It was as perfect as fans could have hoped and expected it to be.
“The Last Dance,” a 10-part docuseries chronicling the 1997-98 Bulls, debuted on April 19, with the first two episodes airing on ESPN.
It was a captivating two hours.
Once again, Michael Jordan comes across as the perfect athlete—at least so far.
Bulls fans, and most sports fans, already knew this, but just about everything Jordan does is cool—from what he wears to how he played. He made everyone else on the court look slow and foolish. He had fellow stars fawning over him.
In an age of cheesy motivational slogans, often preceded by hashtags on Twitter, viewers were reminded that Jordan’s approach is the best: play hard, and dominate your opponent.
Bulls fans will always be grateful that Jordan was the No.-3 pick in the 1984 NBA Draft. Hakeem Olajuwon, a star center from the University of Houston, went first, and Sam Bowie, a forward from Kentucky, was second. What should make fans even more grateful is what then-Bulls General Manager Rod Thorn pointed out about the significance of that year’s draft being held prior to the 1984 Summer Olympics—where Jordan shined.
If the Olympics were held earlier, would Jordan have been picked earlier? Would the Bulls had been left with Bowie, who never amounted to much in the NBA? No one knows—and thank goodness no one ever will.
The late Jerry Krause, the Bulls general manager for most of the Jordan years, isn’t winning any sympathy—at least so far. Fans despised him 22 years ago for wanting to break up the Bulls and rebuild. The first two episodes contained a few moments that cast Krause in a positive light, but fans’ anger with him will likely only increase.
The best is still to come in the series.
One of the biggest attractions of the production is that the creators were given in-depth access to the Bulls during the 1997-98 season—yet, fans only saw a few clips of what went on off the court, and in the locker room, with that team. So, much more must be waiting.
Sports continue to offer comfort during the COVID-19 crisis. The NFL Draft will be held Thursday through Saturday, and two more episodes of “The Last Dance” will air on Sunday.
Even during a pandemic, Michael Jordan can still lift us up.