The moment all NBA fans have been waiting for is almost here. ESPN announced a little over a year ago that they would be creating a 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls. The series is titled, The Last Dance and will be released in June of 2020.
Today, ESPN dropped their newest trailer which features Michael Jordan, Phil Jackson, Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr, Barack Obama, Carmen Electra, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and more. ESPN released the shorter version of the documentary to their twitter:
The documentary will be based on the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls, when the team was seeking their third consecutive championship and sixth overall. That season, the Bulls earned their sixth NBA championship in a span of eight short years. The extended version of the documentary which was posted on ESPN’s Youtube, shows how the film will also focus on the tensions between Scottie Pippen and the team. The 97-98 season was Jordan’s final season with the Bulls as their head coach Phil Jackson was going to step down as coach and Jordan refused to play for anyone else.
1997-98 Chicago Bulls
Going into the 97-98 season the two-time defending NBA champions, were on a mission to win their sixth NBA Championship. The journey did not come without adversity though. The season started off without their all-star forward Scottie Pippen as he was recovering from a back injury that he suffered from the 1997 NBA Finals. Pippen didn’t return until the second half of the season.
Tensions were also high between Phil Jackson and general manager Jerry Krause. According to CBS, the last straw was drawn during the summer of 1997. Allegedly, Krause’s stepdaughter got married and all of the Bulls coaches were invited except Jackson. It was only obvious that Krause wanted Jackson gone and for that reason, Jackson stayed for one more year, but wouldn’t be returning the following season. Keeping Jackson also reportedly kept Jordan for one more season as he signed a one-year contract with the Bulls worth a reported $33 million. After Jackson’s year was up so was Jordan’s. This was the Bulls’ last season to be one of the best teams in the league.
During this season, MJ earned his fifth and final NBA Most Valuable Player Award and was selected for the 1998 NBA All-Star Game where he also won his third and final All-Star Game MVP Award. The team ended the regular season with an outstanding 62-20 record. Jordan finished out the season averaging 28.7 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists a game. Pippen closed out the season averaging 19.1 points, 5.8 assists and 5.2 boards a game.
After the season was over the entire team dismantled. MJ retired, Jackson left, Pippen was traded to the Houston Rockets, Denis Rodman signed with the Los Angeles Lakers and Steve Kerr went to the San Antonio Spurs.
Though MJ retired after the 1997-98 season he did return to the NBA in 2001 to play for the Washington Wizards. Jordan played with the team for two seasons before retiring from the league for good.
The Last Dance is rumored to premiere on ABC in June of 2020.