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Thread: The Last Dance

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by MartyClark View Post
    Jerry Krause is deceased.
    Yes, that would be truly miraculous !

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    To be fair, Bob Knight says during the 1984 Olympics that Jordan is the best player he has ever seen in his life.

    "Just an absolutely great kid. If I was going to pick the three or four best athletes I've ever seen play basketball, he'd be one of them. I think he's the best athlete I've ever seen play basketball, bar none. If I were going to pick people with the best ability I'd ever seen play the game, he'd be one. If I wanted to pick the best competitors I'd ever seen play, he'd be one of them. So in the categories of competitiveness and ability, skill and athletic ability, he's the best athlete. ... That, to me, makes him the best basketball player I've ever seen play."

    And Bird said the following after the epic 63 point game against the C's in Jordan's second year.

    "I didn't think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done to us. He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it's just God disguised as Michael Jordan."

    I don't think Knight and Bird said those things about too many players.

    Magic, on the other hand, may have thought those things but he wouldn't give it up at the time. I don't think there's any record of him giving Jordan his propers until years later.
    I was pretty much convinced after those games in Boston. Never saw anyone do what he did. No one could stop him. Of course I did not post it because no DBR at the time

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    To be fair, Bob Knight says during the 1984 Olympics that Jordan is the best player he has ever seen in his life.

    "Just an absolutely great kid. If I was going to pick the three or four best athletes I've ever seen play basketball, he'd be one of them. I think he's the best athlete I've ever seen play basketball, bar none. If I were going to pick people with the best ability I'd ever seen play the game, he'd be one. If I wanted to pick the best competitors I'd ever seen play, he'd be one of them. So in the categories of competitiveness and ability, skill and athletic ability, he's the best athlete. ... That, to me, makes him the best basketball player I've ever seen play."

    And Bird said the following after the epic 63 point game against the C's in Jordan's second year.

    "I didn't think anyone was capable of doing what Michael has done to us. He is the most exciting, awesome player in the game today. I think it's just God disguised as Michael Jordan."

    I don't think Knight and Bird said those things about too many players.

    Magic, on the other hand, may have thought those things but he wouldn't give it up at the time. I don't think there's any record of him giving Jordan his propers until years later.
    Yeah, that was one of the things that stuck out to me from the first couple eps. I was too young to really watch those Olympics, so I guess I never really knew how much he dominated there. And still pretty amazing that Knight said those things about a guy who had not played an NBA game and wasn't even the top pick. Knight knows his stuff.

  4. #24
    The whole thing has a serious whiff of Jordan hagiography. Not a surprise since that fits MJ’s m.o. He was always very brand conscious even for a celebrity. The fact that he wasn’t interested in releasing the footage until LeBron won in 2016 is hilarious. I found this NYT piece insightful: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/s...cy-lebron.html

  5. #25
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    Winston’Salem
    Yeah, I know how this thing ends. MJ shoves-off Bryon Russell and gets away with it. Kinda like Jordan’s alma mater.
    "Amazing what a minute can do."

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by Natty_B View Post
    The whole thing has a serious whiff of Jordan hagiography. Not a surprise since that fits MJ’s m.o. He was always very brand conscious even for a celebrity. The fact that he wasn’t interested in releasing the footage until LeBron won in 2016 is hilarious. I found this NYT piece insightful: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/s...cy-lebron.html
    It's definitely the counterpoint to his HOF induction.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Natty_B View Post
    The whole thing has a serious whiff of Jordan hagiography. Not a surprise since that fits MJ’s m.o. He was always very brand conscious even for a celebrity. The fact that he wasn’t interested in releasing the footage until LeBron won in 2016 is hilarious. I found this NYT piece insightful: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/20/s...cy-lebron.html
    I'm really struggling with the hype of "best documentary ever" that preceded this thing. At its best, ESPN is capable of truly great documentaries (like OJ Made In America). But it's also capable of the worst kind of hagiography.

    I know it's only 2 episodes in, but I fear it's going to be the latter. The thing about the doc getting greenlit in the aftermath of the Cavs title in 2016 is, as you say, hilarious.

  8. #28
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    Carolina Beach
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    I'm really struggling with the hype of "best documentary ever" that preceded this thing. At its best, ESPN is capable of truly great documentaries (like OJ Made In America). But it's also capable of the worst kind of hagiography.

    I know it's only 2 episodes in, but I fear it's going to be the latter. The thing about the doc getting greenlit in the aftermath of the Cavs title in 2016 is, as you say, hilarious.
    I can't speak to the Jordan Documentary as I have not seen it but I have personally thought that many of the earlier 30 for 30 shows were excellent. But as time, as gone on I, have found the stories to be not as enjoyful or interesting.

