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Takeaways From The Last Dance

Updated: May 23, 2020

I am sure many of you have been tuning into the incredible Last Dance documentary. A welcome distraction every Monday during these unusual times. It seems everyone and their mother is tuning in and rightfully so; an insight into arguably one of the greatest teams to have ever played basketball is unforeseen. I have had friends message me saying that they can now see why MJ is my idol, the documentary has allowed “non Basketball fans,” a better glimpse into why we love him so much. If anything it’s solidified a love and admiration for the GOAT. I will preface this with; I think that Michael Jordan is the greatest basketball player of all time, if I am biased in the comments I make, forgive me.

Photo Credit: Scott Cunningham Getty Images

The insight the Last Dance afforded us into the mind of MJ and into the team itself is so valuable. Opening up discussions and debates about his leadership style, allowing us to look at ourselves and see would we be comfortable with the way MJ talked to his teammates or would the prospect of winning a championship override that? Personally, I don’t think so. I think there is a way to speak to your teammates while still expecting the best from them that doesn’t deny them food after a poor performance (granted context is everything, we don’t know what happened before or after MJ denied Horace Grant food, so that is up for interpretation).

But there are two main things that I took away from this documentary, the documentary gave a voice to the players and people who played a starring role in MJ’s life and career. Pippen told anecdotes from his own life and the struggles he experienced as a child and also later with Jerry Krause. MJ’s mother, Dolores, regularly contributed her perspective throughout. We gained an insight into Dennis Rodman and some of what goes on around that enigma. The close relationship, almost father figure, with Head of Security Gus Lett was heart-warming particularly following the passing of MJ’s own father.

Shedding light on to the personal stories of some of these people meant for much richer viewing. But it suggests that social support is imperative. Although it’s come to be referred to as “the Michael Jordan Documentary,” it wasn’t just that. It was the people that contributed to his success and the 6 championships, it is as much their story as it is Jordan’s. Even the greatest of all time needs people around him to pull him higher.

For me, it proves that the GOAT needed people around him, a support system to help amplify his success and ease the pain during the tough times. As the old adage goes “if you want to go fast go alone, if you want to go far go together,” and Jordan did just that.

As a child one of the main reasons I admired Michael Jordan was because he gave up basketball and turned his attention to baseball. His childhood dream was still a dream and he wanted to try. He stopped doing what he was an expert at to attempt a sport he really was just a novice at after a 10 year hiatus. What other athlete would quit when they are at their peak to essentially restart a different sport? Jordan was not afraid of failure, he was afraid of not trying and that is what set him apart. There is zero disputing that he worked hard at it, many people reported him being in the batting cage before and after training. It is clear he brought his work ethic with him. I am no baseball expert, actually I know very little about baseball so I can’t even tell was MJ even that good. But honestly, I don’t even care he tried it and he worked hard at it too. And I admire that.

One of the concluding statements of the documentary was in relation to the possibility of Championship 7 but realises the point I’m trying to make straight from the mouth of Jordan himself; “just not to be able to try … I just can’t accept that.” For me this embodies a significant element of Michael Jordan and something we can apply in our own lives and our own situations. Any opportunity we’re given we should at least try.

My conclusion from the documentary is that Michael Jordan is the greatest to have ever played basketball. His innate desire to win is mind-blowing and almost scary at times. His support system and his desire to just try are things that we, as average Joe’s, can apply to our lives to live out our fantasy to be like Mike. We might not achieve the great things that he did, but we can try.

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