It’s getting rave reviews from all over, including this Chicago Bulls fan who spent his formative years watching the magic that was the 90s Bulls, and it was just what I needed!
I spent two hours glued to my TV last night, but it felt more like 20 mins it went by so fast. Since I was relatively young when the drama was unfurling with the ’97-’98 Bulls (their final championship was won during my freshman year of HS), most of my memories are saccharine – my youth made me a bit oblivious to the drama. Thanks to this documentary, I can finally start putting all the pieces together on why things happened they way they did. The insights into the relationships, and how QUICKLY they soured was super-fascinating! Here are my biggest takeways:
– THOSE 80s BULLS DRUG USE. I had NO idea the Bulls of the early and mid 80s, when Jordan first arrived, imbibed so much. The story about Jordan walking into a hotel room filled with weed smoke, cocaine use and women was a surprise to me. It was refreshing to see Jordan be the straight-laced guy and walk right out.
– PIPPEN WAS A WEE BIT SELFISH. Being in middle school when most of this was going down, I didn’t really pay a lot of attention to contract negotiations and injury rehabs schedules, but Scottie didn’t come off as quite the team player I thought he was. I didn’t realize he purposefully delayed his surgery and essentially held out because of his feud with Krause. It was certainly not a team-first mentality. Some could say he was justified in that selfishness given his salary and how he was treated, but I found it to be unsportsmanlike, even if I understood it. I understand that Pippen was unhappy being underpaid, but if anyone undervalued Scottie Pippen, it was Scottie Pippen (and his reps). He was the one who signed that contract, and he did so to provide for his family. That’s admirable, but then you can’t really go back in a few years and complain about it. That said, management should have taken it upon themselves to correct that obvious underpayment. Don’t feel too bad for Pip though. By the end of his career, he actually made more money playing basketball than MJ did.
MICHAEL JORDAN SALARY BREAKDOWN
SCOTTIE PIPPEN SALARY BREAKDOWN
– JORDAN HAD DADDY ISSUES. I knew Jordan was tight with his dad, but I didn’t realize the emotional tool his dad took on him as a kid. Jordan had to fight for his dad’s attention and approval, much of which went to his older brother Larry. I found that very relatable, sad in some ways, but I also recognize that’s where his fire came from, and without it we would only know of Mike Jordan, not Michael Jordan.
– KRAUSE’s LEVEL OF UNPOPULARITY. Everyone knew Jerry Krause – God rest his soul – was not liked by many, but I didn’t realize the EXTENT of the displeasure with him. Holy smokes. I knew Jordan could be a bit of a jerk sometimes, but the level at which MJ took pleasure in mocking Krause’s height and weight surprised me. Most of it seemed unnecessary. But I definitely recognize Krause’s self-centered comments and actions that brought about most of the ribbing. As Kerr accurately said, “Krause deserves a lot of credit, but couldn’t get out of his own way.”
– THE FOOT INJURY: Jordan’s foot injury is pretty famous, but I didn’t realize the reigns the Bulls put on him (7-min per half cap), and how much Jordan didn’t like it. Can you imagine today if a player was out with an injury, but played pick-up basketball! They would be roasted and deemed selfish for not thinking about the team, and everyone would know about it because everyone is a reporter with a camera n their pocket. It’s another great example how Jordan as he existed in the 90s could not have existed today. The constant spotlight would have ruined him, or at least changed him.
I’m also LOVING social media right now. Current players’ reactions to MJ and that team are outstanding…they are just in awe of this guy, as they should be. Note that most college players right now were not only not alive for MJ and his greatness, but they weren’t even alive for the Kobe/Shaq three-peats…damn, we’re old.
Mike from another planet lol… #TheLastDance … Pip slept on like a mf too smh
— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) April 20, 2020
The GREAT Larry legend who along with Magic helped save basketball said " that was God disguised as Michael Jordan" think about that… 🤔🤔😳🤣
— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) April 20, 2020
That’s what I have off the top of my head. I’m VERY much looking forward to next week’s episodes.
Please let me know what your favorite quotes/takeaways were from The Last Dance!