The dynasty of Chicago Bulls in the ’90s is nothing short of legendary. It’s somewhat surprising that we had to wait until 2020 for a decent documentary on this iconic team. But it’s finally here, and thanks to Netflix and ESPN, we have access to a lot of locker room footage that was never released to the public before.
Along with other spicy insides from the franchise, The Last Dance Michael Jordan is a documentary that is worth watching by young and old folks alike. Older generations are well familiar with the ’90s Bulls team, but while millennials only heard stories, they now have the rare opportunity to see greatness in play.
If you want to “be like Mike”, as the famous advert goes, watching the miniseries is a must. The production follows an unstrict timeline, jumping back and forth between events and years, which could be a little confusing at times. However, each episode provides exclusive insights into the mentality and spirit of one of the greatest sports teams of all time.
The Last Dance is a unique mixture of unseen footage and present-day exclusive interviews by all key figures of that era. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Magic Johnson, Phil Jackson, Larry Bird, Toni Kukoc, and countless more athletes and journalists give their side of the story. Even the former US President Barak Obama is interviewed and shares how vital this Bulls franchise was for the African American subculture.
While on the court, everything seemed like rainbows and sunshine; a lot was going on behind the scenes. Starting with a personal feud between coach Jackson and general manager Jerry Krause, to Scottie Pippen being massively undervalued and wanting to leave the club. The wild Dennis Rodman was another obstacle off-court as he would often drift to his reality, partying for days midseason.
Ultimately, a lot of this backfired to MJ, who had to carry the team on his back. But thanks to his immense competitiveness and drive to win at all costs, the Bulls managed 6 Championships in 8 years. The Last Dance captures Michael Jordan’s competitiveness and helps you understand who he really was and what drove him to GOAT status.
The way that the Bulls and MJ, in particular, pioneered how the world looked on the NBA, is mesmerizing. Before they reigned over the NBA, the league was mainly popular in the USA, but the impact that the Bulls team had changed the sport forever. Jordan became the ambassador of basketball and sparked a global interest in the game.
A huge role of the success was played by coach Phil Jackson who wrote his name with golden ink in the history books. Under his spell, Chicago Bulls won two three-peats (seasons 1991-1993, and seasons 1996-1998), becoming only the third team in the NBA’s history to achieve this milestone.
“If they mentioned Michael Jordan they should mention Scottie Pippen, too.”Michael Jordan
The Last Dance – Netflix & ESPN Series
If you need instant fuel and a motivation rush, this documentary is a must-watch for you. It not only shows why the Chicago Bulls was the hottest team in the league for so many back-to-back seasons, but it also gives you many answers about work ethic, mentality, and champion’s spirit inside the locker room.
The Last Dance Netflix release date was on April 19 when the first two episodes were aired and justified all the hype. The instant success of the docuseries put MJ and the Bulls back into the conversation decades after their achievements for all the right reasons. Throughout the next 5 Sundays, everyone in the world was glued to their TV, waiting for the air of 2 breath-taking episodes at once.
The Last Dance
April 19 – May 17, 2020
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman, David Aldridge, Larry Bird, Barack Obama, and more
As we write our take on the documentary, all episodes have been aired, and we must say the numbers are astonishing. Starting from huge ratings and an average of 6.7 million viewers per episode globally, Michael Jordan The Last Dance is, without a doubt, one of the best sports documentaries ever made. And if the numbers didn’t tell you the whole picture yet, we’ve prepared a recap of all 10 The Last Dance episodes.
In the first episode of The Last Dance, Michael Jordan’s college year chronicles are in the main highlight. We see flashbacks of the beginning of his extraordinary career and the first NCAA Championship in 1982 with the team of the University of North Carolina. The episode continues with MJ’s rookie year in NBA in 1984, when right out of the gate everyone knew this player is a different breed.
The other half of the episode is of much later period of season 1997-98. It summarizes the tension between GM Jerry Krause and coach Phil Jackson in his final season in the team. While Jerry is focused on rebuilding, the coach and the all-star team have their eyes locked on the sixth NBA Championship, making it a proper Last Dance.
Air Date: April 19, 2020
US Viewers: 5.73 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 7.24 million
The second episode was aired on the same date, giving the viewers a peek into the life of Scottie Pippen. We witness the overwhelming story of Pippen overcoming the obstacle growing in a low-income family to becoming the second-best player of the dynasty.
Being the youngest among 12 kids, the best no.2 had a difficult childhood, witnessing his dad’s stroke, and later his oldest brother becoming paralyzed. Despite being the ’94 NBA all-star game MVP, 4-time NBA all-star among other achievements, Scottie Pippen was the most undervalued player of his generation.
Air Date: April 19, 2020
US Viewers: 5.12 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.72 million
This episode emphasizes on Dennis Rodman before the Bulls, the Championship in ’89, and Pistons rivalry. In 1995, Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen gave the green light and took Rodman under their wings and guidance. At the time, Dennis was problematic yet the best on-ball defender and rebounder in the league.
Phil Jackson did a phenomenal job containing the controversial and eccentric Dennis Rodman, who was a nightmare off the pitch. The coach would let him blow off steam to Vegas for a few days and cut him slack for pretty much anything. Nevertheless, when the game was on the iconic no. 91 was a pillar and contributed with his energy and skills.
Air Date: April 26, 2020
US Viewers: 5.31 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.99 million
Remember Rodman and his short 48 hours detour to Las Vegas during the ’98 playoffs? Well, he kind of overdid it with let’s say an additional 48 hours when MJ had to retrieve him personally. But the deep mutual respect and understanding between coach Jackson and Rodman was the force that bonded them together.
