“If you ain’t first, you’re last!”
Quoting a Will Ferrell character (Ricky Bobby) from a comedy (Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby) definitely was not what Phil Jackson foresaw when he proclaimed the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls season as “the last dance.” With Jackson’s final season apparently written in stone before the season began, the quote accurately illustrates the Bulls’ demise.
Champions in 1998. Last place in the East in 1999.
The boys brought in CBC Producer, Derick Deonarain, again to break down the most anticipated sports documentary of the year. Squeezing in 10 hours of The Last Dance into a 1-hour podcast left a lot on the cutting room floor. Make sure to chime in with your thoughts in the comments and enjoy the latest episode of That’s A Rap!
On This Episode:
Just like his time on the court, Michael Jordan’s imprints were all over this 10-part documentary. This was a 10-hour reminder to the older crowd and a lesson for millennials who never got to witness his greatness. Jordan having final approval of everything portrayed does skew the story that was told. Do you feel it was an accurate portrayal or did you want to hear from others more?
While the zig-zagging timeline format of the documentary may have confused some viewers, the sheer joy of watching basketball was very comforting. The trips down memory lane also shed light on some areas that may have been lost in history. What if Jordan signed with Adidas instead of Nike? What if Gary Payton guarded Jordan for the entire NBA Finals, instead of just the tail-end of that series?
Producing 10 hours of film sounds like it could cover everything, but there were some aspects that could have used some additional shine. If you’re going to show Jordan’s journey to superstardom, shouldn’t one of the greatest dunk contests in history be included? Toni Kukoc’s story could have been a documentary onto itself. However, 30 seconds of his buzzer-beaters and approximately 3 minutes of airtime is all he gets?
The timing of the documentary is also interesting. It’s been speculated that, as Lebron James continues his on-slaught of the NBA record book, Jordan used this a not-so-subtle reminder, “hey everyone, remember me?”
Jackson was an up-and-coming Assistant Coach who replaced the team’s successful Head Coach, Doug Collins. He brought in some ground-breaking schemes with the help of the game’s best two-way player. In his first NBA Finals, he threw away conventional defensive assignments and threw his best defender on the Lakers’ best offensive player. Does any of this sound familiar to Raptors fans?
The final 15 minutes of The Last Dance has Jordan implying that everyone would’ve been able to come back and compete for the 7th championship. There are a ton of factors that go into making that statement. Consider that Scottie Pippen made approximately $21 million in salary... over his 11 seasons with Chicago! He’s just supposed to accept another pay cut as he exits his prime?
The Last Dance was very entertaining. It provided quotable quotes and viral memes after each episode. The questions raised and ESPN profits made would point to this not actually being the last dance for Bulls revisionists. Only time will tell, but let us know what you thought of The Last Dance.
3:01 - First thoughts on The Last Dance
8:37 - Last Dance gave us basketball again
13:40 - Nike vs. Adidas
16:20 - No Dunk Contest?
19:30 - Jordan Brand
26:00 - Toni Toni Toni
33:54 - Jordan still the GOAT?
42:11 - Bulls <-> Raptors
49:40 - Seven?