Reacting to episodes 5 and 6 of The Last Dance

Jason and Rich react to two eventful episodes of ESPN’s The Last Dance with discussions on Toni Kukoc, The Dream Team and Michael Jordan‘s gambling.

Two more episodes of ESPN’s The Last Dance down. While Episodes 5 and 6 weren’t the juiciest episodes so far we still have a ton to discuss.

Topics on this week’s show include:

  • All-Star Game 2/8/98 MSG – Kobe Bryant vs. Michael Jordan
  • Kobe is 19 — youngest all-star
  • Coach Larry Bird and MJ razzing each other
  • “He don’t let the game come to him. He just goes out there and take it.”
  • “It was a rough couple of years for me coming into the league…I was the kid who shot a bunch of airballs. At that point, Michael provided a lot of guidance for me.”
  • March 1998 – MSG — wearing the Jordan 1s
  • Wore them at MSG in 1984 debut
  • His feet are bleeding at halftime
  • Patrick Ewing as Jordan’s whipping boy — had to go back to ’84
  • Georgia Dome game – 3/27/98
  • 62,000
  • “Pope and Jesus phenomenon”
  • Easy to forget what a spectacle that 1998 was and basically the peak of NBA in popular culture (it’s different now in a splintered society)
  • Phil Jackson kicks Jerry Seinfeld out of the locker room
  • Nike/David Falk
  • Market Jordan like a tennis player
  • Converse Weapon – Magic Johnson, Bernard King, Bird
  • Jordan wanted to go to Adidas — liked Marques Johnson
  • Nike mostly did track shoes
  • “It’s gotta be the shoes.”
  • “At the end of year 4 they hoped to sell 3 Million dollars worth of Air Jordans. In year 1 we sold 126 Million….”
  • 1992 season
  • Nice video montage of the 1992 team being awesome
  • Blazers-Bulls Finals (we skip over Knicks series)
  • Trying to compare Clyde Drexler and Jordan — “he was a threat, but I took offense to that.”
  • Jordan: 35.8, 4.8 RPG, 6.5
  • Jerry Krause putting the focus on “organization” during 1992 Finals interview
  • Olympics
  • “No matter how much I hate him, I respect his game.”
  • The practices, the camaraderie, the bonding was the appeal — which Isiah Thomas would have ruined
  • Highlights from the famous practice: Magic talking trash to Jordan.
  • Jordan leads his team back — “This is the ’90s.”
  • Covering up the Reebok logo with the American flag
  • Krause was fawning over Toni Kukoc — Scottie Pippen offended by Kukoc being a higher priority
  • Kukoc didn’t know about the friction with Jordan/Pippen
  • Kukoc destroyed in Game 1 and played in Game 2
  • Jordan doesn’t endorse Harvey Gantt
  • Jordan admits saying “Republicans buy sneakers too” but said it was joke
  • Jordan did give Gantt some money
  • “I never thought of myself as an activist. Was it selfish? Probably.”
  • It’s disappointing Jordan didn’t step up more, but also some validity that the onus shouldn’t be him to always do that
  • Jordan tiring of the spotlight
  • “I don’t think you see the true Michael Jordan for a day.”
  • “Because I want to say that I put your money in my hands.”
  • Jordan playing coins with the Sniff Brothers
  • Jordan razzing Horace Grant about the Magic falling off
  • Jordan telling stories about players drinking and smoking at halftime when he first joined the Bulls, and bumming cigs from the coaches
  • Jordan honking the horn of the bus at Pippen
  • Bulls go golfing — Jordan keeping score about what he’s owed. “Phil knows we need a break.”
  • Ahmad and Mike: “I want to leave two years before my skills” fall off. “I wanna walk off the court.” “I’m not sure if I’m going to miss it.”
  • Sam Smith book — he was an investigative reporting background. Jordan Rules comes out in 1991
  • “He wasn’t particularly beloved by his teammates.”
  • Jordan says Horace was the source — he was pissed at MJ. Horace denies it.
  • BJ Armstrong brings up that it had to be a lot of sources
  • “Hip Hop Hooray” montage – that layup hand switch vs. Nets
  • Knicks/gambling
  • Knicks won G1 and G2 of ECF
  • Jordan seen in Atlantic City late night with his dad
  • “Lack of commitment”
  • Slim Bouler — gambling links
  • “Michael and Me: Our Gambling Addiction” — Richard Esquinas book
  • “I have a competition problem.”
  • G5: Charles Smith misses 1000 putbacks
  • G6: Bulls wrap it up
  • Suns/Barkley
  • Jordan talks to Ahmad Rashad, breaking 2-week silence
  • Jordan wearing sunglasses — he comes off as defensive. Jordan talks about retiring “soon”
  • Jordan pissed about Charles Barkley MVP
  • Jordan goes after Dan Majerle bc Krause loves him
  • G2: Barkley says he played the best he could play and Jordan played better
  • G3: 3OT. Suns win.
  • G4: Danny Ainge and Jordan get into it. Jordan scores 55.
  • Suns win G5 easily in Chicago
  • On the plane before G6, Jordan: “I’m only packing one suit.”
  • G6: John Paxson shot (nice pass by Grant)
  • Barkley: “Sports are like a gunfight. We lost to the best gun.”
  • Jordan “way past” exhausted after third title. Paxson: More relief, than true joy.
  • “If I had to do it over again, I would never want to be considered a role model.”

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