On Sunday night, we were treated to parts three and four of The Last Dance on ESPN.
With no actual sports still on, this was yet another chance for the country to gather around and take in all the juicy details of the ’90s Bulls.
Parts three and four, in addition to building us towards the Bulls’ “last dance” in 1997-98, focused on Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson.
Here are some of the best moments of Sunday night’s episodes of The Last Dance.
Dennis Rodman’s physics lesson on rebounding
— Martin S. (@marsoaries) April 27, 2020
I mean, we all know what The Worm did best: defense and rebounding. This is the dude who had stat lines such as these:
Rodman was a psychopath when it came to rebounding, so was it a shocker that he would break down his skills like an art form?
Bad Boy Pistons
With the third episode focusing on Rodman, of course, the “Bad Boy” Detroit Pistons of the late ’80s/early ’90s were going to get the spotlight.
There is already a 30 for 30 on this team, Bad Boys, which was released in 2014, so we don’t need to spend too much time on them. However, it was great to hear Rodman talk about the role he played for Detroit. We also saw clips of the great Rick Mahorn and Bill Laimbeer nearly commit manslaughter during games.
So, with the timeline of The Last Dance now reaching 1989, it was time to revisit the 1989 Eastern Conference Semifinal match-up between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the underdog Bulls.
With the series tied 2-2 in the then best-of-five format, we all know the story: Michael Jordan hits the series-winning shot in Cleveland over Craig Ehlo to win 101-100.
What we didn’t know? Eventual member of the Bulls’ dynasty, Ron Harper, wanted to guard MJ, as he was the better match-up. However, Cavs’ coach Lenny Wilkens stuck with Ehlo, and the rest is history.
“Get the ball to Michael”
How did then head coach of Chicago, Doug Collins, describe that play to the media after the game?
This exact play worked several times throughout history, to be fair.
Rodman and Nashville
What did Nashville ever do to Dennis Rodman?! 🤷🏻♂️ https://t.co/OnezbDAeRs
— ESPN 102.5 The Game 😷 (@1025TheGame) April 27, 2020
This was a footnote compared to everything else in last night’s episodes, but for all of us Tennesseans, I do believe we need a 10-part documentary on this exact trip that Rodman took to Nashville.
Episode three ended on a cliffhanger, as Rodman needed to take a mid-season “vacation.” Just watch the clip:
The inner 13-year-old boy in all of us was thrilled to see Ms. Electra make an appearance on Sunday night. Shout out to you for being 48 and still looking unbelievable.
Electra, of course, is the ex-wife of Rodman and spent time with her eventual husband during his vacation in Vegas, which Rodman extended from the allotted 48 hours to around five days.
And while the couple was in bed one morning, it was revealed that the Bulls sent MJ all of people to retrieve Rodman from his bender. Electra then proceeded to hide from Jordan while he was knocking on their hotel room door.
Again, this event requires its own documentary.
Phil Jackson’s acid trip
idc what happens in the future, the acid and this picture alone cements Phil Jackson as the greatest coach of all time pic.twitter.com/MsZjYCDefv
— cesar (@neira8_) April 27, 2020
As this series has shown thus far, there is plenty to unpack as far as stories I wish more time was spent on.
One of these stories was this Jackson acid trip while the future Zen Master was with the Knicks. Like many in the early ’70s, Jackson dropped some good ‘ol LSD and thought he was a lion roaring down the streets of Los Angeles.
This man dominated people in the NBA back in the day. Let that sink in.
Jackson’s time in Puerto Rico
So, in the timeframe between Jackson’s career as an NBA player and when he joined the Bulls as an assistant. He made head coaching stops in the Continental Basketball Association and the BSN, the top league in Puerto Rico.
Well, in Puerto Rico, Jackson dealt with the following as a coach:
- Chicken blood was poured on benches by opposing fans
- Small riots and fighting
- The mayor of one of the team’s cities SHOT a ref in the leg
- That mayor’s punishment was being banned from attending games
The Pistons’ sour grapes
The quote of the night goes to Horace Grant (who I saw without glasses/goggles for the first time), who described the scene after the Bulls got the Pistons monkey off their back when they swept them in the 1991 Eastern Conference Finals.
It’s infamous: the Pistons left the court with over seven seconds remaining in the game and did not shake hands with Bulls players.
Many discussed how much Jordan still hates the Pistons and Isaiah Thomas to this day, but Grant took the cake with what he said about the Pistons walking off the court: