The Last Dance – Season Finale Episodes

Last night was the Season Finale of the 10-part documentary series of “The Last Dance.” This has been a great documentary series, and I enjoyed tuning in every Sunday night on ESPN. I’m going to discuss my thoughts about both episodes 9 and 10.

Episode 9
Episode Nine got off to a great start. I love that the filmmaker started the episode with the Bulls vs. Pacers. Reggie Miller said that he never feared Jordan like the rest of the league would. The man even got into a fight with Jordan in 1993. They were Central Division rivals. The 1998 Pacers don’t get talked about often. The Pacers came very close in dethroning the Bulls that year. Pacers had depth with Reggie Miller, Mark Jackson, Chris Mullin, the Davis boys, Jalen Rose, and Rik Smits. Jordan said in the documentary that the Pacers were his toughest matchup in the East outside of the Bad Boy Pistons. I’m glad that the documentary focused a lot on this series.

Game Four is the most memorable game of the series. After Scottie Pippen missed two free throws late in the game, Reggie Miller gave Jordan a push to create some space and let him hit a huge three-pointer. Jordan almost won the game for the Bulls, but the ball pinned out. Pacers won Game 4 to tie the series. In Game 7, Pacers played the Bulls very well until the mid-4th quarter when a jump ball shifted the momentum of the game. I feel that the Pacers were the better team in that series, but when you have championship pedigree and experience, you have an advantage over the other team. That’s what the Bulls had over the Pacers.

The saddest moment of this episode is Steve Kerr. I had no idea about Steve Kerr’s father being murdered. Watching this documentary, you can see that it still hurts Steve to talk about his father’s death. He even got emotional. Steve used basketball as his distraction. He didn’t think he would make it to the NBA. Look at him now. He’s got five championships as a player and found more success as a coach winning three titles with the Golden State Warriors.

Episode 10
This episode focused on the 1998 NBA Finals. For the second year in a row, the Utah Jazz faced the Chicago Bulls. Every game was a close and exciting game, except for Game 3. The Bulls annihilated the Jazz and held them to just 54 points. Every Bulls player had scored points. The only one that was missing was Bill Wennington. While being up by 40 points, with a couple of seconds left to go in the 4th quarter, Wennington scored a basket. I’m bringing this up because none of the Jazz players or coaches reacted. In today’s NBA, players and coaches would’ve complained or start a problem. It’s too soft and sensitive nowadays. During the Golden Era of the NBA, it was truly a MAN’S GAME.

The funniest part of this episode was Dennis Rodman. I found it so funny how the media chased Dennis Rodman. The media was trying to get a hold of Rodman. With the help from an assistant, Rodman was able to escape the press. I’ll never forget when Rodman appeared on WCW Monday Night Nitro. He brought so much attention to himself and the Bulls. Rodman would miss practice, but Phil Jackson knew that when he’s on the court, he gives it 100%. Dennis Rodman was all business on the basketball court.

As for the conclusion, Scottie Pippen proved so many people wrong who called him “soft” by what he contributed in Game 6 of the Finals. Scottie was hobbling throughout the whole game. His back pain was severe, but he gave everything he had. The Bulls used him as a decoy for the entire game. There wasn’t going to be another migraine headache situation. Pippen knew that his team needed him. He knew that this was the end of an era. He rose to the occasion. Bulls would clinch their 6th title in 8 years.

Jordan still feels anger that the Bulls couldn’t come back the following year for a 7th championship. Jordan said that all of them would’ve taken a 1-year deal to go back and repeat, but management got in the way of that. Overall, the Bulls represented everything that the 90s were—a team for the ages.

Leave a Reply