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RECAP | THE LAST DANCE EP.05

18.06.20

RECAP | THE LAST DANCE EP.05

YES, THE RUMOURS ARE TRUE, EPISODE 5 WAS INDEED THE CHARLIE BIDGOOD CERTIFIED NUMBER ONE FOOTWEAR EPISODE OF THE LAST DANCE. THIS WAS MAINLY AN EPISODE ROOTED IN 1992 WITH SOME FORAYS INTO DIFFERENT ERAS, HOWEVER SEEING THE JORDAN 6 “OLYMPIC” ON THE FEET OF HIS AIRNESS WAS A TRULY SPECIAL MOMENT. SEEING THE ICONIC OLYMPIC UNIFORMS WITH THOSE GORGEOUS 6’S WAS GENUINELY STIRRING. IT DIDN’T STOP THERE. WE EVEN SAW “INFRAREDS”, “CARMINES”, RED AND WHITE 13’S AND THE ORIGINAL “HE GOT GAMES” – FEATURED IN ITS REVERSE INCARNATION AT SUBTYPE LAST YEAR. BUT THE TRUE CHERRY ON TOP WAS A FRESH PAIR OF CHICAGO 1’S WORN BY MICHAEL JORDAN IN HIS FINAL GAME AS A BULL AT MADDISON SQUARE GARDENS. THESE SHOES NOT ONLY HELPED HIM TEAR UP ON THE FLOOR, THEY ALSO HELPED TEAR UP HIS FEET DURING THE GAME. TO QUOTE THE MAN HIMSELF – “INNOVATION HAS TAKEN A LONG TURN.”

THIS WAS THE MOST IN-DEPTH LOOK AT NOT ONLY FOOTWEAR ON COURT BUT ALSO THE NEGOTIATIONS THAT GO ON BEHIND THE SCENES. BEING GIVEN A LOOK AT HOW CLOSE THE WORLD WAS SUBJECTED TO AN ADIDAS LINE OF JORDAN'S RATHER THAN THE SNEAKER ROYALTY WE WERE GIVEN SHOWED ME THAT THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT IS MOST DEFINITELY ALIVE AND WELL. WOULD SNEAKER CULTURE BE ELEVATED TO THE LEVEL THAT IT IS TODAY IF JORDAN PICKED THE THREE STRIPES? WOULD THERE BE AN ENTIRE ECONOMY BASED AROUND THIS? THE LAST DANCE IS REALLY MAKING ME GRATEFUL FOR THE CULTURE THAT WE ARE A PART OF. WE SHOULD REALLY BE THANKING DELORIS JORDAN, NOT ONLY FOR BRINGING HIS AIRNESS INTO THE WORLD, BUT BEING THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND MEETING WITH THIS “UPSTART TRACK COMPANY” IN THE FIRST PLACE, AND THEN SIGNING WITH THEM. NIKE’S BIG RISK WAS OFFERING A ROOKIE 2.5X THE NORMAL AMOUNT GIVEN TO TOP LEVEL PLAYERS THAT WOULD AMOUNT TO $126 MILLION DOLLARS IN SALES IN JUST ONE YEAR. TO BE CLEAR, NIKE DID NOT EXPECT THIS KIND OF RETURN, HOPING FOR $3 MILLION SOLD. MJ ALWAYS SURPASSES EXPECTATIONS.

THE OPENING SCENES OF THIS EPISODE WERE THE ONES THAT GRABBED ME THE MOST. PLAYING IN “THE MECCA OF BASKETBALL” FOR THE ALL-STAR GAME, IT WAS CLEAR THAT MADDISON SQUARE GARDENS WOULD ALWAYS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN JORDAN’S HEART. SOMETHING ELSE THAT IS HELD IN HIGH REGARD BY MICHAEL IS A 19-YEAR-OLD KID FROM PHILADELPHIA. KOBE BRYANT IS THE YOUNGEST ALL-STAR IN NBA HISTORY, AND IT WAS CLEAR THAT THIS HONOUR WAS EARNED. IN THE DRESSING ROOMS BEFORE THE GAME JORDAN SPENT MOST OF IT PLANNING AROUND HOW TO STOP THIS KID. KOBE’S APPEARANCE AT THIS POINT BOTH AS A PLAYER AND IN RETIREMENT MADE ME ONCE AGAIN CONSIDER HIS LEGACY. I’M A SUNS FAN AND I HATED KOBE AS A PLAYER. HOWEVER, I ALWAYS HAD A HEARTY MIX OF FEAR AND RESPECT FOR HIM. THE LAKERS BEAT MY TEAM IN THE CONFERENCE FINALS IN 2010 AND I WATCHED ALL SIX GAMES. KOBE WENT OFF FOR 33 POINTS PER GAME IN THAT SERIES AND WAS A TRUE DIFFERENCE MAKER. HE AVERAGED 27 POINTS PER GAME AGAINST US AND IN SO MANY GAMES HE ABSOLUTELY KILLED US. THE FACT THAT ALL FANS THAT DON’T ROOT FOR THE LAKERS CAN HAVE THIS SAME SENTIMENT ABOUT KOBE REALLY SHOWS THE RESPECT PEOPLE HAD FOR HIM. I APPRECIATED KOBE MORE THAN ALMOST ANY LAKERS FAN AND I TRULY UNDERSTAND HIS GREATNESS. THANK YOU, KOBE, FOR GROWING THE SPORT IN THE WAY THAT YOU DID.

KOBE’S IMPACT ON THE GLOBAL GAME OF BASKETBALL WAS AMAZING, YET WITHOUT THE OLYMPICS AND THE DREAM TEAM’S PERFORMANCE IN ’92, IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAD THE SAME CATALYST FOR SUCCESS. THERE ARE SO MANY MOMENTS WHERE THIS TEAM PROVED THAT THEY WERE 11 OF THE BEST PLAYERS IN THE BASKETBALL WORLD. THE LINK UP PLAYS HIGHLIGHTED ON THE MONTAGES WERE TRULY EPIC. THE UNIFORMS WITH THE AFOREMENTIONED JORDAN 6 “OLYMPICS” ARE EVERGREEN. THE BULLS’ HUGE EFFORT TO COMPLETELY STOP TONY KUKOC HAVING ANY IMPACT ON THE GAME TO KEEP SCOTTIE ON THE TEAM WAS ADMIRABLE. THE WAY THAT THIS TEAM PRACTISED LIKE THEIR LIVES DEPENDED ON IT WAS INSPIRING. THERE IS AN AGE-OLD EXPRESSION “IRON SHARPENS IRON” AND THIS IS THE PERFECT REPRESENTATION OF THESE SESSIONS. THIS IS THE ONLY TEAM TO BE ACCEPTED INTO THE BASKETBALL HALL OF FAME AS A GROUP. THERE WILL NEVER BE THE SAME COLLECTION OF SUPERSTARS IN THE SAME WAY THAT THERE WAS IN 1992. THESE 11 MEN, PLUS COLLEGIAN PICK CHRISTIAN LAETTNER – ESPN’S MOST HATED PLAYER IN THE HISTORY OF THE GAME – ENTIRELY CHANGED THE WAY THAT PEOPLE PERCEIVED BASKETBALL AND THE GAME IS BETTER FOR IT.

SHOP JORDAN