FIRST EPISODES OF JORDAN DOCUSERIES A SUCCESS

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Cameron Sullivan, Executive Sports Editor

If you are a sports fan, like me, then these past few weeks have been pretty boring with no MLB, NHL or NBA. Thankfully, ESPN moved up the airing of “The Last Dance”, the documentary about Michael Jordan and the 90’s Bulls, to April 19. Episodes one and two were released then and more recently episodes three and four were aired on April 26.

“The Last Dance” does focus a lot on Jordan and all six rings but the main focus is about their last championship in the 1998 season, and how this was also coach Phil Jackson’s last season with the Bulls. 

Episodes one and two dive deeper into background information on Jordan and Scottie Pippen. It was truly interesting to learn about the greatest basketball player of all time and it does teach the viewers a lot of unknown things. 

One of the most surprising aspects was when Jordan was a rookie and he talked about the Bulls ‘Coke Circus’ and how Jordan wanted nothing to do with it. What this documentary does is take something that everyone knows, like Jordan, and really dive deeper into where they came from and how they got their teaching the viewers and myself a lot of unknown information.

I think what was more surprising than anything I heard about Jordan was everything that had to do with Pippen. One of the best words to use about Pippen at the time would be underpaid, and that is an understatement. 

Pippen was on a five-year 18 million dollar contract, which is absolutely insane for someone who could play at his abilities. He was the sixth highest paid player on the team and the 122nd highest paid player in the league, according to “The Last Dance”. This is absolutely crazy for someone who is now in the Hall of Fame. 

This also led to the destruction of his relationship with former Bulls GM Jerry Krause. Personally, I don’t think he handled the situation all the best but neither did Jordan. Pippen would cuss out Krause and disrespect him to his face. After that, in the 1998 season, Pippen waited to get surgery to kind of protest his contract as he had to sit out the first two months of the season. 

While the first two episodes were amazing and I enjoyed them, I personally liked episodes three and four better. I liked them better because it spent a lot of time on ‘The Worm’ and the rivalry with the Detroit Pistons.

According to Jordan, Dennis Rodman is one of the smartest players he played with. Rodman focused on rebounding and defense, and man was he good at it. In the documentary, he said he would have his friends shoot hoops at three or four in the morning and he would just practice getting position for a rebound. Rodman was extremely dedicated to the sport and would study how players shot so he could know where to position himself.

Many people thought it was crazy to bring in Rodman, after everything he and the ‘Bad Boy Pistons’ had done to the Bulls. This decision was a good one as he joined Jordan and Pippen in the trio.

Someone who got along with Rodman was coach Jackson. They both shared a love for Native American tribes and artifacts. Jackson also integrated their philosophies into practice doing some rituals at the beginning of practices.

Jackson was one of the only people who could contain Rodman, and it was said if he wasn’t coach they wouldn’t have brought Rodman in. One thing I found hilarious was that he let Rodman take a 48-hour long vacation to Las Vegas, and Jordan didn’t necessarily approve because he knew Rodman wasn’t going to be back on time, and he was right.

Jordan had to go to Rodman’s place to bring him to practice and after a long weekend of partying, Rodman still performed at the best of his ability.

I only shared little snippets of the show in this review as there was only so much I could talk about. I mainly focused on some of what I thought were the best parts, so if you have yet to watch episodes one through four I highly suggest you go and watch them. If you have seen them, I hope you stay tuned for episodes five and six airing on May 2.