free agents periods in recent memory. Maybe it’s sports being halted and what we’re going through that added to the excitement but none the less it is.
By the way, the 2020 NFL Draft is still going as scheduled, April 23rd-25th. This was truly a free agent frenzy. We wondered what the Bears were going to do, after 20 years of dominance in the AFC East Tom Brady left New England, Drew Brees coming back to the big easy & more.
Obviously, the biggest signing was Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but this is Chicago, so let’s look at our hometown Bears. In my opinion there free agent moves were, meh, we’ll delve into particulars at a later time, for now here are the key signings. EDGE Robert Quinn, (an upgrade from former first-round pick Leonard Floyd), tight end Jimmy Graham, bringing back linebacker Danny Trevathan, and trading for Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
Hang In There
Though we’re in a “No Sports Zone” now, we can use our time to reset and come out refreshed on the other side. One good thing that came of this is the Michael Jordan documentary, The Last Dance, is being released early so, yay! Now if the NFL season becomes in jeopardy of being canceled, then some panic may set in. Until then, let’s be safe and keep the positive vibes.