Episodes nine and 10 of The Last Dance aired on Sunday so let’s go ahead and break it down. I’ll start with the infamous flu game.
If five delivery guys show up with a pizza, I assume I am getting robbed. Michael Jordan’s trainer, Tim Grover doesn’t outright say that M.J. was given food poisoning, but it was certainly implied. The number of people delivering the pizza makes it clear that they had a good idea who was going to be eating it.
If you have ever had food poisoning, then you know just how gangster Michael Jordan was for his ability to play 44 minutes and score 38 points including a key steal and three-pointer to end of the game. Apparently Grover told him that if he was going to play, he had to get as many minutes as possible early because once he sat down, he wouldn’t be able to return.
Did any of y’all believe Utah Coach Jerry Sloan when he said that he didn’t know Jordan was sick? I didn’t either.
These last two episodes showed a lot more of Karl Malone. Malone was a really good player who benefited greatly from playing in a pick-and-roll heavy system with one of the greatest point guards of all time. He was also a deadbeat dad whose two children became professional athletes without any of his help or support.
Before I move on to that epic seven game series with Indiana in 1998, I can’t help but shake my head at Byron Russell. He was nowhere near good enough to talk junk to Michael, retired or not. Is he famous for anything other than being on the wrong end of a Jordan highlight? Poor guy is like Craig Ehlo.
One of the commentators said Reggie Miller had insane confidence. Truer words were never spoken. I wonder how much of that came from growing up in the shadow of his much more successful older sister.
Black cat is one of the greatest nicknames ever. Coming across Michael Jordan, especially in the playoffs, was always bad luck.
Reggie Miller‘s decision to “put all of the pressure on the officials” was a genius play. Did he push off on Michael? He absolutely did and he knows it. Has Michael done the same thing? You know he has.
Larry Bird’s stoic face after Reggie hit that shot is everything. He had every reason to be excited but enough experience and knowledge to know the game was not yet decided. Jordan’s double clutch 3-point attempt at the end of regulation was less than an inch from making him right.
Michael Jordan’s series record against 60 win teams in the playoffs is 7-2. Both series losses came before he played with an All-Star.