'The Last Dance' Episode 10 Review: A fitting finale that depicts Michael Jordan and the Bulls' highs and lows
Spoilers for 'The Last Dance' Episode 10
You know you're in for an epic finale when Fatboy Slim's 'Right Here, Right Now' plays when the Bulls rock the court in ESPN's 'The Last Dance'. After nine compelling episodes, the docuseries that captures Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls' monumental '98 season comes to an end. From that win against Utah Jazz, Scottie Pippen's back injury, Dennis Rodman's WWE bout to Jordan switching to zen mode, the episode covers it all. It truly was the last dance for all of the Bulls players.
The end credit message is painful to read. MJ retired, Phil Jackson quit, Scottie Pippen was traded, Steve Kerr and Dennis Rodman were released, and Jerry Krause set about rebuilding the team. As far as fans' opinions go, greatness for the Bulls ended there. What stands out is the scene of Jordan hugging Jackson after the NBA Championship wins saying, "I never lost faith." But before we get into the final tearjerking moments, let's train focus on Rodman— the quintessential bad boy of Chicago Bulls.
Adding to his list of the epic escapades was the time during the 1998 NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz where he left in the middle of the series to make it to WWE match. This was something the team didn't see coming. He was seen hanging out with Hulk Hogan and smoking a cigar while the rest of the team was sweating it out. It shouldn't come as a surprise though. However, he did come back in time and played one helluva game. Much similar to his '97 Vegas vacation.
Then comes Pippen's back injury. The grimace after dunking and the hobbling were signs that he was suffering. "I started the game, the first play of the game, I went for a dunk and jammed my back,” Pippen said. “I was done after that. I was telling MJ I could go no more. I was done," Pippen recollects. He was back in the second half as a decoy and the onus was on Jordan. "Pippen is barely getting up and down the floor, so I’m taking all the shots. I’m bringing all the energy, and I have very little left in the tank," Jordan said.
It was that final shot though, which is etched in the minds of his teammates and fans who caught the game. Jordan dodged a Jazz defender and drilled the last Shot with 5.2 seconds left, making it an 87-86 Bulls lead. "When he took that shot, you could hear the energy just get sucked out of that building," Steve Kerr recalled. And soon after the celebrations, it was time for lights out. Jordan explained the team would have been back for one more season. They had seen some mileage, but there was still some gas left and they were ready to make it seven NBA titles. That's confidence. Confidence from a man and a team that had two three-peats. But it was not meant to be. It was of course like Jackson had said, "The Last Dance."
That the docuseries revolved around Jordan was a no-brainer. But it can't be shrugged off lightly that he was an icon and a sporting ambassador who introduced basketball to countries that knew very less of the sport. In the words of former President, Barrack Obama, "Michael Jordan and the Bulls changed the culture." The final episode comes across like a movie. It feels like watching a hero scale countless challenges to win and Jordan did just that. Only one question remains: What do we do now that 'The Last Dance' is over?