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RECAP | THE LAST DANCE EP.09

23.07.20

RECAP | THE LAST DANCE EP.09

BUILDING TENSION IS ONE OF THE KEY ELEMENTS THAT HAS BEEN PORTRAYED OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST DANCE AND THIS WAS ON FULL SHOW IN THE PENULTIMATE EPISODE OF ITS RUN. THIS HAD THE MOST IN-GAME FOOTAGE AND WAS HYPER CONDENSED COMPARED TO OTHER EPISODES LEAVING THE VIEWERS WITH A FOCUSED PERSPECTIVE ON THE CRUX OF THE ACTION. THE NOTABLE GAMES AGAINST THE PACERS AND JAZZ ACROSS TWO SEASONS ILLUSTRATED HOW HIGH THE STAKES WERE – NOT ONLY FOR MJ BUT FOR ALL THE PEOPLE GUNNING FOR THE CROWN ATOP HIS HEAD.

THE BULLS PLAYED THE PACERS IN THE 1998 EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS AND COMING STRAIGHT OUT OF THE MOUTH OF HIS AIRNESS: “APART FROM THE PISTONS, THE PACERS WERE THE BEST TEAM WE EVER PLAYED.” HIGH PRAISE FROM A MAN WHO USUALLY HATES TO COMPLIMENT ANYTHING, LET ALONE AN OPPONENT. CHIEF AMONG THIS TEAM WAS HALL OF FAMER, REGGIE MILLER. FOR BOTH NARRATIVE AND SARTORIAL REASONS I WISH THAT HE HAD FEATURED MORE IN THE SERIES. IN THE ‘90S REGGIE FACED OFF AGAINST THESE TITANS PLAYING WELL, AND MORE IMPORTANTLY, DID SO WHILE WEARING SUITS THAT FIT.

MILLER IS A PERFECT VILLAIN FOR THIS PIECE, SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN LACKING AS THE FRONT OFFICE STORYLINE HAS FADED IN RECENT EPISODE AND THE BAD BOY PISTONS HAVE BEEN LEFT IN THE REAR MIRROR. THERE IS A SPECIAL SENSE THAT MILLER ADDS TO THE WAY THAT HE HATED MJ – WE KNOW THAT JORDAN HATED EVERYONE BROADLY BUT REGGIE DETESTED MJ WITH SUCH FEROCITY THAT HE NEVER ADDRESSED MICHAEL BY NAME. TO BE SO PASSIONATELY AGAINST SOMEONE THAT YOU CALL HIM “BLACK CAT” INSTEAD OF CALLING HIM BY HIS NAME IS SO INCREDIBLY PIMP THAT I THINK I WANT TO BECOME REGGIE MILLER. MJ HAS SO MANY GREAT NAMES IT BECOMES HARD TO FIND ONE THAT DOESN’T MAKE HIM SOUND WAY COOLER THAN HE IS.

WHILE THERE WERE PLENTY OF REGGIE MILLER TESTIMONIALS, THERE WAS ALSO A LOT OF HIS FOOTAGE ON THE COURT. THE 1998 EASTERN CONFERENCE FINALS WAS THE PEAK OF REGGIE’S CAREER AND THE BIRTH OF THE LEGEND THAT IS MILLER TIME. GAME 4 WAS ESPECIALLY SPECIAL FOR THE PACERS. THIS WAS THE TIME THAT THEY HAD THE GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY TO TIE UP THE SERIES. THE BALL ENDS UP IN THE HANDS OF REGGIE AND HE LETS FLY. DESPITE THE 22-YEAR GAP BETWEEN THE EVENTS ON COURT AND ME WATCHING THIS EPISODE, AS THE BALL HUNG IN THE AIR, I STOOD UP AT MY DESK TO SEE IF THE BALL WENT IN. PHENOMENAL PLAY, GREAT EDITING AND A MOMENT THAT IS ENSHRINED IN HISTORY.

REGGIE MILLER NOTWITHSTANDING, THERE WAS A RETROSPECTIVE ON ONE OF JORDAN’S GREATEST MOMENTS. ORDERING A PIZZA AS AN NBA PLAYER IS PROBABLY NOT THE BEST THING TO DO GIVEN THEIR DIET AND NEED FOR ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE, HOWEVER I HAVE BEEN WRONG IN THE PAST SO I WILL GIVE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT TO HIS PIZZANESS. OH, HE GOT FOOD POISONING AND FELL EXTREMELY ILL? SEEMS LIKE I’M RIGHT? LESS THAN 24 HOURS LATER JORDAN PULLS OFF ONE OF THE GREATEST GAMES HE EVER PLAYED. IF NOSTRADAMUS WAS LOOKING FOR AN HEIR AND I CAN’T PREDICT THE OUTCOME OF A WELL-DOCUMENTED SPORTS GAME, THEN I THINK THAT I MAY TAKE MYSELF OFF THE SHORTLIST. THE MAGNUM OPUS OF JORDAN’S CAREER CAME IN ITS FINAL MOMENTS AND HE MADE IT TRULY HIS OWN.

THE LAST DANCE, LIKE MICHAEL JORDAN’S CAREER THEREIN IS COMING TO A CLOSE AND WHILE IT HAS BEEN A WILD RIDE, I CANNOT WAIT TO HAVE MY FEELINGS DUNKED ON. MJ, YOU TRULY ARE THE GREATEST TO EVER DO IT AND I DON’T THINK YOU NEED ME TO TELL YOU TO KNOW THAT.

SHOP JORDAN