Final Takeaways From the 'Last Dance' Finale
Hey Kelly and welcome to the ring podcast network. The Ringer is launching. A new podcast. From the guys who brought you assessment as family barbecue called Baseball Barbecue hosted by Jake Mints and Jordan Shusterman bringing you the good the bad and the utterly bizarre corners of the baseball world and everything that makes it special throughout the off season. They'll dive into the rabbit hole on some of their favourite fascinations from the homerun Derby to baseball brawls and much more once this season returns they'll break down the latest. Mlb News and developments. You can subscribe to Baseball Barbecue on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Hello and welcome to the NBA. Show my name is Chris. Ryan editors the Ring Dot Com. And I'm joined by my buddy. Be Winter on your Tex Winter Your Phil Jackson. I think that when when they re write our story that's going to be our sorry Shawn Fantasy. What's up man curse? We all know that I'm pippen and Jordan. Let's let's not be ridiculous here and I've got it's early on Monday morning and I've got some backaches and your carry me through this finals game. Show we're GONNA talk about the last dance last two episodes and we're GonNa talk about the documentary itself because I think obviously the last couple of weeks tons of people including the two of us have talked about Jordan. We've talked about what Jordan. Meta we talked about what Jordan was like to watch in the nineties. And we've watched it unfold as it does as there's almost everything in two thousand twenty. We we watched Jordan become a football. That people kind of US going back and forth to argue over all sorts of hot button issues. But I kinda wanted to talk to you at the top about the idea of of last dance as a documentary now. We've we've done the disclosures before you've talked about working with Jason in the past in the rarest got connections with Jason. I think we're both really big fans of this of this movie but I want to ask you like at the end when you finished last dance. Were you left? Satisfied as a as a viewer. Did you find it buying experience easily? A satisfying experience Probably even more so than I expected I loved just being with I think so many people around the country who care about sports and even those who don't care about sports had something to look forward to every Sunday night that gave them an astrologer hit and I think that's an interesting way to approach this conversation. Because there's been. I don't WanNa say controversy but an ongoing conversation about whether or not a nostalgia hit equates to journalism and I don't think that this necessarily was a pure act of journalism but I also don't think that it was puppet tearing either. I don't think that somebody you know. Put their hand up Jason Harris back and forced him to make a certain kind of film. I think it's a fascinating and very modern hybrid of where access documentary. Journalism is right now and it was immensely fun to watch and there were a couple of reasons for that one. Obviously we're dealing with archival footage from the ninety seven ninety eight season that most people have never seen before and two were dealing with archival footage that we've seen over and over and over again and I never tire of watching which is the history of the NBA basically from nineteen eighty four through nineteen ninety eight which is for you and I is a glory period and we get to do it with through the Lens of a person that we virtually never hear from in this candid and acidic and still indignant way in Michael Jordan. So I personally I loved it I I you know you and I have both seen one through eight many weeks ago and nine and ten were fresh for us so it'll be interesting to kind of impact but what about you I mean. Did you feel like this was beyond entertaining? Was Worthy of something beyond what? Bill has called the documental. Yeah I felt like it. Basically replicated the sensation of watching sports. I felt as invested even though I knew the ending as invested with the sort of details of of plays like how Reggie Miller exploded through Jordan's chest or how John Stockton or Steve. Kerr would find open space or watching. Scotty PIPPIN CLEARLY LABORING UP THE COURT AGAINST UTAH. After he had kind of done his back in and a lot of that stuff really was was a bomb for me. And I'll always have a really fun place in my heart for this documentary because of that. I do think it was really fascinating too because it took me back to a time in my life when I did not actually think about sports entertainment. I didn't really think about whether or not. I liked players. You know they were either better than the guys I liked or worse than the guys I liked and I also didn't feel like I had a ton of choice about who I liked and part of that was formed by Jordan. Part of that relationship to sports was formed by this guy. Who's just like fuck? You abstained Chicago. I'm coming back and taking what's mine. You guys think you're better than me. I will crush you and that actually was how I thought. Sports worked for very long time. That's the story that the movie tells like the film is book ended by this quote Jordan gives after he's drafted re says. I WanNa make the Chicago Bulls like the Boston. Celtics like the Los Angeles Lakers. I WanNa give the city and this team that same identity which feel so foreign now that that feels like it happened in a toll key novel you know like the fact that you know player empowerment and the the ability for players to move from team to team and the fact that the league in many ways is a player league and not a team league just it does feel. It reminds me of watching fifties and sixties. Nfl films about players in black and white. That almost felt as if they're operating in different sport. Yeah we're then they were like yeah. I broke my nose four times in that game. And you're just like okay. You know I wanNA talk a little bit about the end and I think that this is Kinda doubles as a conversation about Jordan. But I want to talk a little bit about foils and villains because Jordan's villain and foil at the end