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The final episodes of The Last Dance


Jason Mann and Rich Kraetsch react to the final two episodes of ESPN’s The Last Dance.

ESPN capped off an all-time great sports documentary with episodes 9 and 10 of The Last Dance. Join Over and Back hosts Jason and Rich as they explore the final two episodes and what we learned from the ground-breaking series.

Topics on this show include:

  • Bulls Rivalry with Indiana Pacers/Reggie Miller
  • Reggie: I didn’t fear him like the rest of the league did
  • “Don’t ever talk trash to Black Jesus.”
  • 1998 Pacers were deep
  • Michael Jordan picked Pacers as the toughest outside of Pistons
  • 1998 series vs. Bald Pacers
  • Game 1: Bulls win by 6
  • Game 2: Jordan gets MVP trophy. Bulls win by 6 again.
  • Reggie-Michael backstage interaction.
  • Game 3: In Indiana. Reggie hits tough shots. Pacers win by 2. MJ non-plussed.
  • Game 4: Bulls up 1. IND turnover with 6 seconds left, Scottie Pippen fouled and misses both FT. 2.9 sec left. Reggie shoves Jordan and hits the 3 for the game-winner — Jordan double-clutch shot bounces out. MJ: Still gotta come through Chicago
  • Split G5 and G6
  • Jordan’s security guards
  • Group of older men
  • Led by Gus Lett — former cop. “He was a great protector.”
  • Jordan would call him at 2 in the morning
  • Gus got sick with cancer in 1998. MJ paid his medical expenses
  • Game 7: First G7 since 1992 for Jordan
  • Jordan guarantees the G7 win
  • Ahmad: “Some can, some can’t.” Jordan: “Don’t talk to Scott Burrell.”
  • Jordan: “We hadn’t been touched like that in a long time.”
  • Pacers took big early lead, but Bulls rally.
  • Pacers get back into game in 4Q — up by 3 with 6:00 left and Rik Smits tips the ball to Pippen and Steve Kerr hits a 3 to tie.
  • Bulls take it from there — win 88-83
  • Michael gives Gus the game ball
  • Jordan-Larry Bird interaction afterward with Jordan’s mustard suit
  • Jordan motivated by Karl Malone getting MVP
  • Jordan felt disrespected by Bryon Russell: “Why’d you quit? You know I could guard your ass”
  • G1: Jordan hits the game-winner by faking Russell
  • G2: Bulls blowout
  • G3: Malone with 37 in Jazz win
  • G4: Another Jazz win
  • Before G5, Michael gets hungry and pizza place. 5 guys delivering one pizza. They want to see that it’s Michael. Throwing up and curling into a ball.
  • G5: Bulls down big early, but slowly come back. Tied near the end. Jordan misses FT but gets the loose ball. Takes pass from Pippen to seal the game. 38 points in 44 minutes. Pippen famously helps him to the bench.
  • G6: Kerr hadn’t performed well in the series but Kerr felt like Jordan trusted him. “I’ll be ready!” Hits go-ahead shot for the title.
  • 1997 rally: Kerr tells the joke about Michael not wanting the last shot. “I guess I have to bail out Michael again.”
  • Steve Kerr
  • When he was with Cleveland, he would watch John Paxson
  • Paxson mentored Kerr in his last year to fit that role
  • Neither of them discussed their fathers’ deaths
  • Malcolm Kerr becomes university president in Beirut and is shot to death by two gunmen posing as students
  • Jordan’s sons and daughter didn’t like Jazz fans and atmosphere
  • John Stockton didn’t feel an aura about the Bulls
  • G1: Jazz win 88-85 in OT.
  • G2: Bulls in by 5,
  • Jordan: “I ain’t Shaq.”
  • G3: Bulls dominate 96-54. Bill Wennington hits a basket at the end.
  • Dennis Rodman skips practice to attend Nitro
  • Media relations guy sneaking Rodman out of the building to avoid the 300 media
  • Rodman running away with cameras chasing him
  • G4: Rodman 14 REB in Jazz win
  • G5: Malone with 39 PTS, Jordan with 28 on .454 TS% — misses prayer at the end. “Everybody was holding their breath which is kinda cute”
  • G6: Pippen with really bad back pain — jammed his back after a dunk. Pippen returns after halftime.
  • Rodman-Malone get into it — don’t include Costas being disgusted by it
  • Bulls down 5 at beginning of 4Q
  • Jordan struggles to shot in 4Q — Pippen goes back for more back treatment
  • Jazz up 3 with :47 left after Stockton 3 (great pass by Malone)
  • Jordan takes Russell to the rim — :37 left
  • Jordan steals from Malone on weak side
  • No timeout — Jordan has the ball and hits the famous go-ahead jumper/pushoff(?) on Russell
  • Stockton misses a 3 and the Bulls get another 3-peat
  • Jordan to Phil Jackson: “I never gave up!”
  • “They can’t win until we quit!”
  • Leo DiCaprio congratulating Jordan in the backstage
  • Jordan: “It’s still daylight. We might be able to get some golf swings in.”
  • Malone goes to the bus to congratulate Jordan
  • Jordan playing the piano in the locker room — wearing his game shorts
  • Pippen gracious about Jackson, Jordan and Jerry Krause
  • Footage at Grant Park — seems like a joyous occasion
  • Reinsdorf asks Jackson to come back — “I should take a break.”
  • Jordan’s reaction to Reinsdorff explaining why he had to break up the team, essentially because he was too cheap
  • Jordan thinks everyone would’ve come back for 7, maybe even Pippen
  • Jordan says it was maddening to leave at his peak
  • Great “Present Tense” Pearl Jam montage at the end

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