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Culture Documentary

Michael Jordan was the last of his kind

(ESPN)

Documentary

Michael Jordan was the last of his kind

The Last Dance profiles athlete turned legend

Move over Tiger King. A new documentary series is ruling America’s imagination, and its subject is worthier of the crown.

ESPN’s The Last Dance, which draws on unseen footage from the Chicago Bulls 1997-98 championship season, is receiving both critical and popular praise. An average of 6 million people have watched interviews with various members of the team and front office, along with recollections from other athletes and celebrities. But make no mistake: The star of the show is His Airness, Michael Jordan. 

Viewers who grew up in the grunge decade will remember why, in the words of the 1991 Gatorade jingle, every kid wanted to “be like Mike.”

The Last Dance also explores cultural changes that make it difficult, or impossible, for future players to harness anything like Jordan’s ’90s aura. Namely, he forged his legacy before the age of social media. 

Viewers might consider whether we’d be better off if we didn’t know what our heroes ate for breakfast, who they vote for, or what kind of toilets they use.  

Jordan gives fans a glimpse behind the curtain. In a few interviews he filters his language less than we’ve seen in the past (ESPN2 is airing the series with profanity bleeped out). But Jordan shows he still understands the power of mystery. No matter how tight the camera shot, he still keeps his distance. 

A famous line from the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance applies: “When the Legend becomes fact, print the Legend.” The Last Dance follows this advice, and audiences may be better off for it.

MJ’S RESUMÉ

6-time NBA Champion: 1991-1993, 1996-1998

6-time NBA Finals MVP: 1991-1993, 1996-1998

5-time NBA MVP: 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, 1998

14-time NBA All-Star: 1985-1993, 1996-1998, 2002-2003

3-time NBA All-Star Game MVP: 1988, 1996, 1998

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  • SAWGUNNER
    Posted: Sun, 05/10/2020 10:08 pm

    It's just a crying shame no one ever tried to bring him down to Texas. He woulda made a great SAN ANTONIO SPUR!