‘The Last Dance’ Episodes 9 and 10: NBA players share their reactions
ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary series on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls’ final championship run during the 1997-98 season finished Sunday.
Episode 9 began with a look at the rivalry that developed between Jordan and Indiana Pacers star Reggie Miller. Jordan talked about how beating the Pacers “became personal to me” as tensions between the two teams reached their zenith during the 1998 Eastern Conference finals.
Miller, for his part, never backed down to Jordan, but he quickly learned how competitive Jordan could be in an instant.
“Never talk trash to black Jesus,” Miller said.
Reggie Miller has a Flame Thrower🔥🔥🔥🔥— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) May 18, 2020
Aye Reggie Miller is undervalued! Was a problem. #LastDance— Vincent M Edwards (@VE_12) May 18, 2020
The documentary then looked at how Karl Malone winning the NBA’s most valuable player award for the 1996-97 season motivated Jordan during the NBA Finals against the Utah Jazz. Jordan also recounted his first meeting with Jazz forward Bryon Russell and how it ended up being a motivating factor for Jordan in the series, too.
Karl Malone was a BAD man. Those matchups with Rodman>>>— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) May 18, 2020
Damnnn Bryon Russell 🤦🏾♂️😂— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) May 18, 2020
Look at those final scores compared to now...84-82? When was the last time both teams scored under 90pts in a game?— Kevin Love (@kevinlove) May 18, 2020
Jordan then talked about Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals — the infamous “flu game.”
The night before the game, ordered a pizza from his Salt Lake City hotel room. Jordan’s personal trainer, Tim Grover, immediately grew suspicious when “five guys” delivered the pizza.
But Jordan ate the entire pizza, and he quickly regretted it. “It wasn’t the flu. It was food poisoning,” he said.
Despite Jordan feeling awful, he put up one of the greatest performances in NBA playoff history in Game 5 to deliver the Bulls to victory.
Definitely just gonna stick with “the flu” game it sounds a lot better!— Vincent M Edwards (@VE_12) May 18, 2020
I bet that pizza place feels really dumb 😂😂😂— Eric Paschall (@epaschall) May 18, 2020
“I didn’t know he was sick and i thought he played a great game”— Festus Ezeli (@festus) May 18, 2020
- Jerry Sloan on MJ after flu game (we just found out was food poisoning game)
I’m weak ah they calling it “ the pizza game “ 🤣🤣😂😂— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) May 18, 2020
At least now I know I ain’t eating pizza in Utah anymore😳💯— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) May 18, 2020
The final episode of the documentary looked at the Bulls’ victory over the Utah Jazz in the 1998 NBA Finals — Jordan’s sixth and final title.
MJ scores half the points while the second best player is hurt all game, on the road, in a close out game goes and gets the final steal, and winning shot......will never see another #payhomage— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) May 18, 2020
“Why would I think about missing a shot I haven’t taken yet?” -MJ— Tyus Jones (@1Tyus) May 18, 2020
#TheLastDance is giving me chills! Jordan is a bad man smh!— Paul Millsap (@Paulmillsap4) May 18, 2020
“I’m going to slide a ring on your finger that’s all you need to know....” 😂😂😂Jordan the 🐐— DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) May 18, 2020
Damn Karl went on they bus to co granulate them. He one of the real ones— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) May 18, 2020
“They cant win till we quit”— Evan Fournier (@EvanFourmizz) May 18, 2020
This MJ doc was special 🔥, they need to put together a Kobe one asap— Tristan Thompson (@RealTristan13) May 18, 2020
Was that shot against Russell... Michael Jordan’s biggest shot of his career?! ?🤔— DeMarre Carroll (@DeMarreCarroll1) May 18, 2020
The documentary ends with Jordan and Bulls reflecting on their time together and moving on from the dynasty.
“I felt like we could have won seven. I really believe that,” Jordan said. “We may not have. But man, just not to be able to try, that’s just something that I can’t accept for whatever reason. I just can’t accept it.”
THAT WAS BEAUTIFUL!!!— Jordan Bell (@1jordanbell) May 18, 2020
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