Key takeaways from premiere of ‘The Last Dance’
The Last Dance finally premiered on Sunday and boy was it worth the wait. Episodes 1 and 2 were thrilling and sports fans can’t wait for episodes 2 and 3 to drop next Sunday.
Chicagoans who closely followed the Chicago Bulls team in the ’90s weren’t really surprised by what they saw on Sunday. It was basketball fans around the world who are new to the ’90s Bulls scene who were kind of surprised to see former Chicago general manager Jerry Krause just getting absolutely berated in episodes 1 and 2.
Before the ’97-98 season started, Krause told Bulls head coach Phil Jackson this was going to be his last season as coach in Chicago no matter what. Michael Jordan wasn’t going to play for the Bulls sans Jackson and Scottie Pippen was already pissed off at Krause, so everyone in the building knew this was going to be the last season the team was going to be together.
Bulls fans who still have a gripe with Krause (R.I.P.) were hoping that episodes 1 and 2 of The Last Dance would show some scenes of Pippen yelling and cursing out Krause. Maybe episodes 3 and 4 will show some of that.
While Krause deserves credit for building a championship team around Jordan, Bulls fans during the ’97-98 season were already starting to turn on him. After all, as we saw in episode 2, Chicago fans booed Krause when he got his ’97 ring on opening night, the same night where Pippen had an emotional message to the fans, sensing that his time in Chicago was coming to an end.
It’s pretty clear in watching The Last Dance that the ’97-98 Bulls were motivated internally to win the championship just to prove a point to Krause and upper management. Jordan was never going to let someone who wasn’t on the court with him dictate what the team was going to do overall.
Jordan had a rocky relationship with the front office ever since his second year in the league following his broken foot. It’s going to be really fascinating to watch the rest of the docuseries to see how Jordan used that fuming relationship to his advantage.
MJ and the Bulls went 6-0 in the NBA Finals during the ’90s. The team might have won more than six titles if Jordan didn’t retire after the ’93 ring to go play baseball and if management didn’t forcefully try and break up the squad after the ’98 title over the Utah Jazz.