Written by Braidan Lewis (Features Writer)
Watching The Last Dance episodes nine & ten was a surreal moment for me, going into it felt like how the Bulls did going into that final season, you knew it was going to be over after this. Knowing this though didn’t make it any less entertaining, but in fact even more so.
Learning about Dennis Rodman’s vacation he took while in the middle of the NBA finals surely did not disappoint, because after all, it was Dennis Rodman. If any player in today’s NBA era took off before an NBA finals game for a WWW match, they would be obliterated by the media. But for Dennis Rodman, that’s just how he was, that’s how he rolled. What made Rodman special was his ability to come and play night in and night out no matter what the circumstances were, he always got his job done. Both Michael and Phil knew that this, which is why they never interfered, knowing that Rodman needed more freedom than other players. That game after Rodman recorded seven points and fourteen rebounds, not to mention being notoriously bad at free throws shooting 6-8 on the night as well.
Another question that was loomed throughout the final episodes was, Why did they ultimately break up? Why did Jerry Reinsdorf not stop Jerry Krause? Most of it had to do with Jerry Krause’s ego. Jerry Krause wanted to win, but he wanted to win his way and get the credit he felt he deserved. Well, wouldn’t it have been in Bulls owner Jerry Reindorf’s best interest financially if the Bulls just fired Krause and kept Phil Jackson on? Yes, but there was already so much tension built up between the Bulls and Krause already that it would be hard to reverse it. That leaves the forever looming question, could they Bulls have gone for one more? Well, I think it’s fair to say that they deserved to at the very least defend their title.
What was the most impressive thing about the final episode was the way the Bulls won their last title. The Bulls clearly had talent, I mean at this point had won five NBA Finals. The last one had something different to it, the talent seemed to fade away and take a back seat, and resilience took the spotlight. It seemed like time and time again the Bulls backs were against the walls, but somehow they pulled through to get the job done. Jordan’s Flu game stands in as a solid example. Not only the physical ability that Michael Jordan displayed but also the mental ability he had to stay in the game and stay in his groove despite everything else proved his greatness. His driving, burning, desire to win, even when some of his teammates didn’t show it, was truly his foundation for all his success. And that’s a quality that is not seen in many players in this day in age. Kobe had it, Tom Brady has it, Michael surely had it. That win by any means necessary is something that a lot of people can take. Michales’s emotions were on full display because of the criticism he got for the type of player and teammate he was, but at the end of the day that’s just who he was. Michale Jordan is one of the greatest athletes to ever play a sport, and he certainly is the greatest basketball player of all time in my book.