By Jospeh Phillips, Crusader Sports Writer
The critically acclaimed documentary “The Last Dance,” the story of legendary basketball player Michael Jordan and the 1997-1998 World Champion Chicago Bulls, came to an end on Sunday night, May 17, after debuting episodes 9 and 10 on the ESPN network. These episodes would focus on the Chicago Bulls grueling Game 7 victory over Eastern Conference rivals the Indiana Pacers and Jordan’s “Climatic Shot” to clinch his sixth NBA Championship.
Clutch Game 7:
Victory: In the grueling seven game series against the Indiana Pacers, the Chicago Bulls were led by the superb play and leadership of NBA Hall of Famers’ Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen.
Both Jordan and Pippen would face off against three familiar foes during that series, Larry Bird, Reggie Miller and Mark Jackson. According to a Chicago Bulls bio, the Pacers took the Bulls to the limit in the Eastern Conference Finals, becoming 1 of only 2 teams to force a Game 7 in the Bulls’ title years (the Knicks achieved this in 1992). This team was later named by Pacers.com as the greatest in franchise history, even better than the 2000 team that won the Eastern Conference Title, primarily due to their record. Although Jordan, Pippen, and the Bulls would defeat the Pacers in a seven-game series and advance to the 1998 NBA Finals, Bulls GM Jerry Krause was determined to break up the team.
Krause’s GM skills were excellent throughout the 90s, but his promise to break up the team at the end of the 97-98 season (win or lose) sent shock waves throughout the city and the organization.
Jordan’s Climatic Shot:
“During his final 60 seconds in a Bulls uniform, Michael Jordan scored six points, recorded one gargantuan steal and sank one of the most legendary jump shots in basketball history,” said Kirk Goldsberry of ESPN. “Propelling his team to its third consecutive championship.” Jordan led the Bulls to six titles in eight seasons, and would leave NBA fans in awe after making one of the greatest shots in sports history. His beautiful game winning shot from the top of the key with 5.2 seconds left still leaves fans in awe today. ESPN’s 10-part documentary mini-series “The Last Dance” gave sports fans everything they needed to know about Jordan and the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls, who are arguably, the greatest team in NBA history.