The Last Dance
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Monday, April 27, 2020
Review Episode 3 & 4
So, after loving episodes 1 and 2 of The Last Dance our appetizer we are now getting into the main course of the Chicago Bulls/Michael Jordan documentary.
Episode 3 first tells the story of Dennis Rodman, the rebound God. To say Dennis was quirky would be an understatement. But in his early pro days the Piston’s embrace him and his coach Chuck Daly says about Rodman “You don’t put a saddle on a mustang” which described Rodman to a tee. Rodman was the guy Gary Payton described as being “the F- up person because he liked to F- things up.”
Rodman was different and did things his way but just like he was accepted by coach Daly and the Pistons. He was also embraced by Michael, Scottie, Phil and the Bulls. They didn’t break his spirit which said a lot. Because let’s face it Rodman did some “stuff” (like needing a vacation in the middle of a season) that would make most want to go off.
So, as we watched Rodman and the Pistons the story weaves around the battle between the Bulls and the Pistons. For years Michael Jordan and the Bulls knew the path to win a championship, they were going to have to go through Detroit.
The Detroit Pistons were the bad boys of the NBA during that time. They felt like the NBA showed more love to the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics. The Pistons felt slighted and wanted respect and would not just hand over the NBA Championship to Michael Jordan. As we watched the Pistons just fling the Bulls all over the place, we saw they had the “Jordan rules” which is pretty much if Jordan has the ball – knock his ass out.
Some would say the battle with the Pistons made Michael Jordan. I wouldn’t say all that, but I do believe those battles helped take MJ’s game to the next level. After that last lost to the Pistons MJ and the rest of the team took to the gym. Time for the muscles so the next time a team tried to push them down they could push back harder. During this time, you saw Jordan’s quest for perfection. He was hungry and it was during this time sports writers and some fans wondered if he was going to carry the torch like Magic Johnson and Larry Bird.
As we saw Jordan and the Bulls were not only up for the challenge after finally beating the sore losers also knows as the Detroit Pistons. They were in the process of creating a dynasty.
Episode 4 highlighted Phil Jackson and his time as an NBA player first and then coach. Phil was a hippie who very much like Rodman was quirky in his own way. We see Phil being groomed to be the next coach of the Bulls. The coach on the way-out Doug Collins approached coaching the Bulls “It’s all about Mike”, which Phil’s approach was “It’s about the team.”
To say I’m loving this documentary would be an understatement. It’s like you knew some of these stories and heard the rumors but to see and hear the players and coaches’ perspectives and all those who were there. It’s just amazing and as every episode ends, I can’t wait for the next.