The Last Dance (2020)

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Who loves ya, baby?
- finally got round to starting it the other night. I'm only an episode in and apparently it's a bit of a Jordan and ESPN ad, but I can't say I haven't already been sucked in. It's crazy they've been sitting on all this behind the scenes footage for so long.


Corpse. You're watching it, aren't you?
 
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Leo

Active member
was on a biz trip to Chicago one time, went to a small bar somewhere and watched Jordan sink a buzzer beater to win a playoff game. don't recall what year but a memorable experience to be there and witness it.
 

Corpsey

call me big papa
Yeah watching it every week, trying to ration out the episodes. I'll be gutted when it's over. (NB I wrote all this the other day and got interrupted.)

1. NOSTALGIA

I recently got my mum to dig up a photo of me on holiday with my family in California, when I got a Dennis Rodman jersey as a present. This was 1996. I probably never watched any basketball, whatsoever, but I remember basketball stars occupying a similar place in my imagination pantheon to WWF wrestlers and movie stars. Maybe it was Space Jam that did it, and I know NBA Jam had a big role in that. I only started listening to rap music 'seriously' in about 1996, and on that trip to California I bought my first rap album, by Ice-T. (Sidebar: I was also ?into? Guns N Roses as a tot, without ever having heard any of their music beyond maybe ?Sweet Child O?Mine?.)

So it's weird watching this show and feeling very nostalgic about the 90s and the rap music they're soundtracking the series with ? when I wasn't really listening to rap music or watching basketball at the time a lot of the footage was shot.

There's a quite pervasive sense of nostalgia in this show, I think. The 90s (or at least the 90s they're showing) looks cool, and bright, and fun, and guiltless, without the shadow of 9/11, the financial crash, covid-19, global warming (now impossible to ignore) falling over it. A time, also, before health and safety and "wellness" and political correctness had kicked in so stringently ? I'm not fulminating against these things but I think there IS a nostalgia for basketball being played so roughly (violently), for players being allowed to go and relax by partying in las vegas etc. Dennis Rodman is representative of this side of the 90s.

2. BASKETBALL

It's a beautiful game, isn't it? I have tried to watch it live on many occasions but I always found it curiously UN-exciting. The disconnected, crowd-drowning music, the constant breaks (and ad breaks), the fact that they're scoring all the time... But by the same token, I've always loved watching highlights, and this series is full of amazing highlights which show Jordan's genius and the team's brilliance.

It made me curious to watch an actual basketball game, and I watched a bit of a Bulls vs Suns game (playoffs) the other night. What was interesting about that is (and I assume this isn't just THIS game that I watched) seeing how often players DON'T score. Highlights make it look like it's easy to make a shot (of course), but when you start to see players missing, you then begin to get more of an inkling of how exceptional somebody like Jordan really is.

I gather from casual reading around the subject that basketball is much less physical now, which seems a shame. The clips they show in the Last Dance are a compelling fusion of physical roughhousing with the graceful arc of the skilfully passed/handled/shot ball.

3. PSYCHOLOGY

You could talk about all sorts of things here but I?ll restrict myself to THE WINNER?S MENTALITY. They obviously show the ?dark? side of this, in that MJ was an asshole and bully to his teammates and that obviously upsets him even now ? so that the desire to win is depicted as a sort of horrible addiction.

OTOH, I am envious of that mentality, and that self-disciplined focus which comes with it. I have no sense of direction, dedication or obsession in my life, which is really just a prolonged procrastination bout. I wish I had even an ounce of MJ?s mentality, I think I would have got a lot further in life than I have.

I certainly hated P.E. at school and never cared that much about winning ? or rather, perhaps cared TOO MUCH about losing.
 
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Corpsey

call me big papa
The last two episodes were good but it's a shame they had to rush them out because there wasn't any memorable music in there (other than a Pearl Jam song which I'm not much interested in)...

Jordan's feat of playing with food poisoning (or flu or a hangover, depending who you ask) was really amazing. The guy is just unbelievable.
 

version

Who loves ya, baby?
but I remember basketball stars occupying a similar place in my imagination pantheon to WWF wrestlers...
I was talking to a mate about this last night. You look under clips from either during the 90s and all the comments are lamenting how sanitised and devoid of personality they are today. That clip of Rodman on WCW with Hogan is brilliant... :crylarf:

 
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Who loves ya, baby?
Jordan's feat of playing with food poisoning (or flu or a hangover, depending who you ask) was really amazing. The guy is just unbelievable.
Dirk did this in the 2011 finals too. He came down with flu, LeBron and Wade took the piss out of him on camera then they ended up losing the championship to him.

 
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