of his career with Chicago Wild. You could make the argument that it's Jerry Krause Jerry Reinsdorf from the people who are trying to break up this dynasty or don't WanNa pay for this dynasty what we get on the court is the Utah Jazz and I remember while I think. This documentary taught me that those series is a lot more closer than I remembered. There was a feeling that I had a lot watching Jordan during those days. That you've kind of toying with people the idea of saying he's got. This is something. That's very hard to say now. I remember thinking that about Marian Rivera. I remember thinking about about like Tiger Woods and I remember thing about Michael Jordan Marian Rivera eventually gettable by for a long time was just like Verizon you can turn game off watching Jordan against Utah. I don't remember thinking man. Utah's really. They've got their number. This could happen and I wonder whether or not that contributes in in terms of historian graffiti like in my mind the BBC that lasts commits is making. That series seemed closer than ones. I don't know if I'm remembering that wrong. Well I mean they do push it to six games in in that final season. And IT'S INTERESTING. I think if people had grown grown bored of the Spurs mechanistic competent highly structured style of play in the Os in twenty tens like. Let me tell you the jazz were held terms of this like monochromatic indestructible style of basketball. Seeing those highlights. Last night obviously took me back to a time. I was watching so much basketball. Probably more than watch now in in that exact period sixteen years old when that series was happening and the NBA was a huge part of my of my personal life in a very weird way. And I watched a lot of UTAH. Jazz game something. I just wouldn't do now the same way I wouldn't. I didn't watch a lot of spurs games in the two thousand ten and that was obviously just an extraordinary once in a lifetime team. I mean to top twenty five top thirty guys in NBA history. Were on that team. You know to me. It wasn't shocking to remember how close it was because of how skilled. I thought that team was the secondary and tertiary players on that team. Were Really Great Jeff. Hornacek was on that team. That was a really really special team and I think in like so. Many teams like the Knicks from that era like the Sun's from that era like the Sonics from that era like the Pacers from that era as we saw last night if any of those teams if there were nobles if any of those teams had would have had a chance to rise and become the dominant team of that era. That's part of the reason why it's part of the case for MJ. As the greatest player of all time is there's just a sense that the competition was so much stronger from nineteen ninety. Three one thousand nine hundred and the NBA than it has been in the last ten years even still. I completely understand what you're saying by the time we got through five MBA championships. It didn't seem very dramatic and in fact it felt like if Mj the Bulls didn't win it would have been a massive let down because of all of the conversation on the last dance. And because of the way that their position their season was positioned. So it's it's a paradox in a way if they had lost or had gone to seven games and squeaked it out it would have been like it's actually was kind of disappointing season for the pulse which is strange to say but also. I. I don't WanNa underestimate just how punishing it was to watch. Stockton Malone night after night after night after night. Because they were they were a machine and it's a testament to those both teams that they beat them twice and the second time in their own building. Which as I recall was just the most incredible homecourt advantage barring the Bulls in the NBA. Yeah I mean Reggie Miller calls going back to Chicago a death sentence if you go back to Chicago three one. He's like it's a death sentence. Reggie Miller by the way. I thought fantastic in this documentary. Excellent Great Great Narrator. He can be such a cornball sometimes on on doing color commentary during Games. I wish I we got this Reggie Miller. I know obviously like he gets the benefit of hindsight and it's talking about himself but I thought he was so funny and so candid and also still. Kinda like I'm pretty good. You know what I mean like I get during this number. Somebody follow on twitter named Mike Beach. Last night was tweeting. I think this was the dude who is like when you look at Reggie Miller's numbers that it's just like fourteen point seven points a game but then just hit like only the biggest shots in the world and was just an absolute like he was just an assassin at the end of games. You don't have to tell me as an experiment. Nobody tortured me. More than Reggie Miller Miller Torture Knicks fans more than Michael Jordan. I think Michael Jordan and there was an air of magisterial grace allegations as it was something handed down from God Reggie Miller was as if Satan came from below I mean he he. He absolutely tortured people and you're right though the way that he talked about. Mj and those bulls teams is very similar. To the way that a lot of the superstars who were interviewed in present day talked about him in this film which is with adulation and admiration and completely uncomplicated. Acceptance of the fact that he was the greatest. You know if you listened to Barclay talk if you watch stockton last night in the episode. You sensed that there was no debate. You know there was no arrogance or anger. There was it was almost like we. Even though we all lost we were grateful to have been part of this period of time in bed basketball history which is just so unusual and and when we get whatever. Lebron's the last dance is twenty years from now. I'll be very curious to see if his contemporaries speak about him in the same way. I can't imagine Chris Paul or James Harden or Russell Westbrook or durant reflecting on Lebron quite the same way I could be wrong but it's so unusual and you're right Reggie Miller identifying. Mj Is Black. Jesus saying I only called him black. Jeez or Jordan Jordan from that period on was was fascinating. I think