“The Last Dance” is a 10-part documentary series that focuses on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ quest during the 1997-98 season to win a sixth National Basketball Association (NBA) championship. For this project, ABC and ESPN partnered with Netflix, Jordan Brand, the NBA and Mandalay Sports Media.
The docuseries was originally supposed to air in June. With the sports world currently at a standstill, ESPN decided to move the date to April 19th. This was a brilliant move.
Not only is this documentary the most viewed-ESPN documentary content ever, the premiere episodes are now ranked as the two most-viewed original content broadcasts on ESPN since 2004, surpassing the 2012 film “You Don’t Know Bo.” It was just reported that Kobe Bryant’s last season with the Lakers was filmed and the plan was to film a documentary as well.
The first two episodes aired on April 19th and averaged 6.1 million views for both episodes. Episode three and four did equally as good the following weekend. “The Last Dance” was also the number one trending topic on Twitter the night it aired. The documentary will air six more episodes and run through May 17th.
Larry Bird may have summed it up best, “I would never have called him the greatest player I’d ever seen if I didn’t mean it. It’s just God disguised as Michael Jordan.”
In addition to providing a riveting behind-the-scenes look at arguably the greatest player in his prime and a dominant team, the documentary also touches on Nike and the launch of the Air Jordan brand. The Air Jordan deal created the foundation for the multi-million–dollar apparel and shoe contracts enjoyed by many athletes today.
Michael Jordan played his last game of professional basketball on April 16, 2003. Seventeen years later, he is proving to be more relevant than ever.