The highly anticipated documentary The Last Dance was released on ESPN last night . The documentary showcased the life of the legendary basketball player Michael Jordan and the final run of the Bulls dynasty during the 1997-98 season . Jordan and the Bulls allowed NBA Entertainment to follow them throughout the season and document their final championship together. The series features never-before-seen footage, as well as interviews with more than 100 people close to the team.
Episodes 1 and 2 of the documentary discussed the behind the scenes of the 1997-98 series which was called the last dance by head coach Phil Jackson because it was the last season for the team as it was . It featured the conflict between general manager Jerry Krause, and Scottie Pippen’s contract along with Michael Jordan rise.
For the 3rd and 4th episodes the focus was about the “badboy ” Pistons as a rival competitive team along with Dennis Rodman
Michael Jordan and the The Bulls had to overcome the challenge of beating the Pistons, team . The Bad Boys of the NBA knocked the Bulls out of of the 1988 playoffs along with beating the Bulls in the 1989 and 1990 Eastern Conference Finals.
The back-to-back champions used the infamous Jordan Rules and were so physical with Chicago’s star that college teammate James Worthy said “I don’t know how he came out of it alive” in the documentary.
How did the Pistons stop MJ?
— ESPN (@espn) April 27, 2020
“When we showed up, it was almost like we were crashing the party,” Isiah Thomas said of the group that included himself, Joe Dumars, Rodman, Bill Laimbeer and John Salley playing under head coach Chuck Daly in an era that saw stars such as Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
While the Pistons were busy on the journey to winning the Eastern Conference from the Boston Celtics, Jordan’s Bulls needed to improve what happened from 1986 to 1989 under head coach Doug Collins. .
Before the battles with the Pistons, there was The Shot against the Cleveland Cavaliers during that run in the 1989 playoffs.
Reporter Sam Smith told the story of Jordan going up to every beat writer who picked the heavily favored Cavaliers before the decisive Game 5 and telling them they were all wrong. All he did to prove as much was drain one of the most famous shots of his career at the buzzer, hanging in the air over an outmatched Craig Ehlo.
— ESPN (@espn) April 27, 2020
“We finally got over the hump of loser’s mentality,” Jordan said in The Last Dance while admitting Cleveland would have been better off defending him with Ron Harper.
Rodman, who went from Pistons rival to teammate for Jordan and Pippen, likely would have been a better defender for the situation too, as the documentary delved into the juggling act that was the Worm fitting in with the Bulls for their second three-peat.
From dating Madonna and dying his hair to kicking a cameraman, Rodman is known almost as much for his off-court headlines as his on-court ones, but Sunday’s episodes made it clear how much Chicago needed him.
“Nobody can say anything bad about me as a teammate,” Rodman said. “You’ve got the great Michael Jordan, the great Scottie Pippen, the great Phil Jackson … but they don’t really do what I do.”
Rodman was the perfect complement for Jordan and Pippen, never demanding the ball and doing all the dirty work on defense and the glass to help the team win. He averaged 15.3 rebounds per game in his three seasons with the Bulls, keeping possessions alive and creating transition opportunities for his more talented teammates.
Jordan knew it, which is why he said he was “livid” when Rodman was kicked out of a game in 1997-98 when Pippen was sidelined by injury.
Rodman also asked midseason vacation to Las Vegas .
We laughed when in episode 4 Dennis Rodman asked for a vacation during that stressful last dance season in 1997-98.
This occurred after Pippen returned from injury, and Phil Jackson told Rodman he could go to Sin City for 48 hours. Jordan told the coach there was no way Rodman was coming back in that amount of time if he was allowed to leave.
Jordan was correct.
Dennis Rodman who was dating Carmen Electra at that time went to Las Vegas. He disappeared from the team for a number of days. “We had to go get his ass out of bed,” Jordan said, while Electra revealed she went and hid when No. 23 showed up.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) April 27, 2020
It was what Rodman needed. Jackson was accommodating to Rodman, The coach felt like he understood him.
Dennis Rodman is one of the best rebounders in #NBA. He is defensively doing a great job with Scottie Pippen & Michael Jordan with Phil Jackson as the soul. #TheLastDance. They filled my childhood with passion & joy.https://t.co/XXxto2tFJH pic.twitter.com/t5naiC4HRn
— Anndy Lian (@anndylian) April 27, 2020
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 27, 2020
Phil Jackson bonded with Rodman and help navigate the rocky final season, but he had also laid the groundwork for Chicago to finally defeat the Pistons. “Doug’s approach was more catered to Michael, and Phil’s approach was more catered to the team,” Pippen said of the transition from Collins.
Pippen made the All-Star Game for the first time in his career under Jackson, as the offense diversified beyond just giving the ball to Jordan. While the Bulls lost a heartbreaker in Game 7 of the 1990 Eastern Conference Finals while Pippen was dealing with migraines, the following offseason of weight training and renewed focus under Jackson led to a clean sweep of the Pistons in 1991’s Eastern Conference Finals.
“When Pippen didn’t respond to that abuse, there’s nothing they could do to beat us then,” Jordan said of a flagrant foul from Rodman in Game 4, underscoring Chicago’s transformation from a team that was intimidated by Detroit’s tactics to one that wasn’t.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 27, 2020
The Pistons then famously walked off the court before the final buzzer, which set the stage for Jordan to call Thomas an “assh–e.”
“Straight up b—hes,” Horace Grant said of the Pistons walking off the court.
Michael Jordan and the Bulls defeated Magic Johnson Los Angles Lakers to finally becoming NBA champions.
Via @ Bleacher Report