  9. #29
    Ol’ Roy really has nothing useful to add, does he? Oh sure, you “knew he was the best basketball player on the planet” after summer camp. If Roy dropped his persona every once in a while, he might actually have something honest or insightful to add.

  10. #30
    I just watched Episode 2. The whole discussion around Scottie Pippen and his feelings on his contract during the 1997-98 season were very interesting. However, here is a very good write up that provides much more context than the documentary did:

    https://earlybirdrights.com/2020/04/...-jerry-krause/

    I don't want to keep harping on this point, but if the operator of earlybirdrights dot com can come up with this context the day after this episode aired, surely the "greatest sports documentary ever made" could have fit this in somewhere? Specifically, the doc rightly makes the point that Pippen had the 122nd highest contract in 97-98, but it's a massive disservice to not mention that he had the 8th highest in 92-93, during that same contract.

  11. #31
    Join Date
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    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    I often say that MJ and I have things in common. I say that we both grew up in NC, graduated high school in the same year, and we both matriculated in the Triangle area... at which point I note that other than being male, the comparisons stop.

    For the record, after watching Jordan early on in the pros, he became the one ex-Carolina guy that I didn't hate. Kind of impossible to hate someone so talented. Don't get me wrong - I didn't love MJ. I just didn't absolutely loathe him like every other ex-Tarheel.

    I thought the two episodes so far were very good. Perhaps it's that there are no other sports to watch, but at least this is something for hoops fans to look forward to with anticipation. It does seem a bit unfair that Krause won't be there to defend himself. However, I do wonder what GM would tear apart a multi-season championship team unless there was some kind of hidden agenda. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Arguments to the contrary (the team was old, it couldn't last, etc.) seem to point more towards Krause's ego or Reinsdorf's pocketbook. And certainly after '98, I think the Bulls missed the playoffs for 6 straight years, never even sniffing the post-season. Hindsight is 20/20, but it was pretty damn clear that tearing the team apart was a big mistake. Anyway, I'll wait for next Sunday to watch the next 2 episodes.

    I never endorse anyone holding out on a signed contract. And I used to think Pippin was kind of a tool for that, plus for his not going back in at the end of the game in the playoffs in '94. But he seems like he was truly concerned about taking care of his family by lifting them out of poverty, and he just mistimed things with the NBA explosion in contracts. If I was one of the top 10 players int he NBA, and I was paid like the 122nd best player, I might be a little pissed off, too, especially if Krause was the guy on the other side of the table.

    Finally, I was at the game in Cameron where Jordan hit his head on the backboard trying to block Dawkins' shot. It was called goaltending. I remember not realizing he hit his head, and I don't think many in the crowd did. This was way before a jumbotron in Cameron. We were all just happy it was goaltending. I thought he hurt himself on the fall. It was only later watching ESPN that I realized how high he actually got... I was so happy when he went pro early. One could argue that with Jordan not being there for his senior year, it allowed Duke's confidence to grow towards the Class of '86's run. Not sure if Duke beats Carolina in the '84-'85 season, especially knowing MJ's competitive fire and his never forgetting a slight (Duke beat Carolina in the ACC's the season before).

    9F
    Bucket List - Throw a party when Duke MBB has a winning record against Carolina.

  12. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    I'm really struggling with the hype of "best documentary ever" that preceded this thing. At its best, ESPN is capable of truly great documentaries (like OJ Made In America). But it's also capable of the worst kind of hagiography.

    I know it's only 2 episodes in, but I fear it's going to be the latter. The thing about the doc getting greenlit in the aftermath of the Cavs title in 2016 is, as you say, hilarious.
    Well, ESPN is certainly benefitting from the massive thirst we have for sports, AND our general excitement over all things nostalgic.

    It seems well-enough done, and clearly there's nothing else to promote. Might as well call it the best.

  13. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
    Is ESPN showing episodes more than once?
    They are available to stream via the watch menu on ESPN's website. Suprisingly there are 2 versions available of each episode; one in which the players drop repeated F-bombs and one in which they don't. I preferred to hear from the players in their true forms.
    Last edited by subzero02; 04-21-2020 at 05:07 AM.

  14. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Jerry Krause was emphatic on that point. They would begin rebuilding the following year, regardless of the results. It seems completely insane, but in the context of the show, he is incredibly jealous of the attention and credit given to MJ, Scottie, Rodman, and Phil.
    Quote Originally Posted by CDu View Post
    I don't doubt for a minute that Reinsdorf was at least in part behind the dismantling of the Bulls. Jordan, Pippen, and Jackson cost an exorbitant amount of money for that era - it wasn't for nearly two decades later that anyone matched Jordan's per-year salary in the last couple of years of his Bulls tenure, and Pippen was finally going to cost real money - and that made it difficult for the Bulls to remain profitable. Plus, Jordan was entering his decline phase, and his on-court value was going to fall below his salary quickly. I'm sure that played into the decisions. Well, that and that eventually people get tired of each other. Jackson, Pippen, and Jordan had been there for a decade (more in the cases of Jordan and Pippen) at that point.

