Episodes of 7 and 8 of “The Last Dance” primarily covered the stretch of Michael Jordan’s career from when he first retired from basketball in 1993 to play baseball through the beginning of his second NBA championship three-peat.
There were many emotional moments, including the death of Jordan’s father and the toll it took on him, as well as the psychological effects Jordan’s harsh leadership style had on his teammates. There were also a lot of lighter moments, like Scottie Pippen taking himself out of Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals and Jordan getting revenge on poor LaBradford Smith.
Here’s a look at some of the best social media reactions to Episodes 7 and 8 of “The Last Dance”:
Death of James Jordan
Episode 7 covers the death of Michael Jordan’s father, James Jordan, and the impact it had on Michael.
The 1996 NBA Finals, chronicled in Episode 8, included a series-culminating Game 6 win on Father’s Day that led to an incredibly emotional moment for Jordan.
Tony Kukoc’s buzzer-beater in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals
There were lots of jokes on Twitter when the documentary talked about Game 3 of the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals, the game in which Scottie Pippen subbed himself out on the last possession after head coach Phil Jackson drew up a play for Tony Kukoc instead of Pippen.
Kukoc went on to sink the game-winning shot.
Terry Francona says Jordan could have played in MLB
Indians manager Terry Francona, a two-time World Series winner with the Red Sox, was the manager of the Birmingham Barons when Jordan joined the team. In his interview during Episode 7, Francona said Jordan could have made it to the majors if he could have gotten more at-bats. Some were amazed at Francona’s praise, while others were just amazed at the coincidence that the two crossed paths.
During his attempt at a pro baseball career, Jordan went through a rough stretch of play, resulting in several negative headlines saying he was making a mockery of the sport. One headline that got fans laughing was “Error Jordan,” an objectively clever play on words on his Airness — er, his errorness.
Gary Payton vs. Michael Jordan
One of the big narratives of the 1996 NBA Finals was the matchup between Jordan and Gary Payton, but Payton didn’t guard Jordan for the first three games. Seattle was able to win a couple of games after Payton started guarding him, but Jordan laughed at the idea that Payton actually changed his game.
Craig Sager cameo
The late Craig Sager made an appearance at the beginning of Episode 7 in film of a news conference during the 1998 season when he asked Bulls’ GM Jerry Krause about backstabbing going on between him and head coach Phil Jackson. Krause didn’t appreciate the question, but fans loved it.
One of the most entertaining stories of the night was that of LaBradford Smith’s 37 points against Michael Jordan in 1993, followed the next night by Jordan absolutely demolishing Smith with 36 points in the first half and 47 points for the game.
Nick Anderson’s famous ’45 isn’t the same as 23′ comments
When Jordan returned to the NBA during the 1995 season, he wore No. 45 instead of his previous No. 23. That change was short-lived, though. After Game 2 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals against the Magic, when Nick Anderson stole the ball from Jordan in the waning seconds and threw it ahead to Horace Grant for the game-winning dunk, Anderson infamously said that “45 isn’t the same as 23; I couldn’t have done that to 23.” Yeah, everyone knew that was a bad idea.
‘Space Jam’ pickup games
While Jordan was recording for “Space Jam” during the summer of 1995, he used the other NBA players on set to continue to sharpen his game by playing pickup basketball every single day. And everyone had fun speculating on what those games looked like.
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