MANILA, Philippines – How did Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls become massive global icons? Why did the Bulls break up even after ruling the NBA for most of the ’90s?
These questions will finally be answered as The Last Dance, a 10-part docuseries chronicling the Bulls’ dynasty and their final title run, air on ESPN and Netflix on Monday, April 20, Philippine time.
Here are some things to expect in the first two episodes of the documentary:
Tension filled the 1997-1998 season as the Bulls chased a sixth title in 8 years.
At the time, Scottie Pippen – despite establishing his status as a bona fide NBA star – was just the 122nd highest paid player in the league and felt like he should earn more for his contributions to the Bulls.
This created a rift between him and former Bulls general manager Jerry Krause, who publicly spoke about the possibility of trading Pippen.
Pippen, who did not play for the first half of the season as he nursed a foot injury he sustained from the previous playoffs, confessed to intentionally disrespecting Krause to the point of “crossing a line.”
Aside from Pippen, Krause also saw his relationship with former Bulls head coach Phil Jackson turn sour.
Despite guiding the Bulls to 5 titles, Jackson was given just a final season to coach the team and Krause assured the enigmatic tactician will never return to the franchise.
Rise of Jordan
The first two episodes feature how Jordan transformed into the ultra-competitive and relentless player the NBA has known him for.
Growing up in the shadows of older brother Larry, Jordan – craving for the attention of his father James Sr – admitted he wanted to be better than his sibling.
Another situation that pushed Jordan to greatness was the popular story of him not making the cut for his high school basketball team when he was a sophomore.
The first two episodes also explore his time with the North Carolina Tar Heels, which he helped win an NCAA title during his rookie season, and his relationship with the legendary Dean Smith.
As he made the big jump to the NBA as the No. 3 overall pick by the Bulls in the 1984 NBA Draft, Jordan had to prove his worth to the franchise, and it did not take long for him to accomplish that goal.
For Jordan, it was the third game of his rookie season after he and the Bulls beat the Milwaukee Bucks, which then featured stars Sydney Moncrief and Terry Cummings, when “I earned my stripes.”
From NBA stars to celebrities to big-name politicians, the documentary showcases fascinating interviews with people connected to the Bulls’ dynasty.
Former US presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton made appearances in the miniseries, telling stories about the Bulls’ two stars: Jordan and Pippen.
Obama, a native of Chicago, narrates how he did not have the money to watch Jordan and the Bulls live while Clinton, then the governor of Arkansas, shares the time he met Pippen when he was still an amateur.
Kobe Bryant, who looked up to Jordan growing up and played against his idol during his early years in the NBA, was also interviewed before he was killed in a helicopter crash late in January. – Rappler.com
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