that I was going to ask you about next. Last dances which. I'm sure it's a really hot topic today. I think Bill Ryan talked about it last night. Even like what could be do next and I WANNA to talk to you about the possible execution of Lebron one to me though selfishly and this would have been almost this would have been impossible and also would've gotten maybe like ten percent of the ratings. This film last aunts ends like return of the Jedi. I wanted it to end like godfather to I wanted the next fifteen years I wanted Jordan wearing the four five. I want buying the Hornets at. I want being confronted with not being able to do the thing that you know you were the greatest at and and watching the Zeller brothers do it and watching you know watching these guys do it and and being forced and then also what it was like for a guy so critical of krause and Reinsdorf to now be an owner when we never get that kind of candor about so many different things but it ended just where I wanted it to get started in a lot of ways. Yeah you make a good point I I will say I felt like the greatest revelation of the whole series was specifically what he said at the end when Jason shares the IPAD WITH HIM TO SHARE JERRY. Reinsdorf comments about why they didn't bring the team back Is certainly had never read or heard. Michael Jordan's reaction to the end of that dynasty specifically in the mechanics of why it happened. It seems like some of the responsibility sits with Phil Jackson who clearly had just decided that he was done with this organization and wanted a new chapter but that that was largely driven. By what cross and Reinsdorf did Jordan uncomplicated Lee? Saying I want to get seven. And they didn't let me get seven and the fact that that does lead to this very strange period where he walks away from the for a few years and then he comes back as a wizard and then he attempts to you know he buys stake in the Hornets. And then you know he is where he is today. The fact that there's this kind of five year window of competition in the League that we don't see is one of the craziest. What if I can imagine you know bill and Ryan did talk about this last night? What if he had gone to the Knicks or what? If he had gone to another team at that time that would have been interesting personally. The specific example that Jordan laid out. Which is the Ken? We get seven. Can we all go on one year? Deals and get seven as bowls is just an extraordinary. Whatever because as we've seen from even this warriors semi dynasty over the last five years four in a row just feels impossible. It just feels impossible. I mean that's the thing about the last dance team is that they do weather half of a season without Scotty and they weather have a a whole season of Dennis at any given moment looking to Decamp to Vegas Wrestlemainia Times Filkin. Burn poems and a Coffee Cup. You know like there a certain amount of tricks that you can use that work because the tricks are being played in a very specific chapter in a story. You can't necessarily do that forever. Like I'd be very curious to know how many times Gregg Popovich did really meaningful halftime speeches. That talked about leaving everything on the court and like forever starts right now over the course of years with Tim. Duncan David Robinson Tony Parker mainly because those guys have worked. That was the introduction of a basketball team as a corporation. Almost you know what I mean like a beautiful corporation but the idea that you know every day's you guys come to work. Nobody goes to Wrestlemainia. Nobody ever says they don't want to go into a game when I asked him to go into a game. Nobody gets mad because they don't get the ball. Throw into the matter on a sideline out of bounce play and that's how that works and that was honestly pretty much. The next big basketball story is the is the rise of the Spurs after Jordan. It's true that lead to such a fascinating I don't want to say it's a fallow period. Necessarily but you essentially enter that time when teams like those Pistons teams become dominant and we go absent a dynasty for a little while. I guess 'cause Kobe and Shack are the suggestion of a dynasty but ultimately were to combustible to stay together. Yeah they don't have the same six to seven to eight year. Lifespan that those bulls teams had. And it's probably reasonable to say that that can never happen again. Especially because of the the unusual salary cap mechanics that led to durant joining the Warriors. And something that it feels like especially in light of recent events just seems impossible. I don't know if you're ever going to be able to have another team unless a team drafts. Extraordinarily well and experiences like key injuries to its two best players. And then you find yourself in a situation where Zion Williamson teams up with Lebron and Anthony Davis something in that of that effect. It just doesn't seem like we're ever GonNa see something quite like this. That's not diminish what what Kobe and Shack accomplished. It's not to diminish Kobe's five championships. It's not to diminish anything that the Pistons did or the Spurs are. The Miami Heat Accomplished in the last twenty years it's just this specific thing this this air of inevitability that came with those bowls victories and the fact that we didn't have that one last chance at it we talk about sliding doors all the time but it's it's one of the most incredible sliding doors possible and I actually to your point about what I would've liked to have seen. I think I'm just curious. What nine hundred ninety eight ninety nine and two thousand look like for I'm Jay? How did he spent his time? We know was he just golfing and gambling and smoking cigars was. He wracked with doubt and frustration. About the way that things played out did he did. He want to make a comeback. Sooner but didn't was it really that he saw Vince. Carter and T MAC and Iverson and this new generation of guys and so. That's the only thing that compelled him or is there something else you're right. There is a now a hole in that story that we feel like we spent ten hours with the guy that we probably now onto filled. Somehow