7 things we learned in episodes 3 and 4 of ‘The Last Dance’ – For The Win

Posted: April 28, 2020 at 2:47 am


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The Last Dance is a ten-part documentary from ESPN/Netflix that showcases the final run of the late 90s Bulls, one of the great franchises of modern sports history.

With outrageous access and interviews with just about everyone, these episodes have given us new light into a team that many of us grew up adoring, or, if you were a fan of a rival team, fearing.

We learned a lot on Sunday night, when episodes 3 and 4 aired on ESPN. Lets get to what we learned.

(Big caveat: I know most of this stuff was already known or reported on at the time. I get it. Very few documentaries truly bring to light new things, especially with teams this well covered. So lets just say these are things we were reminded ofand you can not tweet at me.)

Dennis Rodman was the star of Sunday night, and we broke down all his best moments already in great detail. What I was left with watching Sunday night was how seamlessly Rodman fit into that team, and how quick Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen were to embrace him because of his excellence.

Whether it was Rodman breaking down the extensive prep work he did to learn how different shooters would result in different types of rebounds, or other players marveling at his ability to defend five positions,

Look at Trae Young realizing that Michael Jordan won MVP, the scoring title, All-Star Game MVP, Defensive Player of the Year, and the Slam Dunk contest in the same year.

I remember how good Jordan was, but to put together a year like that while averaging 35 points a game on 53.5% shooting, as a guard, while leading the league in steals, I mean what? What?

I remember the Bulls needing to get over the hump of beating the Bad Boy Pistons in the late 80s, but it was definitely interesting to see how GM Jerry Krause had to basically rebuild the team with one opponent in mind.

When you have Michael Jordan, he can get you through 30 or so NBA teams, but to beat the absolute best, the Bulls had to acquire players who could match the physicality of the Pistons. They did it, and it started their run to greatness.

Again, we broke this down in the Rodman post, but I truly love that Dennis Rodman not only understood that he needed to take a break after helping Jordan carry the team during Pippens absence, but that Phil Jackson also understood it, and allowed it. (With Michael Jordans permission.)

With that one interaction, I understood Jackson, Rodman, and Jordan all differently. Rodman for his self-awareness, Jackson for his empathy and lenience, and Jordan for his empathy and not as much lenience.

Good lord Craig Ehlo took a beating on Sunday night, arguably worse than the one Jordan gave him however many years ago. Jordan said having Ehlo guard him was a mistake and Ehlos then Cavs teammate Ron Harper had an incredible reaction to the decision even all these years later.

Michael Jordan doing press scrums in every city he went to, talking to media members off-guardedly while getting taped up this justdoesntreally happen now. Teams are much more protective of players time, and the sort of interactions you see with Jordan, Rodman, Pippen in this documentary is stunning to see.

One of the stranger moments on Sunday night was when a Bulls employee went into a room with Michael Jordan and five or six guys in suits, and started introducing them as The Sniff Brothers, explaining that they had the name because they all sniffed [Jordans] jockstrap. They were his bodyguards, I guess? All of them?

I need to know more about these men. Someone tell me more about these men.

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7 things we learned in episodes 3 and 4 of 'The Last Dance' - For The Win

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April 28th, 2020 at 2:47 am

Posted in Self-Awareness