NBA documentary ‘The Last Dance’ gives sports fans a taste of what they have been missing with live events being on hold

Michael Jordan, the Chicago Bull’s most famous player. (Credit: mccarmona23/flickr)

The newly released sports documentary miniseries tells the story of the great rise of the world-famous NBA team, the Chicago Bulls, starting in the mid 1980’s up until the 1997-1998 season championship.

The series focuses on the careers of NBA superstars Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman and how their athletic and collaborative skills build an almost unbeatable team.

Episode one focuses on the history of the team, and the life of player Michael Jordan who is said to have been the binding force for the Bulls. Jordan was first drafted into the NBA in 1984 from North Caroline University where he first began to excel at the sport. He did not finish all four years at the university but instead went to the Bulls before he was able to begin his senior year.

Before Michael Jordan joined the team, the Chicago Bulls could be considered mediocre at best. The team was more well known for its players drug habits than their athletic abilities, but Jordan did not partake in these activities and instead was focused on turning the team around.

The team quickly came to realize Jordan was the best player among them and as the team worked towards matching Jordan is skill, the city of Chicago finally felt as though they had a team to really root for.

Episode two focuses on the introduction of Scottie Pippen to the team. Similar to Jordan, Pippen found his beginning in basketball while away at college as he attended the University of Central Arkansas. Growing up, Scottie Pippen had multiple people who were disabled living with him at home and this only motivated him to work hard at excelling in athletics.

He was said to be Michael Jordan’s right hand man because of their special bond on the court, they were always depending on each other to bring the team to victory.

“Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen,” said Michael Jordan in an interview in the docuseries.

Despite being considered the second-best player throughout all of the NBA, Scottie Pippen was only the 6th highest paid players on the Chicago Bulls, and the 122th highest paid player throughout the league as a whole. This led to Pippen feeling undervalued and under-appreciated and in the 1997-1998 season he took himself out of the team to get a surgery most felt was unnecessary.

The Chicago Bulls began to lose their winning streak without Pippen, showing everyone how much he was needed.

Episode three focuses on the life of basketball “bad-boy,” Dennis Rodman. With Pippen gone, Michael Jordan needed a teammate he could depend on, and Rodman filled this role. Despite him having an aggressive and often self-serving personality, he eventually realized the importance of him filling in as Jordan’s right hand man.

Prior to playing on the Chicago Bulls, Rodman was a key player to the Bull’s ultimate rival, the Detroit Pistons. The Pistons were known for being extra-aggressive and troublemakers on the court. Rodman was one of the worst of them, or best depending on how you look at it. The three-year Pistons and Bulls rivalry lasted until the Bulls finally beat them in the 1991 playoffs.

“Growing up over a decade after the Bull’s had their amazing run, I was always more focused on players like Kobe,” said Jackson Steele, Saddleback student. “But after watching this documentary, it made me realize they actually were as big of a deal as people make them out to be.”

“In the 90s, the Bulls seemed like superheros,” said Michael Wuestehube, life-long Chicago Bulls follower. “It’s really great to see them on our screens again to get a new look into the team’s glory days.”

This series shows the inside relationships with the NBA superstars from arguably the best team in the league’s history. These players changed the game of basketball as a whole and this series is an excellent way for viewers to see the behind the scenes aspects of their careers. Not everything was as glamorous as the public thought it to be, but this only makes the players more authentic and understandable.