ESPN’s highly anticipated documentary, “The Last Dance,” will now be released on April 19 instead of the original release date in June. The 10-part series will document Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls in depth. Originally scheduled to air after the NBA Finals in June, the documentary was scheduled to fill the void left by the NBA ending. Plans have drastically changed since then. The coronavirus pandemic forced the NBA to suspend play in March. Now the league just hopes it can finish the season at some point in 2020.
With sports on lockdown for a while, fans pushed ESPN to release the series early. One fan in particular, LeBron James, might have pushed the network over the edge with his recent comments.
LeBron James urged ESPN to drop the documentary early
LeBron James appeared on the most recent episode of the “Road Trippin'” podcast with Richard Jefferson, Channing Frye, and Allie Clifton last week. The four hopped on a video conference and chatted about the NBA suspension, COVID-19, their old Cavaliers teams, and the Michael Jordan documentary.
James and Jefferson agreed dropping the documentary now would be perfect for both ESPN and NBA fans. ESPN will get a massive amount of eyes on the doc with everyone stuck at home with no sports to watch.
“If I’m Michael Jordan, I’m going in there, and I’m making a conference call and I’m like, OK, what’s the reason we’re going to hold on to this until June? Compared to now where everybody is at home. Because [the documentary] is done. It’s done,” James said during the podcast.
Jefferson, an ESPN employee now, echoed James’ plea, saying, “ESPN, I know I don’t want to get fired, but release that s—.” Four days later, ESPN announced the new release date of “The Last Dance.”
“The Last Dance” will detail Michael Jordan’s final season with the Bulls
“The Last Dance” will have a lot to tell. The documentary follows the Chicago Bulls dynasty and features never-before-seen footage from the 1997-98 season, Jordan’s last with the team. There was plenty of drama and tension within the team, but it ended with yet another title for Jordan and the Bulls.
The ESPN series will feature interviews from Jordan himself, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Steve Kerr, Phil Jackson, and many more. Almost everyone involved in that magical season will have something to say. The documentary will have over 100 interviews with basketball’s biggest names.
The Bulls won three straight championships from 1991-93 and again from 1996-98. Their dominance throughout the decade cemented them as one of the greatest sports dynasties of all time, and one of the most fun. Now, everyone will get a closer look at what made those Bulls teams so special.
We’ve never seen Michael Jordan this in-depth
Michael Jordan captivated the country during the 1990s as the greatest basketball player of his generation. Jordan was a 14-time All-Star and 11-time All-NBA honoree. He also won five NBA MVP awards and 10 league scoring titles. He averaged over 30 points per game in seven straight seasons.
But what was most impressive about Jordan was his will to win. Jordan led the Bulls to six championships in the 90s. He never lost an NBA Finals series in his career.
More goes into winning than the casual fan sees on the court. Yes, Jordan was a dominant two-way player, but winning must be engrained into the team off the court. It’s a mindset that many can’t buy into, but Jordan forced it onto his teammates because he knew winning is hard work. It’s not fun until it’s achieved.
“The Last Dance” will show what went on behind closed doors for those Bulls teams. Jordan’s winning mentality will finally be projected to the nation, and fans can’t wait. They might have LeBron James to thank for getting a glimpse two months early.