and I don't know if that will ever get filled in the way that we want. Yeah there is a notable. I mean it's Jordan story so this wasn't a requirement nor is it ever requirement but there was a notable lack of. I thought we were going to get a reunion shot honestly. I thought that there was going to be everybody in a room together. All the surviving members of that team and even the ownership group in that we would get jerry and Jordan reinsdorf Jordan. Maybe in the same place or that we would get this kind of group of guys together. Finally and you know there was a lot of passing the IPAD back and forth. And that's become. I would love to see that. I would love to see some classic documentaries that I've seen if if the director could hand the subject the an ipad being like this is what this guy said about you and just get those reactions. That would be pretty amazing. Movie Aeromar can can start using that. Yeah I mean. We don't get the impression though the MJ feels a brotherhood with those guys. It's up to Steve. Curtis say that you know what I mean. Executive it's not. Mj WHO is like? Yeah like at the end of the day. These guys were the closest thing to brothers that I had you know other than my my brothers. No he really comes off more. Like General Patton here. You Know Than Than Julius Caesar. He's not an of the people leader he is. I need you to rise to my level of expectation. You're right and most most traditional feel-good sports documentaries you know. This was about that that undefeated dolphins team. You would have gotten that shot that you're talking about where you know. The the surviving members of that team put their fists up to the screen and show their ring together and and Stan gracefully astrid history and the the Bulls teams. You could tell me you watch the film. It certainly seems like Judd Bush Ler and Bill Wennington even Scottie to some extent have this complicated and resentful and frustrated but also odd relationship to Mj. I think we should talk about Steve Kerr little bit. Just because I think he is such a fascinating figure and he feels exactly like the kind of person who if he did not go onto one of the most successful coaching careers in recent memory. And A bringer podcast host. His story would have been one of those like this should be a movie unto itself kind of stories and maybe it will be but that that little ten minute pocket. History of Steve's life and the tragedy that happened to his father and the the revelation that he and Michael never talked about what happened to their fathers was amazing. Like if you and I both eat a Turkey sandwich with ten days of each other. I'm like Chris. Turkey sandwiches right Bro. Incredible stuff turns out. It was meant to be to guys wearing hats. Could've guessed it. Yes so that's I mean that just shows so much about how compartmentalized. Mj was an. And maybe even Steve Kerr was. I think it's hard to say. He obviously he. Steve is such a graceful and thoughtful guy and it. That's such a powerful thing that happened to him but I came away with even more respect for him and more fascinated by him and even more confused about Michael Psychology. You know that even the people that he was closest to who had proven themselves to him you know who had stood up to him or who had risen to the challenge in those tense moments that he keeps referring to over and over again in the film he still just was really distant from them. I don't know as as somebody who's very close to a lot of the people that I work with. I find him deeply unrelatable in that way. Oh I thought that. The portrait of his relationships towards the end of the documentary was actually quite telling. I mean the fact that essentially his best friends or these three guys who are responsible for his safety but also responsible for maintaining his image to some extent with the moderate shot and that it's like two security guards and Ahmad Rashad or is crew And that one of those security guards clearly a father figure and his is like a stand in for his dad that it's like that scene where they're sitting and they're kinda doing like David Ma'am dialogue in the backwards like some can some. Can't nobody actually talks like that with their friends. You know really I mean maybe if I played it before. Nba Finals Game. I would say stuff like that to you but like it despite the fact that we were getting this sort of like lost rare footage of this guy in repose or in like a private moment. It didn't feel that private at all. It looked exactly like Michael Jordan before going into battle. But he's Daniel Plain view. He has assembled this coterie of people who support him and protect his vision. Even if they don't I don't WanNa say like but even if it's a it's a by circumstances situation. Obviously his ability to develop trust with people was very complex and the people who protected him or bound by that trust and so it's understandable that those became the people that were closest to him in life. I don't think that his relationships were cynical. I thought that the portrayal of Gus Latte and that father figure role that he took on in his life was quite touching and i. I kind of wish that there was a little bit more of that in the film on it. Felt like one of the you know the idea that Michael was the first person who realized that Gus was sick and called his wife to alert her to the fact that he needs to get treatment showed that very rare that kind of vanishing empathetic side to him. The construction of the bubble around him and the unwillingness to let the people that he played with enter. That bubble is for lack of a better word. Just weird it is. It's understandable if you you don't you WANNA be friendly with Larry Bird but also treat him like your enemy if you want to be friendly with Carl Malone and treat them like your enemy for Scotty and you know Horace Grant and Michael obviously don't have a very good relationship right now and John. Paxson seems to have a complex relationship to Michael as an ambassador for the Bulls for many years. All those guys just feeling a little bit distant is just I just I can't. I can't connect to it. I don't I don't