The rivalry with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird kicked off the renaissance of the NBA in the 80s, and Michael Jordan continued the league’s momentum to what it is today. Remember drug problems plagued the league prior to all that.
For most basketball fans that grew up in that era, the NBA began then, even though the league took off on November 1, 1946. How else can one explain why basketball fans today think Jordan was the best player of all time?
Fans lusted over Jordan for his excellence and dominance during his time in the league. He captivated everyone’s fancy with his dunks and his clutch shots. He raised the bar for players such as Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and other young stars to live up to. No matter how great those guys did, it wasn’t enough. They would say it would not match Jordan’s standards.
To this day, fans keep talking about Jordan as if he is God.
When ESPN announced it would air the Last Dance featuring Jordan and the Bulls a few years ago, fans salivated for it to come. It finally came a few weeks ago, and everyone expressed their opinion on it.
Everyone asked me about my opinion of the documentary, and I said I have no interest in watching it. As a former Knicks fan that grew up in the early 90s, there’s no point reliving memories of Jordan and the Chicago Bulls always ending up on top while denying the Knicks a championship. I relieved them in my mind almost everyday as it is at 40 years old.
Even Knicks great Patrick Ewing expressed no interest in watching it. After all, he is trying to move forward with his life. Who needs to reopen old wounds?
Charles Oakley did not mince words about the Knicks falling short to the Bulls in the playoffs during the 90s. He criticized Ewing for not being clutch when it mattered, and he said then-Bulls coach Phil Jackson played chess while then-Knicks coach Pat Riley played checkers when it came to coaching matchup. Of course, a cynic can say Oakley has an issue with the Knicks these days. After all, Knicks CEO James Dolan banned Oakley from going to Madison Square Garden, home of the Knicks. Plus, Oakley did not appreciate Ewing not having his back when he went after Dolan at a Knicks game.
It did not matter what Ewing and Riley did. The Bulls had the best basketball player in the league at the time, and there’s nothing the Knicks could do about it. Even if Charles Smith put the ball in the hoop in Game 5 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Finals, odds were good the Bulls would provide more pain in the end by celebrating a victory. It’s what they did during those years.
I understand this documentary was not aired for me. It was for Chicago sports fans and basketball fans that wanted to relive the glory days. Fine, but it doesn’t mean I have to. I have so much self-respect for myself, which is something Knicks fans can’t say.
Who wants to watch a fluff piece of Jordan anyway?
This documentary would have credibility if there were critics of Jordan on it. For instance, it would have been nice if the documentary addressed more of Jordan’s gambling issues. This certainly was part of his story, and it should be aired.
Also, this documentary painted Bulls general manager Jerry Krause as an ogre. Look, it was hard to defend Krause for his insecurity and his awkwardness. But he built championship teams that put Jordan in a position to succeed. There has to be fair and balance in this documentary, and it wasn’t. So that turned out to be a turnoff.
I get it. Sometimes facts don’t get in the way when it comes to a fluff piece. And yes, no fan cares about justice as long as he or she gets his or her Jordan fix. Still, it would have been nice not to paint Jordan’s enemies in a bad light, which apparently what this documentary turned out to be. It made me feel sorry for Krause, Isiah Thomas, Clyde Drexler, Dan Majerle and the Detroit Pistons.
Who knows what the final two episodes bring on Sunday?
I got no interest. At least, this fluff documentary will be over, which no one can say about the Covid-19 pandemic right now.