How Can “The Last Dance” Unite Us Through COVID-19?
Expectedly waiting—hope. Hope in a time where the world seems utterly hopeless. Hope through the fear of the effects of COVID-19. Hope.
When you think about it, hope is what propels individuals to continue pursuing their dreams. Hope cannot be seen, but it is internal within the depths of an individual’s heart. Hope is expectedly waiting for the future, believing that there are better things coming.
In the final episode of ESPN’s new 10- part documentary series called, “The Last Dance,” Michael Jordan states, “It started with hope.” Through the exposure of the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls season, the series focused on both the organization and Jordan’s success while being a Bull.
It also includes key players who played a role in the success of the Chicago Bulls in the ’90s as well as the background story to how Michael Jordan’s early life shaped his success for the future.
And “it started with hope.”
This series sheds light on the trials and tribulations that Michael Jordan faced during his career, as well as the internal struggles of the Bulls organization front office.
Hopeful because despite the obstacles, Jordan overcame each and every one. Hopeful because there was a sincere desire to constantly grow as a teammate and athlete. Hopeful because there was the want to not only get better for himself but for his teammates, his coach, and the city of Chicago. Hopeful because despite what the media would say about him, he persevered and proved them to be wrong. Hopeful because he expected a better outcome than what was predicted. Hopeful because he believed. Hopeful because he had a vision. Hopeful because he had a dream.
It was evident with each episode aired that Jordan, who won 5 most valuable player awards within the National Basketball Association and winning 6 NBA championships with the Bulls had to overcome adversity.
To the documentary discussing Jordan not making his high school basketball team when he was a sophomore in high school to becoming a world-wide sensation in his young 20’s. To overcome the pressures of the media. To enduring a season altering injury when breaking his foot during the 1985-1986 season. To developing not as only an individual player but also as an athlete, leading his team on the court. To the noise of the over-emphasized reports of gambling from the media. To the journey of retiring from basketball to play professional baseball to then going back to the NBA. To the struggle of losing his father. All aspects are included in the documentary.
Jordan is a prime example of overcoming adversity—he remained unshakeable.
Jordan was able to visualize his long-term goals. He wanted to win and was willing to do what it took to win. He pushed his teammates to strive for greatness and made it known that he was not okay with settling. He understood the risk of being a leader- all aspects in which the series embodies.
The series aired two episodes every Sunday Night, allowing families to gather together for a two-hour break from the noise of the chaotic world.
Through this documentary the human population was able to visually see the hope that Michael Jordan had in his basketball career, illustrating the power of believing that something better is coming.
As this series focused on the final season of the Chicago Bulls dynasty from the 1997-1998 season, Phil Jackson discusses the idea of playing as “one team.”
This was the one final time that the immaculate bond of Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, and Michael Jordan would be playing together. One last season. One last playoff run. One last finals appearance. One last shot. One last championship won together.
This documentary has allowed us to be united as one human population, one community, and one world. Michael Jordan still is a global sensation, assisting being united as one.
Hope can be a process and may need to be adjusted at times- it takes perseverance, endurance, and resilience. In our current reality, we need hope more than ever.
Sports fan or not—this is a series that realigns vision, dreams, and goals in a time where the human population is desperate for the ability to dream in a dark and gloomy world. Hope.
Collage of Michael Jordan/ Photo courtesy of ESPN.com