Right now, all sports fans (and Michael Jordan stans) are praising ESPN for rescheduling the airing of The Last Dance for now instead of after the finals.
For starters, the NBA Finals are temporarily postponed because of the coronavirus and everyone is home bored. But thankfully after the first two episodes of the Michael Jordan documentary everyone got their minds off of the world ending and got a chance to remember why MJ really is the GOAT. Jordan admitted that he thinks people will hate him after it airs, likely because of his ruthless winning tactics, but the first two installations have us shocked for other reasons.
Jordan dry snitches on his teammates for doing cocaine, Jerry Krause, the GM and face behind the Bulls gets cracked on by MJ and berated by Scottie Pippen on the team bus, and His Airness risks his whole career to play as an 8th seed in the playoffs. Aside from all the recaps about The Last Dance, we’ve got a running list of the most surprising and craziest sh*t we’re learning from the documentary. Stay locked as this list will be updated at the end of each episode.
1. Jerry KrauseSource:Getty
“Organizations win championships, not players,” was all Jerry Krause had to say to lose the team. In the first episode of The Last Dance, we learn that Krause had a Napoleon complex and continuously got in his own way. Although he’d make the tough (but needed) trade of sending Charles Oakley to New York for Cartwright, he’d shoot himself in the foot more often than not. He even went as far as to tell Phil Jackson, the year before he solidified his second 3-peat, that he didn’t care if the team won all 82 games because he’d be fired at the end of the 1998 season.
2. Pippen’s Problems & Contract)Source:Getty
Some people forget that Jordan didn’t win all that hardware alone– Scottie Pippen was the Robin to his Batman. “Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen,” Jordan confidently said in the documentary, appreciating what Pippen brought to the game. But the team’s brass wasn’t as appreciative as he signed a 7 years/18million contract– 122nd paid player in the league– and didn’t look out for him towards the end of it. Pippen took it personally and even decided to get surgery before the beginning of the season to show the Bulls how much they needed him.
“I didn’t want to fuck my summer up,” were Pippen’s exact words. Even Phil Jackson couldn’t be mad at the decision.
3. Jordan’s Broken FootSource:Getty
Injuries weren’t a big deal for Jordan. He played all his high school and college games, but when landing flat-footed in his second season as a Chicago Bull, he broke his foot. Because he was such a competitor, he was going crazy being forced to sit on the bench and watch the team struggle. He eventually convinced the staff to let him go back to school. But what they didn’t know is that he began practicing while back in Chapel Hill. He went from playing one-on-one to eventually playing five-on-five without the Bulls’ approval. He’d been working so hard, the calf muscle on the leg of the broken foot was larger than the other. He was stuck with minute restrictions when he returned and riskily played despite a 10% chance of a career-ending reinjury.
4. The Story Behind Jordan’s 63 Point GameSource:Getty
That 63 point game was something special, but now knowing the story behind it makes it even more epic. After winning 30 games and somehow becoming the 8th seed, the burgeoning Bulls were taking on the almighty Celtics stacked with Kevin McHale, Larry Bird, and Bill Walton. In game one, Jordan went off for 49 points but had even more in store for game two. But before, Jordan played golf with Danny Ainge and the smack talk was immaculate.
“Tell your boy DJ I got something for him tomorrow,” said MJ. He indeed did have something for defensive stalwart Dennis Johnson that very next game– 63 points.
5. The Cocaine CircusSource:Getty
Did Michael Jordan dry snitch on his teammates for the illegal behaviors he witnessed during his rookie year? Damn right he did. After being sheltered at UNC, he admitted he wasn’t prepared for his new life in Chicago. In the documentary, he recounts walking into a teammate’s hotel room and seeing all the alcohol, weed, and cocaine lines anyone could ever want. At that time, Jordan wasn’t the tequila sipping, cigar-puffing legend he is now so he decided to skip the fun.