Highlights from ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’: Episodes 3 & 4

In week two of ‘The Last Dance’ documentary, ESPN dove deeper into the Chicago Bulls dynasty. In episodes three and four, they gave the story of Dennis Rodman, while documenting Michael Jordan and the Lakers from the late 80s into the 90s for the most part.

Here are a few things that stuck out this week.

Rodman was underappreciated.

The man averaged 13.1 rebounds for his career and probably still doesn’t get the credit he deserves because he only averaged 7.3 points per game. But think, how much do you have to score when you have Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen combining for 50-plus points per game? Rodman did everything that historically, nobody else wanted to do and the Bulls wouldn’t have been as dominant without him.

Imagine Rodman at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

For those that aren’t Oklahomans, or those that are like my wife and don’t know where Durant, OK is…it’s in the country. It’s in the southeastern corner of Oklahoma, close to northeast Texas and southwest Arkansas. It’s the one section of Oklahoma that can be considered “Little Dixie.” A Black man from the projects (Oakcliff, Dallas, TX) in rural Oklahoma was a big thing back then. Rodman did nothing but thrive in that environment.

Rodman went to Vegas and Mike saved him.

Jordan recalled a story during the documentary about when he traveled to Las Vegas to pick up Rodman, who was out partying, to get him back to Chicago for team picture day. Rodman showed up in pajama pants and flip flop slides on the bottom, and his Bulls jersey on the top. Imagine this happening today.

The Detroit Pistons entire team would have been banned in today’s NBA.

The “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons team was the most physical squad in NBA history. I’m not entirely sure how they got away with what they got away with during that era, but I know that wouldn’t fly in today’s game. A simple slap on a wrist today is a personal foul, and if you even think about wrapping up a player, you’re getting his with a flagrant, or flagrant two foul.

Phil Jackson was a wild one.

We all knew that Jackson was a hippie at heart, but hearing his stories before he was “discovered” by Jerry Krause makes it all a little bit more interesting. It’s just hard to fathom my favorite coach of all-time doing acid and smoking weed in his younger years, but I guess looking at the period, it makes sense.

Addam M. Francisco

Founder & Editor-in-Chief. National Association of Black Journalists. University of Central Oklahoma.

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