get and I'm very competitive person. I just can't understand that. Well I I think they. You're competitive person. I'm actually not. I'm not particularly competitive person but I think they both of us probably would look at the fellowship that you get when with working with people and be like. There's no really reason to be competitive without that. You don't even know or can you really get where you need to go without the support of people around you. Do you think it's because he was so successful before the age of thirty that he was able to raise the bar of success in his own mind and then could not imagine holding other P- not holding other people to that the perhaps them one of the more revolutionary things that he did was that I don't think he subscribed to typical or at least traditional ideas of what teams were about. I think he did at Carolina. I think he did look at that as a kind of paradise and and not only does it a place where he learned so much about basketball but clearly he loved Dean Smith and seemed to enjoy his time there and he wanted to stay. Dean Smith is like you gotta go. He went back to Carolina to Rehab. His his injury. And that's something that comes up a lot like when you talk to MBA players. You see them. They're like the best time of my life was definitely college. You don't even then even if I was only there for eight months. I still consider myself a Kentucky guy you know I think there were Jordan smash that idea like all the stuff that we're taught growing up about what teams are supposed to be. He was like no. The team is here to prove their worth to me because otherwise we're never going to get anywhere and I'm not here to make them feel good. I'm not here to make them feel safe. I'm not here to make allow them to be vulnerable. And and obviously what we saw in this country was it went beyond just like. I'm a tough love guy. He was like actively seemed like an asshole. You know what I mean like on the on the planes if you looked up on a team plane and saw guy with a giant cigarette and opponent bottled budweiser taking a bunch. Taking money from a bunch of guys who made like one tenth of what he made. You'd probably just be like what the fuck is happening. I thought that shooting contests they had during the Utah series at the end of the film was very telling all the members of the team are essentially taking it was like a forty footer from the right corner outright on the hash mark there every player steps up and they most of them miss or miss. Badly Steve Kerr even kind of just misses pretty badly and MJ steps up. And he launches one and of course he swishes at me wins the competition most competitive guy in the history of the world and he is just downright insufferable after he makes the shot he is just like ooh and just shaking his head and. Lording it over everybody there. This is the wealthiest player on the court. He's the most successful player of his generation. He is the undisputed King of the NBA. And he hit a forty footer in practice time competition and he would not let a single person not hear about it. That's like that's mentality thing like you just have to I. I said I really like to win but then when I do win it's I'm actually embarrassed by it and he is. The opposite is never more rejoicing. Never more emotionally open and exultant than when he wins something and I thought the seven and eight ended with that extraordinary moment. Where he we see him on the floor kind of crying in the locker room seemingly reflecting on his father's death and how difficult it was to get back to that moment and then that famous moment after he wins the fifth championship when he stands up on the scoreboard and has flashing five to the audience and then six when he sort of raising the six fingers in the air. And he's clutching. The Larry O'Brien trophy and that's the only time when it seems like we see somebody who does who has the restrictor plate off. You know who doesn't can't control themselves at. That's so fascinating on the one hand. You don't want any person to be like that you would never tell teach your kids. Here's how you act when you win but on the other hand it's so pure it's so undiluted it's so raw in in a complicated way. It's it was a reminder of just his total unique quality as as figure Lebron does just does not bring that quality to the game in fact the criticism of Lebron is that feels very managed rehearsed. Almost you know his joy people have criticized him and said that those are kind of like crocodile tears situation with Jordan. Like I buy it. I that he is a sociopath. I totally buy it. It's part of what makes me wonder whether or not there are other layers to the end of this movie and whether or not this is a guy who could have handled losing to a Miami Heat or New York Knicks in one thousand nine hundred and walking off the court what he says towards the end where he was like everybody would have come back. Scotty would have taken some convincing. But when you put seven and the idea of seven in front of him like he thinks he would come back. I don't know you know you know what I mean. And I don't know whether or not at the end if they were like well. Look you can come back and we can do the best. We can bring these other guys back but without Phil. Obviously they weren't GonNa play and I just have a hard time imagining Michael Jordan losing in the Eastern conference semifinals and being like okay. That's it was he quit. He quit after that. You know that's the thing about him. He was go bigger. Go home he won three. He stepped away from the game. He won three. He stepped away from the game. He came back. Didn't have any more stepped away from the game. Bought a team like there's no middle ground to this guy that ninety eight season. This is something that Ryan and bill talked about in depth and and they have more expertise. I think than we do about it but that was a you know the ninety eight ninety nine season. The lockout season was really important. Obviously because that was the only time I think in Mba his that eight seed the NBA. Finals it was the necklace and the east was very week that year. And I think even if