Dear God, Michael Jordan, ESPN, and whoever’s fu***** idea it was to follow the 90’s Bulls around with a camera, we thank you for your service.
The Last Dance genuinely saved the pure sanity of so many sports fans – including myself. I thought I would be forced to watch NBA 2K live-streamed from a NBA player’s $30M mansion. From Jerry Krause being treated like the fat kid in a second-grade classroom, to Dennis Rodman’s hunt for “ass and ti*****,” this documentary has provided us with footage that will forever change the way we perceive Michael Jordan’s career and gives us exclusive access to one of the greatest dynasties sports. This in-depth series tells us all there is to know about the greatest basketball player who ever lived and provided those who weren’t blessed with growing up during Mike’s time a good old-fashioned history lesson.
While there were more unforgettable moments from the first 8 episodes of this docuseries than I can count on two hands, I’ll try my best to break down the Top 8 moments of the first 8 episodes of The Last Dance.
- East All Stars Praise Kobe
In my opinion, this was the greatest 60 seconds of television I’ve seen since Michael spoke at Kobe’s memorial. Sitting in a locker room, you have 3 or 4 of the greatest basketball players to ever touch a ball raving about a young Kobe Bryant and his potential to take over the league one day. The conversation started when one of the stars in the locker room said that “little Laker boy’s [is going to] take everybody one-on-one.” Michael immediately knew that the person being talked about was Kobe Bryant and joked that if he was Kobe’s teammate, he wouldn’t pass Kobe the ball if he started the game off 0-4. This was a small snippet into a much bigger relationship between two of the most idolized people in the history of basketball, Kobe and Mike. The two referred to each other as big and little brother. With all the debating that goes on in this world, it was nice to watch greatness appreciate greatness. If you didn’t get a little emotional watching that part, stop reading. (Please don’t because this is my job and I need the readers)
Related: Tennessee Titans Defensive Moves
- Rodman’s Vegas Hiatus
Let me give you a little backstory here. During the 1997-1998 season, the Bulls were forced to play without two of their star players: Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. Pippen was recovering from an injury. Rodman? Oh he just decided to take a 48-hour trip to Las Vegas. Jordan ended up having to rip Rodman out of his hotel room bed to bring him back to Chicago. It is worth noting that Carmen Electra was also in the bed with Rodman at the time, so I see the hesitation to return to the Bulls. Can you imagine the backlash that would ensue in this day and age if James Harden decided to go on a gambling trip to Vegas to get laid by a supermodel to ‘clear his head’? I’ll give it to Rodman. He came back, apologized, and went on a tear for the remainder of that season. Definitely a story you tell your grandkids when they go off to college.
- Bulls Security Guard Gives MJ the Shrug
This scene was great for so many reasons. Michael took heat throughout the entire docuseries for some of the things he said about his teammates and players in the organization, but here he is gambling on a game of “pitching quarters” just hours before tipoff of a game. The picture from this scene that will forever be etched in everyone’s minds is the Napoleon Dynamite looking security guard taking Michael Jordan’s money and giving him the infamous shrug after handing the G.O.A.T. a loss.
- Game Winner vs Georgetown
Michael said it himself in the documentary. This is what turned him from “Mike” to “Michael Jordan.” The Tar Heels were down against Georgetown in the 1982 National Championship before Michael Jordan hit one of the biggest shots in the history of college basketball, taking down the Hoyas and giving North Carolina a National Championship. After this shot, the documentary really kicked off and we got to learn about where the greatness all started. Not only was this shot a defining moment of the documentary, it was a defining moment of his career. Mike becoming MJ.
- Everything said in Jerry Krause’s direction
Oh my, was this man the definition of disliked. To Krause’s credit, he built the greatest dynasty to ever step foot on a basketball floor. To Krause’s dismay, he did everything he could to try and break it up at the end. I don’t know what I laughed harder at: Michael Jordan asking Krause if he was eating diet pills as he was putting vitamins in his mouth, or MJ offering to lower the rims so Jerry could come shoot lay-ups during warm-ups. By no means do we support bullying here at The Odds Factory.
I’m pretty sure Michael even knew he took it a step too far when it came to Jerry, but this was just another ode to how passionate Michael Jordan was about winning. Almost all of the players in the documentary were recorded saying some not-so-very-nice things about the Bulls General Manager, which does seem to reveal some truths about Krause’s character.
- MJ vs. Isiah and the Dream Team
Our generation has been blessed with rivalries like the one between Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook, but the amount of pure dislike between Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan was worse than my two divorced parents. At least my parents could sit at a dinner table together if it was for a special occasion. One of the best point guards of all time in Isiah was essentially blackballed from the Dream Team’s roster because his pure presence would have disrupted the chemistry of that team. That was how deep this hatred got.
- The Cocaine Circus
I shouldn’t need to explain this one, nor do I even want to guess how many of those 90’s Bulls’ players would have struggled with the NBA’s current drug policy.
- Jordan’s Reaction to Gary Payton
We might just have ourselves a new Jordan meme. In the episode, they aired a clip of Mike watching Gary Payton talk about how his defense “took a toll” on Jordan during the 1996 NBA Finals and let’s just say Michael Jordan laughed harder than I did the first time I saw the first Hangover movie. It wasn’t even a scripted reaction. Jordan legitimately could not keep himself from laughing at the fact that Gary Payton thought his defense slowed Jordan down that series. I could re-watch this clip over and over again.
We’re witnessing one of the greatest docuseries ever produced. The Last Dance gave us a chance to appreciate sports in a way that we haven’t been able to in a long time. Here at The Odds Factory, we strive to do the same thing, which is why we invite you to join us in our final Last Dance Edition of Run The Table on Sunday night. Michael brought us greatness. The producers of this show allowed us to relive it in a way that many generations never were able to. People grew up admiring Kobe, LeBron, Durant, but this documentary gave us an inside view of the one man who truly changed the game of basketball, Michael Jordan.