September 28, 2022 | 5:22 pm
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The Baseline on The Last Dance episodes 5 & 6

For the basketball-starved public, ESPN is providing a pseudo fix with the release of The Last Dance. This in-depth look at Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls is nostalgia, history and greatness all rolled into a ten-episode ride. The Baseline boys figured it was only right to do after shows on this engaging content that has fascinated the basketball community. We will be taking a look each Sunday after the episodes drop. This week we dive into episodes five and six which feature:

Jordan the Brand

  • MJ’s agent David Falk (and his parents) had to convince him to take a meeting with Nike after Converse and Adidas passed on the opportunity to sign him
  • Jordan’s relationship with Spike Lee got his shoes in Do The Right Thing which was one of the first movies in the culture to reference sneakers
  • Mike always remained partial and played it safe when it came to issues of social justice and politics. His quote “Republicans by sneakers too” has haunted him for years in reference to Harvey Gantt
  • He always had to be on and aware of his surroundings and the public scrutiny became too much to handle
  • Sam Smith‘s Jordan Rules book where Horace Grant allegedly told all played a major impact on Mike’s psyche

Jordan’s competitive nature and legacy

  • Clyde Drexler comparisons bothered MJ
  • 1993 Eastern Conference Finals with the Knicks and gambling controversy
  • NBA Finals vs the Suns and how Jerry Krause’s appreciation of Dan Majerle motivated Jordan
  • Meetings with terminally ill children before games and how he brought joy off the floor
  • Jordan’s innate competitive streak. He gambling on golf, cards and pretty much anything. Did the same thing that made him contribute to his flaws?
  • His fatigue of having to live up the hype day in and day out. Do you really want to be like Mike?

Dream Team

  • The omission of Isiah Thomas
  • The infamous practice where Magic pissed him off
  • Krause’s wooing of Toni Kukoc caused contention for Jordan and Scottie Pippen when they faced Kukoc in the Olympics
  • His global brand elevated after the Dream Team

MJ & Kobe

  • Kobe’s appreciation for Jordan’s craft
  • Comparisons laid to rest by Bryant after saying he couldn’t have become what he did without Jordan

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