Michael Jordan rightfully captured the adoration of fans worldwide due to his basketball exploits and was an inspiration to several future legends as well. During episodes five and six of ESPN’s The Last Dance, the connection between the late Kobe Bryant and Jordan gets examined, along with Jordan’s handling of the immense fame he gained.
Episode five opened with a tribute to Bryant, who passed away earlier this year in a tragic accident along with his daughter and several others. Bryant came into the league as a hot commodity and appeared to be willing himself to be an heir apparent to Jordan’s crown despite the fact that the elder player was still very much a factor on the court.
A portion of episode five that has sparked a good degree of chatter is Jordan’s disinterest in activism and social justice concerns of the time, which contrasted greatly with his teammate, Craig Hodges. It appears that Jordan’s reluctance to activism was his personal view that he merely saw himself as an athlete, albeit the world’s most popular one at the heights of his career. Even now, Jordan didn’t appear apologetic or remorseful.
In episode six, the mystique of Jordan’s fame and talent is juxtaposed against his less savory bits, including his attitude in practice, gambling habits, and surly nature overall. It also highlighted how good Charles Barkley was and how the Chicago Bulls taking out the Barkley’s Phoenix Suns for the 1993 NBA championship. Ahead of the contest, Barkley was one of the league’s top talents amassing big numbers in a much tougher league defensively than the one we see today.
Across Twitter, the reactions to episodes five and six of The Last Dance have been cropping up since their airings and we’ve got them listed out below.