*a 6 minute read*
*There will be a few spoilers*
The time has come for the ending of a documentary that came at the perfect time for the world to watch and enjoy. The Last Dance, a 10 part documentary sports series, offers insight on one of the greatest teams ever assembled in the NBA. An excess amount of background information is also revealed but still left us wanting more by the end of it. We thank ESPN and Netflix for delivering such greatness for the people to appreciate and experience.
The topic of basketball was an indispensable factor of the documentary but viewers were also graced with much more, including the background activities that athletes cope with day to day (especially Dennis Rodman). Let’s dive deeper into a few of the subjects included in the documentary and how they all contributed to the greatness of Michael Jor… I mean the Chicago Bulls and their legacy.
The Power of Parenting
Nike ultimately has to thank the mother of Michael Jordan, Deloris, for bringing one of the greatest athletes ever to their company. Forcing him to go to the meeting was a power play that not many saw coming. She is truly a legend in her own right. Guiding Michael with the advice and inspiration that he needed, she pushed him into a direction of immense stardom. The touch of a mother strikes again, and it struck gold.
Imagine if Jordan signed with Adidas. Imagine how different the entire shoe game would look in the 21st century. Air Jordan changed the culture for shoes forever. The logo of Air Jordan offered something that the sports world had never experienced before. The brand achieved unprecedented global appeal that shifted the landscape of athletes forever. I mean think about it. If you had a Jordan shoe, you could be like Mike. You could be the best of the best. What can stop you? Nike marketed this in your face, with TV commercials and presenting us with the movie Like Mike on top of it. This was unheard of before MJ, becoming the much-needed icon to influence anyone and everyone to be the best. We all know Adidas is still having nightmares to this day about letting this opportunity slip away.
James Sr, the father of Michael, was also an integral part of how Jordan became the player that he was. Offering positive advice, always being there along the journey, and never allowing his child to settle for less are just a few important parental traits that James Sr displayed. Like any parent, you want to see your children succeed and achieve great things. You want to see them reach their highest aspirations and be there for the key moments of their lives. This was James Sr for Michael, being the father figure that he needed to propel him to greater heights. The relationship they shared was beautiful to watch and illustrated the importance of parenting in the best way possible.
We thank Deloris and James Sr Jordan for all the positive work they have done. They contributed and impacted the lives of so many others by guiding Michael and allowing him to become one of the greatest success stories we have ever witnessed. Never forget where you came from and who helped you along the way, even if they may be a little old and annoying. Rest in peace to James Sr Jordan.
Trust Your Coaches
Look, I am not sure how many coaches would able to handle Dennis Rodman’s antics on a regular basis. When Rodman played in an NBA game, it was impossible to ignore his efforts and unbelievable hustle. But missing practice in the NBA finals just to go and wrestle in the WWE? Phil Jackson deserved to be put in the hall of fame after just dealing with Rodman, let alone winning 11 championships in his coaching career.
The best coaches are the most relatable. They can connect and understand where players are coming from, they have a vast amount of experience in the appropriate field and they know when they need to close their mouths and let the players play. From the beginning of the dynasty era to the end of it for the Chicago Bulls, a couple of coaches did everything they could. But one was far more successful than the other.
Enter Phil Jackson, head coach of the Chicago Bulls for all six championships, who supplied a different perspective to the game and the ideal approach for a championship-winning mentality. With Phil introducing the triangle offense and focusing on the mental attributes of the game, he helped propel the Bulls team to unstoppable heights. Earning the nickname of Zen Master, this is undoubtedly the most appropriate name to highlight Jackson’s efforts.
A coach who understood the value of every player on the team, Phil was the ultimate catalyst in fueling this Bulls team. The cohesiveness, the balancing of egos, and the importance of a close-knit relationship with your best player was all part of Phil’s process of making NBA history. To full effect, Phil did the role that coaches everywhere should set out to do: put your team in the best possible situation to win.
A coach can only do so much behind the scenes and on the sidelines. The players are responsible for what transpires in the game. But with the correct preparation and an emphasis on team play, Phil Jackson showed how to get the absolute best out of your players, becoming one of the greatest NBA coaches of all time.
Don’t Ever Talk Shit to Black Jesus
Having a first-hand view inside the mind of Michael Jordan was captivating to say the least. Making up fake stories to fuel himself, taking everything you say to him personally, and dominating the league for a whole decade, you would think Reggie Miller would know better than to piss off Black Jesus.
The documentary’s focus on Michael Jordan covered almost every part of his life. But we have to be thankful for the insight into the focus and determination of a man who grew into a champion. A man who became a legend after so much suffering. Failing to win a championship for seven years will teach you a thing or two along the way. Jordan’s understanding of how much it takes to win forced him to be obsessive and passionate once he won for the first time in 1991.
The continuous challenging and so-called bullying by Jordan towards his teammates brought media discussions and backlash. But ultimately Jordan’s actions delivered the success they all wished for. “Winning has a price, leadership has a price,” a quote by Jordan, illustrates his realization of what it takes to win. Greatness waits for no one. Once you attain great things, it could be lost mere moments after. Sacrifice, pain, and struggle are all part of the process of making it to the top. But if you are not willing to pay the price starting at the bottom, how can you ever expect to make it to the top?
If you are not a fan of MJ’s antics regarding his teammates, it is completely understandable. Everyone reacts differently when they interact with others on a team. But with the results, it’s safe to say that his teammates are thankful for MJ’s conduct. When you hold yourself to high expectations, you want your squad to follow suit. In a team sport, everyone plays a part to contribute to the team. The Bulls dynasty was spearheaded by Michael Jordan, but none of the championships would have been possible without him challenging his teammates to be their best every single day. Jordan’s means were certainly justified at the end. And please for the good and safety of your career, if you are going to say some disrespectful words towards black Jesus, you better back it up. Before he dominates you and the rest of your franchise.
The documentary revealed the perspective of an organization who went through an unprecedented time in sports. The Last Dance delivered a thrilling and captivating look on leadership, dominance and influence, covering all areas that viewers can relate to. If you have been unable to watch it so far, I strongly recommend you to and see the impact it can have on you. You can find the episodes on the ESPN website or Netflix. Thanks for reading, share with a friend and answer the question below.
What is your biggest takeaway from this documentary?