    Though I am sure that Krause (who was a basketball scout to begin his career) didn't need much pushing; he was, after all, a scout first and foremost, and that was his passion. He contributed significantly in building that championship: identifying Jackson; drafting Pippen, Grant, Armstrong, and Kukoc; acquiring Rodman for Will Perdue; signing Harper. I'm sure he was ready for his next challenge too, and I'm sure he was indeed very jealous of the credit that the players and especially Jackson (the guy he brought in to run the ship) got.

    But he's an easy patsy now that he's dead.

    . . .

    The reality is probably that that group had MAYBE one more title in it. Maybe. But it was a team that was getting old and expensive and disinterested. Jordan was going to be 35 and had just made $63 million the prior 2 seasons and would likely ask for $35+ million to continue; Pippen was 33 and was finally going to command a salary more commensurate with his talent (he signed a bad long-term deal right before salaries started rising that ended after 1998); Rodman would be 37 and a free agent; Harper would be 35; Kukoc would be 30 and hadn't become the star that could carry the team into the next generation; even Jackson was a wayward spirit who wears organizations out over time, and was a free agent. And none of the younger players were good enough to make up for the declining stars. There just wasn't much shelf-life left in that team. So rather than let that group fade into expensive decline, the org ran it back one last time and said it was time to move on.
    Quote Originally Posted by kako View Post
    It does seem a bit unfair that Krause won't be there to defend himself. However, I do wonder what GM would tear apart a multi-season championship team unless there was some kind of hidden agenda. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Arguments to the contrary (the team was old, it couldn't last, etc.) seem to point more towards Krause's ego or Reinsdorf's pocketbook. And certainly after '98, I think the Bulls missed the playoffs for 6 straight years, never even sniffing the post-season. Hindsight is 20/20, but it was pretty damn clear that tearing the team apart was a big mistake.
    Some have touched on this point before, but I want to posit that it's not so different from the situation we repeatedly see today, where a team that has hit a ceiling decides to trade players for future assets before they're left with nothing. The NBA is full of examples on the micro level (trading a star under contract before letting them walk in free agency) and macro (a team like the recent Grizzlies or Thunder or 76ers realizing they couldn't win a title and it was time to restart).

    Obviously the stakes were different here, as the "ceiling" was a championship-winning team. But it was going to start falling back to earth quickly. Even if everyone in the organization got along and money was no issue (assumptions that are never true!), guys get older, it's hard to maintain competitive fire, and other teams become even more motivated to take you down. These Bulls could not have held off Duncan and Shaq forever. And we know it was not an easy task for them to win in 1998--if it had been, we wouldn't have this documentary! It took a herculean effort. And one could even argue that knowing it was the "last dance" helped motivate them to get up over the hill one last time.

    So if you're a GM, and you've got to worry about the long-term future of the organization, would you trade one more year of title contention for future assets? Or let it all ride for one last year, and then be left with nothing? People chide the Bulls for bottoming out after 1998, but that was the price for being competitive in 1998.

    All told I agree the right move was to keep the team together for 1998 (and maybe leave open the possibility to try in 1999), but it's a lot more complicated and nuanced than "Jerry Krause is a petty and egotistical idiot," which is what the documentary seems to be hinting at.

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Well, ESPN is certainly benefitting from the massive thirst we have for sports, AND our general excitement over all things nostalgic.

    It seems well-enough done, and clearly there's nothing else to promote. Might as well call it the best.
    Well hey, I watched both episodes and will definitely watch the rest, so I'm not complaining that this content is here to fill the void .

    But this doc was getting tons of hype all the way back when it was announced, and because of that peopled clamored for it to be released early once everything else got shut down. I was hoping that it would be a truly revealing documentary at the level of OJ: Made In America, but this thing ain't winning any Emmys. Sure, it's well-enough done, but it's just a fancy Michael Jordan, Inc. commercial so far.

  16. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by Hingeknocker View Post
    Well hey, I watched both episodes and will definitely watch the rest, so I'm not complaining that this content is here to fill the void .

    But this doc was getting tons of hype all the way back when it was announced, and because of that peopled clamored for it to be released early once everything else got shut down. I was hoping that it would be a truly revealing documentary at the level of OJ: Made In America, but this thing ain't winning any Emmys. Sure, it's well-enough done, but it's just a fancy Michael Jordan, Inc. commercial so far.
    Well, MJ is the one player who has probably "earned" such a treatment. He was the OG "superstar" crossing all culture lines, omnipresent on all three networks, appointment television. He was larger than life.

