September 29, 2022 | 10:32 pm
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The Baseline: The Last Dance Episodes 7 & 8

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 seven and eight which feature:

Leadership style & Motivation

  • Jordan was known as someone who was tough on his teammates.  He notoriously bullied Scott Burrell and even punched Steve Kerr in the eye. Despite the outcomes was his style a product of the era? Still, he never asked someone to do something he wouldn’t do himself.
  • Jordan was famous for fabricating reasons for motivation. We highlight the LaBradford Smith and George Karl incidents and he overblew those situations to gain a competitive edge.
  • Competiton was war and he always wanted to be prepared for the ultimate battles in the playoffs.

Michael Jordan‘s relationship with his father James

  • James Jordan was an incredible influence on Michael
    • James was Michael’s best friend, a trait all parents wish they could accomplish with their children
    • James got Michael right in high school and Michael never got in a trouble again
    • James used to bring kids from the stands to meet his son after games
  • The murder of his father, in essence, solidified Michael’s decision to retire the first time
    • Media scrutiny in Michael’s potential role as the cause of his father’s death

Retirement/Baseball/His return to the NBA

  • Jordan’s eternal love for baseball and the connection the game brought for him and his father
  • Birmingham Barrons became the stage for Jordan’s baseball career as a means to be able to host the media attention
  • It was the pending baseball strike and his appreciation to the professionals in MLB that led Mike back to the NBA and his infamous “I’m back” quote via fax
  • Was it realistic to expect Jordan to lead a Bulls team to the finals after 18 months away from the game?
  • Jordan’s incredible career is rooted in the losses and failures he’s endured
    • The loss to Orlando Magic highlighted by Horace Grant and Nick Anderson sparked the dominance of the next three Jordan championship runs.
  • While filming Space Jam, the studio built the Jordan Dome which became his personal workout facility and the home of some epic summer runs which he used for scouting.

Tune in:



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