The Last Dance hit Netflix in the United States on Sunday, providing NBA fans with another opportunity to revisit Michael Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls. This 10-part docuseries was popular when it first aired on ESPN, and now it is dominating Netflix. The Last Dance is currently the second most popular show on the streaming service.
According to Netflix's ratings, The Last Dance sits just behind the original series Cursed, which premiered on Friday. The docuseries is the only non-Netflix original in the top-five, also joining Down to Earth With Zac Efron, Dark Desire and The Business of Drugs. Additionally, The Last Dance is the fourth most popular product overall on the streaming platform. Viewers tuned in and watched the series when it originally aired in April, and it continued to find sustained success after surfacing on Netflix.
The Last Dance centers on Jordan's final season with the Chicago Bulls (1997-98) and his quest for a sixth NBA title. During this season, a camera crew followed the players and coaches to capture behind-the-scenes footage. Jordan won his sixth title and his fifth NBA MVP at the end of the season but retired following the year and left a hole on the roster. Additionally, Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen also departed for other teams and further took away a considerable amount of talent.
While the docuseries technically focused on the final year, The Last Dance also touched on other important moments from Jordan's life. The series mentioned his father's death in 1993. This tragic incident created the most emotional episode of the series.
James R. Jordan was murdered on July 23, 1993. He pulled off on the side of the road to take a nap and was shot to death while sleeping. The two attackers hid the body, stole the car and James' body wasn't discovered for another month. A few months later, Jordan retired from basketball and signed a minor-league contract with the Chicago White Sox. He explained that one of his last conversations with his father centered on whether or not he should retire and pursue a baseball career.
"We were debating, me and him," Jordan said. "We were debating about me playing baseball. 'Dad, I want to go play baseball. I'm thinking about retiring, I want to go play baseball.' He was saying, 'Do it, do it.' 'Cause he got me started in baseball."
This journey to the Chicago White Sox also became an important storyline during The Last Dance. This departure from the Chicago Bulls created debates about the real reason for the change and if he would become a successful baseball player. The answer never surfaced due to the 1994 strikes derailing the season. Jordan did not cross the picket lines during a labor dispute and opted to return to the NBA.