"Last Dance" dances through a dozen Jordan topics
The latest installment of "The Last Dance" documentary on Sunday answered a question that's been on everyone's mind.
What was Justin Timberlake's contribution to the story of Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Bulls going to be?
Turns out, he talked about waiting in line as a kid to buy the latest edition of Nike's Air Jordan shoe. Will he return in episodes 7-10? Only time will tell.
Episodes 5 and 6 began with a dedication to the late Kobe Bryant, then bounced among at least a dozen topics. The two hours covered the Shrug Game, Dream Team, the Nike deal, Mars Blackmon, hiding the Reebok logo, gambling, the Jordan Rules, a young Sam Smith, an old Danny Ainge and the virtual prison of fame Jordan was forced to live in.
The show included three different people -- Jim Lampley, Rod Thorn and Charles Barkley -- mispronouncing Toni Kukoc's last name.
There was a fun behind the scenes clip of Jerry Seinfeld visiting Jordan in the locker room before a game, Phil Jackson telling him it was time to leave and then some slight tension when Seinfeld took his time walking through the exit.
There was a strong candidate for catch phrase of the week, "Go protect the dang United Center," and another strong contender, "Yo Stan (Albeck), can I borrow a cigarette?"
There wasn't much mention of Dennis Rodman in these episodes, beyond him announcing plans to visit Hooters on a road trip.
One of the most interesting scenes happened early in the show, inside the locker room at Madison Square Garden before the 1998 All-Star Game.
Jordan and his all-star teammates were discussing Bryant, who at the time was in his second season and the youngest all-star in league history. Jordan referred to him as "that little Laker boy" and suggested if he were Bryant's all-star teammate, he would never throw Bryant the ball.
That was an odd twist, since there has long been controversy about Isiah Thomas and others supposedly freezing out Jordan at his first All-Star Game in 1985.
One subject Chicago fans probably didn't pay much attention to at the time was the North Carolina Senate race in 1990 between incumbent Republican Jesse Helms and African American Democratic challenger Harvey Gannt. Jordan said he told his mom he didn't feel comfortable speaking out on a subject he didn't know much about, but would make a financial contribution.
The scene ended with Helms making one of the most vile, cringeworthy victory speeches imaginable: "There will be no joy in Mudville tonight."
Maybe you should have spoken up, Mike