ESPN’s “The Last Dance” Offers a Way for Sports Fans to Fill the Void


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Hoop Dreams: ESPN’s “The Last Dance” is giving home-bound sports fans a chance to re-live Michael Jordan’s 90s-era glory days with the Chicago Bulls.

With the sporting world currently on lockdown following the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, fans have been left with little to nothing to satisfy their sports needs. The NBA is a long shot to resume its season, and no one can be certain when MLB will start. In this boring and excruciating dry period, fans have been searching frantically for some kind of sports thing to look forward to. They asked ESPN to move up the release of its 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan, “The Last Dance”, from June to April. ESPN obliged, and the first two episodes of the series premiered on April 19.

The documentary is a look back at Michael Jordan’s 1997-98 NBA season, his final one with the Chicago Bulls before his second retirement and then a very strange stint with the Washington Wizards. It frequently flashes black to other points in Jordan’s career, following him from his childhood, to his days at the University of North Carolina, and through his entire Bulls career leading up to that final season. It also focuses on stories about Jordan’s other famous teammates, including Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. One of the series’ most memorable moments is when it recounts Dennis Rodman’s team approved vacation to Las Vegas during the middle of the season, and when he stayed for much longer than he was supposed to, the Bulls sent Jordan to get him back. Other great moments include Jordan still beefing with former Detroit Pistons arch-rival Isiah Thomas 30 years later, or when Scottie Pippen purposely avoided getting surgery on his foot to get back at the Bulls for the fact that he was grossly underpaid. The series has become an internet phenomenon, trending all over Twitter whenever it airs. 

For adults who grew up watching Jordan and the Bulls dominate the NBA year after year, “The Last Dance” is a nostalgic trip that re-emphasizes just how much of a cultural figure Jordan was at the peak of his powers. For young kids who were raised on the likes of LeBron James and Steph Curry, “The Last Dance” is an education on why every kid in the 1990s wanted to “Be Like Mike.” All of the most iconic moments of Jordan’s career are retold in great detail, with interviews from people ranging from Jordan himself, to other NBA legends and teammates, to even former presidents like Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. “The Last Dance” is a detailed, engaging, and compelling look back at the career of the man that many consider to be the greatest basketball player to ever live. It provides basketball  fans with the thrill they’ve been missing since the NBA suspended its season. 22 years after his Bulls career came to a close, Michael Jordan is still saving the day.