that bulls team had had a slightly different configuration if. Mj was there. I would not bet against them. I just would not would. It have been a less compelling long-term narrative for Michael Jordan. If he'd lost in his final season yeah I mean that would that would have softened the myth. I think the fact that he gets to say I won. Six of my. I finished the season. The champion in six of the set. My seven final seasons is absolutely incredible. I mean there's no really no precedent for that going back maybe to the Celtics in the in the sixties. So you're right. I still really would've wanted to see it even if lost though. Yeah me too and I think as as a movie I would have liked to have seen them interrogate the vacuum after that because like you said he him just being like it's maddening that we didn't get to go it's clearly something that keeps them up at night it's clearly an ulcer for him is is the fact that they didn't go for seven ultimately. What did you think of the way that this film was the last dance but it was also trying to tell the story of of somebody is immense as Michael Jordan and the fashion that it did with the timelines that are collapsing on one? Another and also the way in which they use these supporting characters and would give them their almost their entry into a collection of short stories about him. I thought it was effective. It felt like Jason Harris talked about this. Felt like a both a virtue and a hang-up of needing it to be ten hours. And Jason clearly didn't originally envision this as a ten hour filming vision that I think is a four hour film and then it was extended to aid and then it was extended to ten. I don't think you needed the story of Dennis Rodman. I don't think you need it. Even the life story of Scottie. Pippen to make this film. In fact in the final two episodes I was most compelled when it focused solely on Michael I the psychological exploration of Michael. What drove Michael and Michael's friendships and Michael's enemies and the bitterness? And that bizarre. Sense of competitiveness that we see all the way through the Brian Russell story in that he essentially destroys Brian Russell Soul. That was the the movie to me now. The Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen stuff. Those are things that because they were necessarily more surface. I knew all of them. There was no new information there. There was new information in the. Mj portions of the film because there was so much depth and attention paid to them. I don't necessarily hold it against anybody. I I pointed this out the sequence of of the worm in that first year with the Bulls set to Beastie Boys. The Maestro was just like the coolest. Nba Footage I. I can recall seeing his style of play which also pissed me off as a fan but was so incredibly effective and help probably helped me understand a little bit about what it means to play basketball. That isn't just dunking on people. That was great and I was happy to have it. I do think we could have gotten a film here. That was a little bit more like there will be. Blood was a little bit more like this deep psychological portrait of one crazed person as opposed to the sputtering effect but it does also sets the foreground for Rodman disappears to go to WCW during the finals at sets the foreground from Michael for Scotty hurting his back. And what that means in the counterbalance between them so there was purpose in every choice. I appreciated the purpose. What did you think about the collapsing timelines? Did you. Through ten episodes that worked? Yeah I think of anything. The I felt the stretching for ten stuff towards towards the Utah stuff because I felt like we almost spent more time micro analyzing the Utah series than we did like Detroit series And and I you know Jordan rules and it was kind of like I felt like that was brisk compared to how Utah's treated in the last two episodes it if anything. I think I would have probably had the stomach for them. Winning the title in the Ninth Episode and having the Tenth Episode. Be entirely about what happens right after that and also maybe some recognition of. Who's coming into the League? You know that idea that Jordan is looking around and and not even like I need him to go through but like what did he think of? Iverson. And what did he think of Kobe? And what did he think of? Mac and what did he think of these guys who are obviously going to be the next generation of stars? What the time did do is allow this to be a story about the nineties. Not just Jordan and that was that's what I thought was really cool and I thought there was a shot of Jordan leaving the United Center. Gosh can't remember after watch which game it might have been one of the Indiana Games in the ninth episode and it's his Red Porsche with the air license plate. And it's I think it's episode and it's a woman standing in a pair of of mule shoes which were of like popularized by Jennifer Aniston. And like she's just standing there. It's just her foot as the car takes off and I was like that. Might be like a quintessential shot of the ninety S. You Got Jennifer Aniston disuse as Michael Jordan drives away in a vanity license plate. Porsche and I actually thought be using Pearl Jam as the last song was very you know knowing gesture towards another group that kind of weathered all of this and are still around and are still an important part of people's lives like Pearl Jam equally not equally to Michael Jordan. But like that it was like a very interesting nod towards that. You know he knowingly didn't play like all apologies or something it was. It was a Pearl Jam. Song was a leap Pearl Jam. Song about what? It's like to be your older self but yeah I mean I. I've been thinking a lot about like people I think are saying like. Oh let's do the tiger one next. Let's do let's do Ali next. Of course you could do a lot of those things but it'd be hard pressed to find somebody who explains a decade the way that Jordan. Did you know it's funny? You say that for first of all the Pearl Jam Song which is called present tense on no code which is secretly the Best Pearl Jam Favorite Program Perfect Choice. The