Last Sunday, ESPN aired the season finale of “The Last Dance” with episodes 9 and 10. The last two episodes entailed Michael Jordan‘s final season with the Chicago Bulls, as they faced off against the Indiana Pacers in the 1997 East Conference finals and the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA finals.
As much as fans had enjoyed the story behind Michael Jordan‘s life and his emergence to the NBA, then later on building the greatest basketball dynasty ever established, there are some things fans never knew that took place off the court that actually came to a surprise.
Here are the TUC5 things that fans did not know about the Jordan and Chicago Bulls dynasty:
1. Chicago Bulls power forward Dennis Rodman missed practice to appear in a WCW event during the 1998 NBA Finals.
In the final episode of The Last Dance, the episode highlighted the moment when Dennis Rodman purposely skipped practice to appear on an episode of World Championship Wrestling (WCW)
“I wasn’t trying to do anything. I was just trying to play basketball, party, da, da, da, da… Just be me. Dennis s–t, you know,” Rodman said during the episode.
Rodman, although known for outrageous remarks and rebellious attitude, contributed a team-high of 50 rebounds during the 1998 NBA finals.
2. Chicago Bulls small forward Scottie Pippen’s publicized feud with Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause.
In Episodes 1 and 2 of The Last Dance, both episodes briefly discussed how underpaid Scottie Pippen was during his time with the Chicago Bulls. In fact, coming to the close of Episode 2, it showed that Pippen became infuriated with Bulls general manager Jerry Krause that he berated him on the team’s bus.
3. The rocky yet, successful relationship between point guard Steve Kerr and Air Jordan; The untimely death of both the players’ fathers.
Golden State Warriors coach and former Chicago Bulls point guard, Steve Kerr appeared throughout the 10-episode miniseries as he shares his memories with Jordan and his time on the Bulls. Like the other players on the Bulls roster, Kerr expressed his deepest admiration for Jordan’s determination. While Kerr may have talked highly about Jordan, he also discussed the time he and Jordan fought during practice, which made the chemistry between both players even stronger throughout the 1995 and 1997 seasons.
One part of Episode 9 that sparked my mind when watching it was learning about Steve Kerr’s journey to the NBA and the untimely death of his father, Malcolm Kerr who was killed in 1984 during his reign as president of American University of Beirut. Although Kerr never discussed his father’s death to Jordan, he felt that he and Jordan had the same drive to become great basketball players because of those tragic moments that occurred in their lives.
4. Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson was a hippie and evolution of “The Zen Master.”
NBA legend and former head coach of Chicago Bulls, Phil Jackson is known for being the mastermind behind the famous Bulls dynasty. But who was Phil Jackson before becoming this legendary coach? In one of the episodes of The Last Dance, Jackson revealed as he was under the guidance of coach Doug Collins, Jackson used to dress like a hippie and used to be very outgoing. As Jackson got older and took over as the head coach, with the help of his ex-wife, he started to incorporate ancient Buddhist meditation practices during the Bulls practice and pre-game stretches to centered the players’ minds and bodies before games. Thus, he was called, “The Zen Master” because of his way of coaching.
5. Jordan’s feud with the New York Knicks in 1993, having to leave New York after huge upset during A playoff game.
As we all know, Michael Jordan was raised in Wilmington, North Carolina during his childhood into his teenage years. However, little is ever talked about that Jordan was actually born in Brooklyn, NY before moving to North Carolina. During the 1993 NBA playoffs, the Bulls faced off against Pat Riley’s New York Knicks. Some famous NBA legends were on that team; Patrick Ewing at center, John Starks as the two guard, Derek Harper at the point, and Greg Anthony being a backup point guard. In Episode 6 of The Last Dance, Jordan discusses the upset of losing against the Knicks in New York and having to leave New York to Atlantic City to the casinos. This episode, of course, becomes a vital part of the 10=part miniseries as we follow the life of Jordan off the court.
Overall, the miniseries was great and I enjoyed every bit of it, as I got to understand the highs and lows of my favorite NBA team of all time. #BullsForever!
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