Michael Jordan tells his story in new series



Taking flight in the 1987 Slam Dunk Contest, Michael Jordan jumped from behind the free throw line before receiving a perfect score for this iconic dunk. Jordan is featured in a recently complete documentary about the Bulls dynasty and their final season together.

John Robbins, Staff Reporter

Recalling the inspiring athlete behind the Jordan brand and delving into the Bulls dynasty that resulted in six championship titles, The Last Dance is a must-watch documentary. Even through adversity, such as not making his junior varsity high school team, Michael Jordan proved his doubters wrong and put forth a relentless work ethic that continued throughout his career. The series features never-before-seen footage and highlights from every championship run. The series’ main focus is on the 1997-98 season which was revered coach Phil Jackson’s final year with the team and a time when most of their core players were past their prime. The team faced many difficulties this year, including injured players and tension within the front office, but Jordan was able to carry the team admirably. The Bulls were able to make the playoffs bolstered by a healthy roster in the second half of the season. Last Dance jumps back and forth in time and topic, often highlighting one particular player or aspect of the dynasty in each episode. For example, Scottie Pippen, often overlooked as a sidekick to Jordan’s pure greatness, gets his own special treatment in an early season highlight. The series culminates with the Bulls winning their sixth and final championship while reflecting on the experience over twenty years later.
A favorite episode for many people is Dennis Rodman’s because of his wild antics and strange persona that the local media intensely focused on. The stories on Last Dance show how he went from despising the Bulls’ entire locker room as a member of the “Bad Boys” Pistons to an integral part of their success. However, this did not happen easily as Rodman would occasionally leave the team without warning to gamble or party with his girlfriend in Las Vegas. He and Jordan did not initially get along either, but because Dennis was such a tenacious rebounder and player, he eventually earned Jordans’ respect. The show continues to highlight the supporting players such as Toni Kucoc and Steve Kerr who made clutch shots late in games during the 1998 playoffs. Last Dance looks at the entire organization as well as the prevalent sense that 1998 was truly their last shot at a title together.
However, the focus of the series is clearly Michael Jordan, who won five Most Valuable Player awards and made twelve All-Star appearances during his time with the Bulls. It starts with his humble beginnings growing up in rural North Carolina and highlights the competitive toughness that his father instilled in him. After helping UNC win the 1982 national championship against Georgetown, the Bulls drafted him with the third pick following his junior year. The show features plentiful footage of Jordan’s dominant highlight reel and even cracking jokes to reporters in the locker room. Any fan of the NBA or sports in general will thoroughly enjoy the ten-episode series. The show has widespread critical acclaim, but some viewers may see the show as Jordan propaganda meant to solidify his case as the “GOAT” over players such as Lebron James. Because MJ had complete creative control over what was released, it naturally portrays him in a positive light and leaves out his controversies. But perhaps we are looking for a hero story right now, and Jordan is certainly able to fulfill that. Make sure to catch The Last Dance streaming on the ESPN app or website for a deep dive into a legendary athlete and team.