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‘The Last Dance’ shows an up close, personal side to the Chicago Bulls 1990s dynasty

‘The Last Dance’ shows an up close, personal side to the Chicago Bulls 1990s dynasty

‘The Last Dance’ shows an up close, personal side to the Chicago Bulls 1990s dynasty
April 28
14:00 2020

One of the biggest debates in modern sports is whether or not Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time. With a Hall of Fame career leading to multiple scoring records, six championships in eight years and five MVP awards, “The Last Dance” might prove why Jordan is the best.

The Chicago Bulls dynasty, with six NBA championships in the 1990s, came courtesy of not just Jordan, but future Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen and head coach Phil Jackson. Jordan, Pippen and Jackson won three championships in a row from 1991 to 1993, and Hall of Famer Dennis Rodman came to the second half of the three-peat in the 1995-1996 season via trade.

Former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause is viewed as the anti-hero throughout the series because he declared Jackson would coach one final season despite coming out as champions in the 1997 NBA Finals. Jackson, in his final season as the head coach in the 1997-1998 season, established a theme for his players, calling it “the last dance.”

“The Last Dance” is a sports documentary that stands out because it has unseen video footage and testimonies among former players, coaches and other Bulls staff members in the locker room and practices. Jordan is most referenced in the documentary and received the most screen time while being the star player for the Bulls in the 1990s. As of April 27, four episodes out of the 10-episode series have aired.

The four episodes so far have highlighted the upbringing of Jordan, Pippen, Jackson and Rodman. Jordan emerged as an All-American basketball player at North Carolina in the early 1980s, later becoming the face of the Bulls’ franchise. Pippen and Rodman, in their amateur careers, were overlooked playing at small colleges hoping to make it to the NBA. Jackson was a former two-time NBA champion with the New York Knicks. He worked his way to becoming an assistant coach with the Bulls in 1987 and took the reins as head coach in 1989.

In the first two episodes, you see clips of Jordan in the 1997-1998 season with a fiery competitive edge at the start of the season with the absence of Pippen. You can see him yelling at his teammates, calling them out and showing extreme desire to win on the basketball court.

On the flip side, the series also shows footage of the championship-caliber players having fun and included a humorous touch to their personal side while off the court. One example of funny unseen footage in the documentary was while Krause had made statements that the players weren’t as important compared to the front office, Jordan taunted Krause about taking rounds of pregame shooting and lowering the goal post because of his short size.

In episode three, you see the wild side of Rodman emerge, going from a clean-cut superstar basketball player with the Detroit Pistons in the late 1980s to a wild flamboyant icon dying his hair and having multiple piercings in the 1990s. The late 1980s Detroit Pistons was a team that won two consecutive NBA championships and the bitter rivals of the Bulls. Rodman and the Pistons were a blue-collar basketball team that showed aggressive styles of defense, sometimes even getting into brawls.

The Bulls struggled in the middle of the 1997-1998 season and Rodman was granted a ‘vacation’ due to stress. You see Rodman attend parties, clubs and casinos in Las Vegas over the next few days with Carmen Electra, all recorded on video. Rodman eventually returned back to Chicago and finished out the rest of the season.

If you enjoy basketball, this is a great documentary to watch. The four aired episodes do a great job of showing what it was like to be part of the Bulls in a time where Jordan was riding into the sunset with a championship.

Final rating: 4.75/5

Featured Illustration: Jae-Eun Suh

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Preston Rios

Preston Rios

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