song choices throughout this entire series. Were just incredible. It's been written about in the Times. I really Jason and their whole team did just a genius job. I thought of matching era. If not Michael's own taste with those times and that music Also special shadow to the scene with Michael Dancing to the Kenny lattimore joint. That he got his leg. I guess that was very funny. But you know I read a really interesting interview with Bomani Jones last night in the New Yorker and Isaac Schoener was interviewing him about you know who Michael is and what he represents and his politics and his presence in the game and and Bomani so good at this really made the point about something that is actually missing from the film to a small extent. Which is that. Even though Michael dominated the ninety s he defined the eighties he had more in common with. Gordon Gecko and Bill Cosby than he did with Kurt Cobaine. He was not this. He was not a gen-x figure. He was not a person who was cynical or doubtful about systems. He was not a person who was adult by culture and too much information. You know. He didn't have the hallmarks of so many people who rose in the nineties. He was a slick clean cut. Super Smart Savvy ruthless competitor. That was his persona. And he defined Reagan's America in many ways and that is actually something that we did not get a lot of in the film. We saw his exploits as an athlete at that time but there was not as much attention paid to his power as a cultural figure coming up through that time. You know we hear from Michael. Eric Dyson we hear a bit about the again. The lack of supporting Gan in that race against Jesse Helms of North Carolina but there is an entire ten hour documentary to be made about Michael Jordan in the nineteen eighties. That we didn't really see and I don't think that's necessarily a missed opportunity. It just speaks to the his power and it speaks to what it means to round into yourself in your thirties in time in which even though he completely ran the nineties our minds. I mean he really. He was renting space in our heads. Chris as as fans of teams in the Eastern Conference. We talked about this before. Yeah we like this was not us be getting to spend time with a guy. We loved or right cheered for yeah right but he also was not a person who he's two generations removed for me. You know he's not he's not even close to a contemporary for me. He's somebody yeah he was. He was like one of my dad's asshole friends. You know. He just. He was very far away in terms of not. Just being relatable as a person but being relatable generational consciously his goals were just so different and I would encourage people to check out that Bonnie interview. I thought it would really laid out. Jordan's impact on culture and joins impact on the League but also the fact that the movie is a nineties movie and Jordan as an eighties figure that seemed to be the big takeaway for me. It's not even pushing back. But I will say that. I thought that the person who did articulate how he his cultural importance to me at least was really interesting was Obama at Obama comes in and is essentially like the Non Jordan Hammer of this story. I guess the three kind of most significant things at the end. Are you Jordan saying I would have come back then? There is a kind of CODA of talking about it's important. It's important and I think our Obama kind of articulates it in a rose tinted lenses. Like you know he he. He talks about bringing American culture to the world. This idea of Jordan kind of being this global ambassador for not just basketball but for American culture to me what he represents is i. I grew up at a time when you know. These guys were paid really well but sports was just sports and there was like kind of a ceiling in a box. You it was a way in which you could feel a part of a community and a city and your friends you can talk about sports and how teams were doing or whatever but at the end of the day that like sports were kind of like compartmentalized and I remember that era. Not only for the way in which sports became this huge global business. But how a lot of things that I loved like music writing. It became corporate concerns. It became like how do you make a big deal out of what you're doing and it's like well you're just playing music and he's like no no no. How do you like that was a time? When a lot of underground music became mainstream music and to some extent. I always felt like basketball. Wasn't necessarily underground but you had magic and bird but there are a lot of fucking basketball players that nobody had ever heard of showing like most Pepeli who are in their twenties. Now don't know who Adrian Dantley was Adrian. Daily was a pretty big deal to me. You know what I mean and I think of Jordan as the guy who brought like we can scale this man like we can make this bigger than anybody possibly ever thought and and that's only growing growing. That's what Lebron has gone on to do. Even more is like. Hey It'd be cool is if I play for three teams and the story keeps changing and I hit another region and I get you know. Another group of people can Buy Jersey in a different color scheme and all this stuff that I think ultimately while Jordan was a Samurai and obviously it was just like consumed with this idea of like. I need to win with these frigging blunts. Pale guys in Chicago instead of trade me to New York. Trade ME TO INDIANA trade to the Lakers. Whatever he was the guy who just was like basketball is way bigger than you guys are actually seeing it as him and stern just absolutely explode this sport. I think stern has one of the most significant quotes the whole film. He Kinda underplays actually Michel's importance in a perverse way. But he says near the end of the film that before. Michael came into the League the NBA was eighty countries today. It's in two hundred and twenty countries. That's not like two hundred twenty states. That's one hundred twenty countries that the sport is now legible to people around the world in Asia in in in Russia in Europe in Africa. It is everywhere and yeah I mean he's He. Is the person most responsible for