For those of you who finished watching all 10 episodes of “The Last Dance,” I’m sure you guys had many emotions afterward.
For me, I loved the docuseries so much that I spent all of Sunday night feeling crushed knowing that it was all over. In my opinion, “The Last Dance” was the best sports documentary that I have ever seen.
As a young kid growing up in the late ‘90s, of course, Michael Jordan was my idol. However, because I was so young, I wasn’t able to comprehend just how great he really was.
Even as I got older, all I ever heard when talking basketball was just how talented Michael was and how he was the greatest to ever play the game.
For a long time, I knew those statements held true. However, it wasn’t until I got done watching “The Last Dance” that I now feel like I truly understand just how iconic Michael really was/is.
If that docuseries taught me anything, it’s that Michael Jordan was not only the greatest basketball player of all-time but also the greatest competitor of all time.
If someone had beaten Michael in a game of cards, he would continue playing for hours and would not stop until he won the last hand.
Based on all of the other interviews throughout the docuseries, the ones from Michael’s closest friends and long time competitors, he was competitive like that with everything.
What I also enjoyed about “The Last Dance” was finding out how Michael always stayed motivated. It didn’t matter if he was a rookie, or if he was a seasoned vet, he always found a way to gain an edge over his opponents.
For those of you who watched all ten episodes of the docuseries, then you already know that all it took to get Michael going was a certain comment or gesture from an opposing coach or player.
For example, after coming out of retirement in 1995, Michael had switched his jersey number from 23 to 45.
Later that year, after losing game one of the Eastern Conference Finals to Orlando, Nick Anderson from the Magic did something stupid and said “45 isn’t 23.”
A few days later, Jordan not only came out of the locker room wearing No. 23 again, but he led the Bulls with 38 points to win game two and even the series at 1-1.
Although the Magic ended up winning the series, Michael never forgot what losing to those guys felt like.
Throughout the series, you learn that one of Michael’s biggest weapons, the fuel to his fire was that he never let go of any grudges.
Following that playoff series loss, after spending an entire offseason getting back into basketball shape, Michael got his revenge a year later by sweeping Orlando 4-0 in the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals.
In my opinion, one of the most powerful segments throughout that entire docuseries was when it showed Michael crying inside the locker room after winning the 1996 NBA Finals.
Not only was Michael so emotional because he had just captured his fourth championship in the last six years, but also because it was the first championship he had won since his father, James Jordan Sr. was murdered a few years earlier.
To make that moment even more intense, the day Michael captured that elusive title happened to fall on Father’s Day.
A few hours later, after the episode got done airing on TV, I found a short clip of that exact moment on Twitter and couldn’t stop replaying it. It was so raw and so real ... I just couldn’t turn my head away.
Coming from someone who has seen hundreds of sports documentaries, I can honestly say “The Last Dance” is a complete game-changer. If you call yourself a sports fan, this docuseries is must-see TV. I guarantee your eyes will be glued to the television set from the moment you start episode one, all the way through the end of episode ten.
I’m lucky to say that as a fan of Michael Jordan, I have learned many great things. I couldn’t agree more with NBA superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo when he said that his biggest Michael Jordan takeaway from watching “The Last Dance” is that chasing greatness is a lifelong mission.
Wesley Magagna is a sports reporter with the Rocket Miner newspaper. You can reach him firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @WesleyMagagna.