The Last Dance Reactions: 9 & 10

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Prasham Jobanputra

The story of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls of the 90s, came to an end Sunday night as ESPN aired the final two episodes of 10-part documentary, “The Last Dance.”

The last night of ESPN’s highly anticipated documentary “The Last Dance” is behind us after five weekends of behind the scene footage and captivating interviews to tell the story of the 90s Bulls.  Here are my final thoughts.

First of all, Reggie Miller deserves more respect in NBA history.  His résumé speaks for itself but people forget his killer instinct.  Everyone saw his late-game heroics against the Bulls, but it wasn’t his only time.  His most famous moment was when he won a playoff game against the Knicks by scoring eight points in nine seconds.  The documentary also showed Miller’s no fear trait and in all honesty, Miller and Michael Jordan share a lot of the same traits on the floor.  Also, Miller spent 18 years on the same team, and that team played in Indiana.  There are no superstar players that choose to spend their prime playing for the Indiana Pacers, yet he did.  The documentary captured how much he meant to that city through certain clips.  Miller made the Pacers relevant, something many people forget about.

When I heard this, I sat back and just said, “wow.”  The iconic “Flu Game” wasn’t even because of the flu.  Jordan and his trainer revealed that it was actually food poisoning from pizza.  Not really a huge takeaway from this, but when they said food poisoning I was definitely shocked, along with many others.

A little over a year ago, LeBron called himself the GOAT and many fans, players, and analysts reacted saying that the true greatest of all-time can’t call himself that.  But, no one says anything about the fact that Jordan calls himself “Black Jesus.”  How can one be wrong but not the other?  Just a point of thought when you are sitting at the lunch tables with your friends and debating the GOAT.

When Dennis Rodman came to the Bulls, Jordan and Phil Jackson both agreed to it as long as they understood that they could handle Rodman.  It became very apparent after missing practice before the Finals, along with a vacation earlier in this season, that they lost the handle on Rodman.  If the team stayed together, it would have been interesting to see if Rodman would have made it through another season on the Bulls.  It definitely seemed like things were spiraling out of control for Rodman.

Possibly the biggest question the documentary was going to answer was why the Bulls broke up.  And the answer is still unclear.  Owner Jerry Reinsdorf, said it was because they couldn’t afford to keep everyone from a contract standpoint.  But Jordan said, that besides Pippen, everyone probably would have returned for a chance of a seventh ring.  So, why the Bulls broke up is still not a 100% clear, but Phil Jackson has to take a bit of the blame.  Jackson was offered to come back to coach in 1998-1999 season and declined, so some blame has to go to him when talking about the breakup of the Bulls.

At the beginning of this documentary, I said the GOAT debate would be in the back of my mind with the new perspective into Jordan’s era.  I won’t go into all the details because we could be here for awhile, but after this documentary I am even more convinced than ever that LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all-time.  There was always this narrative that Jordan never came up short and never did anything wrong, but the documentary showed that he has made his mistakes and experienced failure just like every player before and after him.

The decision to move up the release date of “The Last Dance” was as clutch as Jordan himself, giving sports fans something to dive into, since there is no live sports right now.  Next Sunday night will definitely feel a little longer, but it won’t be too long before the next great 30 for 30 storyline comes to your television screen.