An overview of ESPN’s “The Last Dance”


Michael Jordan driving to the basket. Photo from Flickr.

Ciaran Mathews, Staff Reporter

Every Sunday night since April 19, ESPN has been airing two episodes of its new documentary, “The Last Dance.” This series focuses on the career of Michael Jordan and the turmoil between Jordan, his teammates, and Bulls management during the 1997-98 NBA season, in which they capped off their second three-peat with a sixth NBA championship.

With each new episode that comes out, viewers get new perspectives on Jordan’s career and what he was really like.  While each episode has a section focusing on the 1997-98 season, they also all show a different aspect of Michael Jordan’s career. For example, while episode one focuses on Jordan’s college years and his rise to stardom in the NBA, episode six focuses more on Jordan’s gambling and how it affected the way people thought of him.

Another key aspect of the documentary is its focus on the tension between the Chicago Bulls team, coaching staff, and General Manager Jerry Krause. Krause was the Bull’s GM from 1985-2003, and during his time as General Manager Krause helped the Bulls win six titles by surrounding Michael Jordan with talented players that fit well into Bulls coach Phil Jackson’s scheme, including All-Star forward Scottie Pippen. He also won the NBA Executive of the Year Award in 1988 and 1996.

Although Krause proved himself as an amazing GM, he is considered by many to be the “villain” of this documentary. Krause is considered to be the villain for several different reasons, including deciding to not resign Phil Jackson as head coach at the end of the 1998 season causing Michael Jordan to retire, and believing that he deserved more credit for the Bulls’ massive success in the ‘90s, not afraid to belittle his players’ skill to get that credit. 

Jordan’s Bulls were a cultural phenomenon in the ‘90s, so it’s no surprise that the cast of interviews is star-studded, featuring celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Barack Obama, Carmen Electra and many more.

The final two episodes of “The Last Dance” will air on ESPN this coming Sunday from 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM.