In recent years sports documentaries have become more prevalent in our front rooms. From Amazon Primes ‘All or Nothing’ shows to Netflix’s Sunderland till I Die. They captivate fans and show them what life is really like at a sporting franchise behind the scenes.
But until recently only modern teams have had the light shone onto them with a microscope, that was until The Last Dance. This 10-part Netflix show gave fans an in-depth look at one of the most successful sports teams in history, The Chicago Bulls.
The Bulls dominated the National Basketball Association in the 90s, winning six World Championships in eight years. Their star-man Michael Jordan became the most famous athlete in the world during this run, alongside the likes of Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen and Steve Kerr.Embed from Getty Images
So, it would be easy to glorify this period of time and the men involved in their success, but that isn’t what Netflix do. Instead, they delved deep into the men at the forefront of this story, pulling back the curtain on the struggles they faced and the in-fighting that was occurring behind the scenes in Chicago.
Jordan’s life wasn’t all glitz and glamour, and the show doesn’t shy away from highlighting his gambling addiction and how he became embittered with the sport. It perfectly balances telling the story of Jordan’s final season at the Bulls, whilst paralleling the story with how the Bulls rose to glory.
The show examines the lives of so many of the biggest names whose stories fans may not even know about, such as the contract issues surrounding Pippen, the party lifestyle of Rodman and the tragic death of Kerr’s father when he was a teenager.Embed from Getty Images
The interviews that are in this episodic masterpiece include legends such as Magic Johnson, Kobe Bryant and Isiah Thomas. Who all provide an insight into their time opposing the Bulls and what Air Jordan was really like off and on the court.
Bulls coach Phil Jackson takes centre stage too, widely regarded as the greatest coach to ever stand on the NBA sideline, the show unearths his disputes with Bulls General Manager Jerry Krause. With Krause being the one to decide that Jackson wasn’t to return after the 1998 season.
What The Last Dance does so perfectly is it keeps you engaged constantly, there isn’t ever a moment where the audience would feel bored, disengaged or fatigued. By transitioning from ’98 to their previous five World Championships throughout, the viewer is always hooked and learning new things about this team.Embed from Getty Images
But the real star of the show, as he was every night at the United Centre, is of course Jordan. By documenting his entire career, from his days at North Carolina, to his rookie season with the Bulls, to his short hiatus to the MLB and then back to his best with a basketball in his hand.
The docuseries centres around Jordan’s interviews, as he gives his opinion on all the major moments from his entire career, even divulging his side on some of the biggest rivalries he had on court. But what really stands out is hearing from some of the biggest names in Basketball history on their view of Jordan.Embed from Getty Images
Hearing what the man was like behind the curtain, in the locker rooms, in training and on the teams plane really gives fans an insight into the man behind the legend. There’s no doubt that Jordan is considered to be one of the greatest to ever lace his boots but hearing what he was really like from those closest to him during this era provides a brand-new insight for fans that has been previously unheard.
This show is a must-watch for any fan of sport, even if you have no interest in basketball, as it really encapsulates what makes sport so exciting to watch. The thrill of winning, the despair of losing and the idolising sporting icons.
Overtime Review – 4.5 Stars