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RECAP | THE LAST DANCE EP.06

25.06.20

RECAP | THE LAST DANCE EP.06

IN THE PANTHEON OF MEDIA CAUSING A RE-CONTEXTUALISING OF SOMEONE’S LEGACY, THERE MAY BE NONE GREATER THAN “THE JORDAN RULES” RELEASED AT A TIME WHEN MJ WAS AT THE PEAK OF HIS POWERS. THIS BOOK SENT WAVES THROUGH THE BASKETBALL WORLD ALMOST THREE DECADES LATER THERE WOULD BE A SIMILAR EFFECT ON YOUNGER GENERATIONS OF BASKETBALL FANS. THIS BOOK AND ITS SUBSEQUENT FALLOUT RESULTED IN A SHAKEN BULLS TEAM INDULGING IN MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE OF FINGER POINTING. THE MAIN RECIPIENT OF WHICH WAS HORACE GRANT. AS SOON AS THIS WAS RAISED IN THE TESTIMONIALS WITH JORDAN HE IMMEDIATELY JUMPED TO THE CONCLUSION OF HORACE GRANT, LITERALLY POINTING TO HIM AS IF HE WERE IN THE ROOM. WHILE NOT REMEMBERED AS ONE OF THE KEY MEMBERS OF THIS BULLS TEAM GRANT WAS STILL A NECESSARY ROLE PLAYER FOR THEM. WHILE TO THIS DAY GRANT WILL DENY THE ALLEGATIONS AND BJ ARMSTRONG RIGHTLY POINTED OUT THAT THERE WERE MANY PEOPLE THAT FOUND JORDAN IRKSOME – INCLUDING COACHES – THERE IS STILL THE THOUGHTS THAT MJ HAS ABOUT THIS MATTER. WHILE GRANT AND JORDAN ARE LATER SEEN DAPPING EACH OTHER UP IN ’98 THERE WAS LIKELY A GOOD REASON THAT HORACE LEFT TO GO TO THE MAGIC WHEN HIS CONTRACT EXPIRED WITH THE BULLS. IS THIS A CONSPIRACY THEORY? YES. DID GRANT GO ON TO KILL THE BULLS IN THE ’95 PLAYOFFS, ELIMINATING JORDAN AND RUINING THE GREATEST COMEBACK STORY OF ALL TIME? ALSO, YES.

THERE IS WELL AND TRULY A DARKER SIDE TO JORDAN, THAT HAS BEEN WELL KNOWN IN THE MEDIA FOR YEARS, EVEN DURING HIS PLAYING DAYS. THERE WAS A HUGE EFFORT TO SEARCH FOR SOMETHING TO MAKE JORDAN SEEM LIKE ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE ALL-AMERICAN SUPERSTAR. BEYOND “THE JORDAN RULES”, THERE WERE NARRATIVES FOCUSED AROUND GAMBLING AND THE EFFECT THAT IT HAD ON HIS GAME. THE MOST NOTABLE OCCASION, DURING HIS FIRST 3PEAT INVOLVED THE NEW YORK KNICKS, ATLANTIC CITY AND MEDIA MANIPULATION. NOW, WHY JORDAN CHOSE ATLANTIC CITY TO BE THE PLACE OF HIS VENTURES ON THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE ENTIRELY BEATS ME, BUT I’M SURE HE HAD HIS REASONS. THIS JAUNT WITH HIS FAMILY IN TOW WAS MEANT TO BLOW OFF SOME STEAM, MAKING SURE THAT HE WAS IN FIGHTING SHAPE TO BEAT THE KNICKS IN AS MUCH OF A RUTHLESS WAY AS HE COULD. THE ISSUE WITH THIS USUALLY FLAWLESS STRATEGY WAS THAT THE BULLS WERE TWO GAMES DOWN IN THE SERIES. AFTER COMING OUT AND MAKING A STATEMENT ABOUT THE FUTURE OF HIS SON, JAMES JORDAN CLEARED THE AIR, BRINGING THE BEST FROM WITHIN. OVER THE REST OF THE SERIES IT WAS BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR HIS AIRNESS, RIGHTFULLY EARNING THIS NICKNAME.

THE END OF THIS FLASHBACK SAW THE SUNS VS BULLS AND FOR ALL THOSE KEEPING TRACK OF MY LOVE OF THE SUNS, YES, I DID CRY WHEN THIS SERIES CAME ONTO THE SCREEN. MY HEART WENT OUT TO ALL MY BOYS INCLUDING A SKINNY VERSION OF CHARLES BARKLEY AND DANNY AINGE, WHO AGAIN, TRIED TO FIGHT MJ. THE KEY PIECE OF THIS SERIES WAS A DAN MAJERLE IN THE MIND OF JERRY KRAUSE. THIS DEFENSIVE MASTER WAS COVETED BY KRAUSE AND NATURALLY HE WAS IN THE CROSSHAIRS OF THE BULLS. MJ WENT AT HIM RELENTLESSLY AND OVER THE COURSE OF THE SERIES REAPED THE REWARDS. WHILE I HAVE SOME DEGREE OF HUBRIS CALLING THIS TEAM THE BEST THAT CAME UP AGAINST JORDAN, IT WAS THE TEAM THAT GOT THE CLOSEST TO BESTING HIM IN THE FINALS.

WHILE THIS EPISODE SPENT MORE TIME IN THE TESTIMONIALS THAN OTHERS, THERE WERE STILL SOME OF THE BEST FITS WE HAVE SEEN THUS FAR, ESPECIALLY SOME SUITING EARLY ON. THE BEST OF THESE WAS SHOWN IN A MONTAGE OF TUNNEL FITS. WHEN A JACKET HAS WHAT SEEMED LIKE 87 BUTTONS ON IT THERE WAS NO DOUBT THAT THERE WOULD BE A LINE OR TWO IN THIS RECAP DEDICATED TO IT. HOW DID A TAILOR PUT SO MANY BUTTONS ON A JACKET? TO TAKE IT OFF DOES HE PULL IT OVER HIS HEAD LIKE I TOOK OFF MY SHIRTS IN HIGH SCHOOL? WHAT IS THE CONSTRUCTION OF THIS JACKET THAT WILL LET IT STILL HAVE ANY DEGREE OF FLEXIBILITY? I NEED THESE AND MANY MORE QUESTIONS ANSWERED OVER THE REMAINING EPISODES.

JORDAN PROVED IN THIS EPISODE THAT NOTHING, NOT EVEN MEDIA DOGS COULD GET IN THE WAY OF HIS RELENTLESS DESIRE TO WIN. HE TOOK DOWN THE BEST TEAM HE PLAYED IN THE FINALS IN SIX GAMES AND MADE MINCEMEAT OF A TEAM MATE. ALL IN A DAY’S WORK FOR HIS AIRNESS.

SHOP JORDAN