CP REVIEW: THE LAST DANCE

Reviewing ESPN and Netflix's 10-part documentary, "The Last Dance"

Joe Parsley, Website & Video Managing Editor

During the 1990s, the Chicago Bulls dynasty, led by head coach Phil Jackson and players Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen, absolutely terrorized the league by stealing six championships, or two three-peats.

For perspective, only 3 teams have ever won three straight championships from 1970 to today.

Luckily, before the dynasty ended, an NBA Entertainment crew was allowed to film the Bulls during their quest for their 6th championship in the 1997-98 season. 

This footage was set aside to become a documentary at a later time, which turned out to be 2020.

Here is where “The Last Dance” documentary was born. 

Though the documentary is focused around a specific season, it has a few timelines. One, obviously, follows the Bulls’ 1997-98 season, but the other one follows the players, specifically Jordan, throughout their careers.

I really liked this aspect because it shows more of what Jordan and the Bulls went through from the mid 1980s up to his final season in a Bulls jersey.

In the 97-98 season timeline, it was shown that most people knew this season was the Bulls’ last chance to win another championship with this team due to general manager Jerry Krause’s comments and actions or inactions.

Then, it went on to show the Bulls’ recovery to finish the season with 60 wins after their rocky start. This led up to them making the NBA Finals for a rematch of last year’s Finals against the Utah Jazz.

During Game 6, the Bulls finished off the Jazz in Utah to win their 6th championship in franchise history.

And after all of that, Krause, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf, decide to start from scratch because of “age.”

I just don’t get this move. 

If they kept everybody for one more year, they, arguably, could’ve won a fourth-straight championship, 7 total, because of the team’s chemistry and championship experience.

In the Jordan timeline, the producers behind the documentary showed why Michael Jordan should be considered the greatest player in NBA history. 

His determination to win and his clutchness in the clips they showed set him apart from everyone else. 

I mean, his final shot in a Bulls’ jersey is crossing Bryon Russell to hit the game-winning shot to not only win the game, but to win the championship. Unbelievably clutch.

His competitiveness, also, sets him apart from other greatest of all time candidates such as Lebron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Kobe Bryant. 

My favorite story of his competitiveness is his clapback to Magic Johnson’s trash talk when Magic’s team was up 32-23. Jordan went on a 17-4 run, shutting up everybody on the other team, and taking the 40-36 win. Absolutely legendary.

“The Last Dance” is available to stream on the ESPN app with a TV provider in the U.S. and available on Netflix for those outside the U.S.