In episode 4, we also peek at the basketball chronicles of Phil and his early days as a coach. When Jackson takes the wheel at the Bulls, he imposes the Triangle Offense and guides the team to the next level. After hard work at the gym, MJ’s mentality to be the best translates to his teammates, and they finally overcome the Pisonts to win their first-ever Championship in ’91.
Air Date: April 26, 2020
US Viewers: 4.86 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.91 million
This episode focuses on the creation of the very first Air Jordan shoe. Michael got an insane deal of $250 million, which was a record at the time. Especially for a 21 years old rookie who’s hasn’t won anything and is still a nobody. Nike was hoping to make $3 million in sales for the first year while they managed to sell a whopping $126 million.
This exact shoe was the reason why sneakers become fashion and culture and crossed paths between urban and sports. MJ then proceeded to win a consecutive final and the ’92 Olympic Gold Medal with the Dream Team. “Be Like Mike” became a mantra to everyone and made him the most famous man in the world.
Air Date: May 3, 2020
US Viewers: 4.91 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.68 million
Episode 6 stomps on the Achilles’ heel of MJ’s gambling problem which sparked a feud between him and the press. During the playoffs in 1993, The legendary no. 23 felt like his personal space was deeply violated and stopped talking to the media for more than two weeks. The spark was ignited by the book Michael Jordan: The Life. However, MJ remained focused on winning the long-desired three-peat and secured it with a bang shutting down all critics.
Air Date: May 3, 2020
US Viewers: 4.44 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.43 million
After his dad was murdered, MJ was devastated. He has lost his motivation and passion for the game. Not only because of his tragedy but also because he had achieved everything. Jordan was the king of the NBA and felt like it was time to leave for good. Out of the blue, MJ retired his basketball jersey and headed on to pursue his childhood dream playing baseball.
In 1994 at 31 years, Jordan becomes a rookie at Chicago White Sox. Scottie took the leading role, but in the playoff Game 3 against the Knicks, he made a controversial decision of refusing to play the last 7 seconds of the clash. As this was his MVP season, Pippen overreacted on Phil Jackson’s decision to give Toni Kukoc the cluster shot.
Air Date: May 10, 2020
US Viewers: 4.41 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.29 million
The episode opens up with some great examples of why you should never trash talk MJ. Every opponent that ever dared to rub him the wrong way has unleashed hell on himself and regretted it. Episode 8 also shows why Jordan experienced a change of heart and decided to return to the NBA in 1995.
The press headline “I’m back” was probably the happiest news for the Bulls fans in the past 18 months since he left. Realizing that he’s not the same player, Jordan chose to wear no. 45. But a bit of trash talk by Orlando Magic’s Nick Anderson fired him up to unretire the iconic jersey no. 23 and the rest is history.
Air Date: May 10, 2020
US Viewers: 4.16 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.39 million
The Bulls have just come off from the best season in the NBA history, with 70 wins. But a perfect storm was brewing. Indiana and Reggie Miller, in particular, were determined to get in the way of the Bulls. Miller even thought that he was going to retire Jordan from the game.
Reggie and MJ locked horns since day one, when only a young rookie in ’87, Miller talked trash to the GOAT. After he got served, Miller started referring to Jordan as “the Black Jesus” or “the Black Cat”. Additionally, the episode features the famous “Flu Game” and a theory of why Mike got sick before Game 5 of the ’97 Utah Jazz finals.
Air Date: May 17, 2020
US Viewers: 5.02 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.77 million
This is the epilogue, the final episode 10, an end of an extraordinary era. In June ’98, the Bulls face once again Utah Jazz on the NBA Finals. Michael Jordan’ The Last Dance is complete with a 6th Championship in 8 years. Exhausted and battered, Phil, MJ, and the rest of the superstar roaster reflect on the end of their dynasty. The ’90s Chicago Bulls team is officially one for the ages.
Air Date: May 17, 2020
US Viewers: 4.59 million
Total Viewers Worldwide: 6.56 million
In this review, we said everything there is about the fascinating documentary Michael Jordan The Last Dance. However, we realize that there’s always something more, especially when we talk about one of the best docuseries of the decade featuring non-other than the golden ’90s Chicago Bulls and the greatest of all time Michael Jordan. So, it’s only fair that we address a few popular questions before we place the final full stop.
? What is The Last Dance docuseries about?
The documentary The Last Dance tells the story of the legendary team of the ’90s Chicago Bulls. The plot of the miniseries is creatively written with time wraps that help paint the full picture for each significant event from 1984 when MJ first arrived in the team until the very last game in 1998.
? Where can I see The Last Dance Michael Jordan?
The Last Dance Michael Jordan is available on Netflix for people from the UK and the rest of Europe, while US residents can watch it on ESPN. Both platforms give access to all 10 parts of the miniseries, which aired its last episode on May 17th 2020.
? Who created The Last Dance?
The Last Dance is a unique docuseries produced by ESPN Films and Netflix. The series is directed by Jason Hehir and tells the story of the iconic ’90s team of Chicago Bulls. The career of King Jordan is the focal point of the documentary.
? What is the Chicago Bulls record?
After realizing that he’s not the same player anymore, Jordan started preparing for season 1995/96 more determined than ever. With Dennis Rodman’s first season in the team, the Bulls went on to make a record 72 wins in one season.
? When did Michael Jordan retire?
Jordan’s first retirement was in October 1993 when his father was killed. After securing the first-ever three-peat for the franchise, MJ pursuit a career in baseball. He returned to NBA in March 1995 to retire for the second time in January 1999. Jordan made another comeback in September 2001. Third and final retirement followed in April 2003.