    I think LeBron is by far a better basketball player, but you can't even begin to explain to a Millennial what MJ was like in his prime.

    Perhaps I'm biased based on my age, but as a basketball fanatic teen in the late 80s and early 90s, it's impossible to overstate the impact he had on my childhood, and every who I knew with similar interests.

  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Truth&Justise View Post
    So if you're a GM, and you've got to worry about the long-term future of the organization, would you trade one more year of title contention for future assets? Or let it all ride for one last year, and then be left with nothing? People chide the Bulls for bottoming out after 1998, but that was the price for being competitive in 1998.

    All told I agree the right move was to keep the team together for 1998 (and maybe leave open the possibility to try in 1999), but it's a lot more complicated and nuanced than "Jerry Krause is a petty and egotistical idiot," which is what the documentary seems to be hinting at.
    Yeah, basically they let Jordan and Jackson "retire", let Rodman walk, then traded off several pieces (Kerr, Pippen, and Longley the first year; Kukoc the next), eventually released Ron Harper. They didn't get a TON back in trades (basically three 1sts and a 2nd), but they did restock. And things looked promising: they drafted Brand with their pick in 1999, and drafted Artest with one of their acquired picks. But they then blew it in the next two drafts: in 2000 drafting Marcus Fizer with their pick, draft/trading for Jamal Crawford with one of their acquired 1sts, and drafting Dalibor Bagaric with their other acquired 1st; in 2001 trading Brand for the right to draft Tyson Chandler, and then pairing him with Eddy Curry.

    In hindsight, stockpiling picks for the 2000 draft was a really bad idea. That draft was historically weak. But then they compounded their mistake by drafting Curry and trading for Chandler rather than having LA draft Pau Gasol for them and then drafting, say, Jason Richardson or Battier or Joe Johnson or Zach Randolph.

    But that's getting into the weeds. Getting back to the 1998 year, yeah I don't think that group would have won in the 1999 season had they kept it together. And it's possible that they wouldn't have won in 1998 had they not known it was the last go-round. That team was already really old and exhausted from 2 straight championship runs and the 72-win season.

  18. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn.Devil.91.92.01.10.15 View Post
    Well, MJ is the one player who has probably "earned" such a treatment. He was the OG "superstar" crossing all culture lines, omnipresent on all three networks, appointment television. He was larger than life.

    I think LeBron is by far a better basketball player, but you can't even begin to explain to a Millennial what MJ was like in his prime.

    Perhaps I'm biased based on my age, but as a basketball fanatic teen in the late 80s and early 90s, it's impossible to overstate the impact he had on my childhood, and every who I knew with similar interests.
    Great post. However, I don't agree that LeBron is or was better, let alone "by far" compared to MJ. MJ's competitive will, speed, jumping, shooting, athleticism, defense, creativeness, and ability to take hits in a league when Jordan Rules were in effect and people actually made contact (and defense was allowed to play physical defense). LeBron is a better passer, especially when it comes to making championship winning shots . Honestly, one-on-one you'd take MJ in his prime over LeBron? That's cool. I respect your opinion. They're close to one another. But MJs sheer will to outwork, out hustle, and beat any and all takers is next level. He was a steely-eyed assassin who mentally played at the highest level of toughness and competitiveness -- on a personal level -- and he had the talent to boot. I just see MJ eating his lunch in a game of 1-on-1.

  19. #39
    Q. Who is the only person that has been able to hold Jordan to under 20 points per game?

    A. Coach Dean Smith

    --------------------

    9f them all. This is why I don't have ESPN.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by AZLA View Post
    Great post. However, I don't agree that LeBron is or was better, let alone "by far" compared to MJ. MJ's competitive will, speed, jumping, shooting, athleticism, defense, creativeness, and ability to take hits in a league when Jordan Rules were in effect and people actually made contact (and defense was allowed to play physical defense). LeBron is a better passer, especially when it comes to making championship winning shots . Honestly, one-on-one you'd take MJ in his prime over LeBron? That's cool. I respect your opinion. They're close to one another. But MJs sheer will to outwork, out hustle, and beat any and all takers is next level. He was a steely-eyed assassin who mentally played at the highest level of toughness and competitiveness -- on a personal level -- and he had the talent to boot. I just see MJ eating his lunch in a game of 1-on-1.
    I'm inclined to agree that MJ would win one on one. And that he's the consummate competitor. But, LeBron is a far better teammate who makes those around him better on the court. Jordan shamed players into performing better through verbal abuse. LeBron finds open players, locks down on defense, and has a much more well-rounded game. LBJ is Magic on steroids (not literally, I hope). But would MJ take him one on one? Almost certainly.

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