'The Last Dance' Episode 7 Review: Reliving James Jordan's death drama and Michael swinging for the fences
Spoilers for 'The Last Dance' Episode 7
A visibly shook and angered Jerry Krause could be seen in the opening minutes of Episode 7 of 'The Last Dance'. "No backstabbing" the Bulls General Manager retorts crisply before walking off. The scene shifts to July 23, 1993, and recounts the events that led to the death of James Jordan, the father of Michael Jordan. Back then it was one of the most controversial events in sporting history. This episode captures the time media had their own theories and speculations about James's death and also the time Jordan switched careers.
The media heavily speculated that Michael's gambling was one of the reasons behind the death of his father and almost every day carried a new update. For Michael, it was a saturation point. On October 6, 1993, the Chicago Bulls called for a press conference with news that had the world shocked and in tears. Michael was hanging em' up Jordans. Except, for the media, this wasn't enough. It was a debate: Retirement vs Suspension. Was the greatest player of all time suspended for close to two years?
It was laughable and dismissive, but it was food for thought. With the gambling issues being addressed, it was easy for the people to connect the dots and in his absence, the onus was on Tony Kukoc and Scottie Pippen to step up. And while they were busy trying to commandeer a Jordan-less Bulls to victory, the man himself was seen swinging for the fences with the Chicago White Sox.
The episode also traces the falling out between Pippen and the team. The Bulls played the Knicks in Game 3 of the playoffs and Pippen refused to go back to the game when coach Jackson didn't draw up the play for him to dunk it in. Instead, it was Kukoc who took it and won it for the Bulls. It was a win that came with consequences. BJ Armstrong of his former teammates asks the question, "Was he a nice guy?" and the response comes in the form of Michael's idea of winning. "Winning has a price, leadership has a price," he stated.
Episode 7 is all about emotions. It asks what else can a man do when he's pushed to the brink of sheer mental and physical exhaustion? The footage is still the most brilliant part of the episode as it sets the tone for a compelling chapter.
'The Last Dance' airs Sundays 9 pm ET on ESPN.