that? It's a little hard to overstate a person's importance and I agree with you. That the using Obama as the hammer was was fascinating and I think that Obama is was put in a interesting position in this film because a wellness politics and his tenure as the leader of this country are are different. I would say than the way that Michael Jordan led you know. They don't they don't have a lot in common as authority figures and yet. Obama was Chicago resident as the film points out and a huge bulls fan and has so much admiration for people who have the will to win. And so it's interesting to make him that voice you know. There's nobody in the film who comes out. Maybe with the exception of Charles Barkley. And it's just like this guy was just a ruthless motherfucker. He was just mean tough and never gave up. I hated playing him. He ruined my career. You know like there's nobody who and people did bring some kind of a sense of grace to the project which I think is interesting given that Michael Rea frequently did not have grace in victory but that was the one thing that I thought was missing was one per and maybe this is because Michael's team didn't want in the film maybe it's because no one would say it. Maybe it's because no one saw it but no one said man fuck this guy so and he destroyed me and he destroyed my dream. What about my dream of winning the NBA title? What about my dream of being the best player in the League nobody could muster it even Isaiah Thomas who had this incredibly difficult and fraught relationship with Michael. He still was like well. They beat us. No I mean you could make an argument that Isaiah Thomas is thought of in the same air of Larry. Bird Magic Johnson. You know what I mean if Michael Come along. And they don't really go full he'll to stop him and also the team. Usa stuff happens and you have. It's really interesting. I mean. Obviously I did a lot to to ruin his own legacy you know going forward or a impact is own legacy at least yeah. I mean I don't know if there's a loss derrick mckey interview where he's just like fuck Michael Jordan. The one person who I thought was kind of a big loser of this film just because he didn't sit for an interview as Carl Malone call them alone on. The one hand in the film seems to be like a pretty decent person. You know that moment. He goes on the bus to congratulate the Bulls. Ninety eight after. They've won in their own building. I mean he's in Utah and obviously he and Michael our friends. They became friends on the dream. Team and Michael Alludes to that in the film to but you see that Malone conducts himself with kind of grace. But you don't hear from him. I mean he. He really was for lack of a better phrase. This is very oversimplified but I think it is true he really was the kind of Tim Duncan of his era. You know he had very very little to say publicly. He was not a controversial figure. He played in a small market and he was absolutely dominant. He was unstoppable in his very discreet and specific style of play at frequently. You would look up at the box score and he would have thirty two and fourteen and you'd be like how the fuck did that happen like how did and they'd be winning by eighteen. And you know he lives a very private life now like in Montana and to not hear from him. I thought was a little bit strange. Because he's really the only person he's really. I guess maybe with the exception of Shawn Kemp who also gets a little bit of short shrift because he was so dominant in that Sonics final series but there are so few guys who just didn't sit for this and so it sticks out and you mentioned Reggie and we heard from you and we heard from bird and magic and and Peyton and Barkley and everyone vanquished except for Carl. Carl was really the truly great player of his time. Who who doesn't sit for it and I kind of wanted to hear from him. He seemed maybe he was one of those guys who have been like fuck Michael. We'll never know. Yeah maybe maybe there's like kind of side chat between like Craig Yellow Brian Russell. Like all the guys who absolutely got nuked by him and they're just like talking on decide we can wrap it up here Sean. Any final thoughts me and I'm just really grateful to have have had this movie. I don't have any anxiety about whether or not it was not an active journalism. I thought it was just like brilliant. Filmmaking incredibly fun to watch I loved being back in that time period because it just reminded me of being a kid and completely stymied by sports just as I am today. So that's that's great then. I'm never going to be able to be happy with sports. And Michael Jordan is is not only singular but still almost incomprehensible to me. What about you know? I think like you said it was not only a replacement for sports that are absent. It was a reminder of a much different time in my relationship to sports and a much different. My expectations were a lot different. Both in terms of like Michael did not allow expectations. But also you know. My relationship to sports back then was a lot less about sports as like a battlefield. Where a lot of like cultural issues? Were having a tug of war where we talked about that. We talk about things like player movement. Now we talk about whether or not guys are worth their deals and whether or not you know everything is transactional and everything is kind of a narrative beyond what happens on the court and to me. Even though Michael had this huge impact off the legend was built on the court. The Legend is built on the shots in the legend is bill on those moments and the flu game ever the pizza game or whatever you. WanNa call it now and in some ways like those moments. Are they loom so large in my memory to see them? Reenacted almost was was pretty amazing. Chris before we go. Do you WANNA claim credit for poisoning. Michael AND THAT PIZZA IN UTAH. Was that you it was a it was a summer job me and my sometimes you know altitude sickness me and my buddies wanted to bring the pizza together. Shame on you Chris. Shame Yeah Sean. Thanks for talking to me about last dance. We'll be back with ringer. Nba Show tomorrow with mismatch. Thank you for listening.