Netflix now has Michael Jordan and “The Last Dance” in the United States.
The popular 10-part documentary on the Chicago Bulls’ six NBA championships and the team’s breakup — as well as Jordan’s uncanny ability to make almost anything personal in an effort to hone his razor-sharp competitive edge — was a huge hit when it first ran on ESPN and ESPN2 in April and May.
The first-run of “The Last Dance” made it the most popular documentary content in ESPN history, averaging 5.6 million viewers nationally. Nowhere was it more popular than the Chicago TV market.
Then it was rerun on free over-the-air ABC in May and June.
It continues to stream on ESPN+.
But now Netflix, a production partner with ESPN, Mandalay Sports Media, NBA Entertainment and Jordan’s Jump 23 that held the exclusive distribution rights outside the United States, finally gets to share “The Last Dance” with its domestic subscribers.
For those binge viewers who want a fast recap of each episode to enhance the experience, the Chicago Tribune is happy to help.
Episode 1: “And now … Introducing Michael Jordan and the Bulls’ chase for their 6th NBA title.”
Episode 2: “Tension builds between Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan and Bulls management.”
Episode 3: “How Dennis Rodman joined the Bulls.”
Episode 4: “Bulls finally vanquish the Detroit Pistons in the playoffs. And later, Carmen Electra makes an appearance.”
Episode 5: “Michael Jordan takes a teenage Kobe Bryant under his wing.”
Episode 6: “Michael Jordan defends his gambling and grows weary of constant media scrutiny.”
Episode 7: “Michael Jordan retires after his father’s murder, while Scottie Pippen refuses to enter a playoff game.”
Episode 8: “Michael Jordan finds any fuel he can to ignite the Bulls’ 2nd 3-peat.”
Episode 9: “Michael Jordan eats some bad pizza and is ‘lightly’ shoved by Reggie Miller.”
Episode 10: “‘We could have won seven,’ Michael Jordan says after the Bulls break up.”
When “The Last Dance” first was announced, it was expected to debut in 2019. By the end of 2018, it was clear it wasn’t coming out until 2020. Then its scheduled launch in June 2020 to coincide with the NBA Finals was thrown off by the coronavirus pandemic.
Production was rushed so its presentation could come months sooner, filling the void of no live sports.
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