The Last Dance has come to an end. For five weeks, NBA fans got a closer look at the 1990s Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan. The team made the NBA a global brand and paved the way for superstars such as the late Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Stephen Curry. The Last Dance showed the fun times the Bulls had, but it also showed the struggles players had to deal with, despite all the winning they were doing at the time.
But the most interesting thing about The Last Dance was what didn't happen. What if the team didn't break up after the 1998 season? What if everyone came back for one more season and went for another championship? That scenario could have happened, but when it was all said and done, general manager Jerry Krause and owner Jerry Reinsdorf decided it was time for a rebuild, and the Bulls have not been the same ever since. Here's a look at what the subjects from The Last Dance are up to now.
After the 1997-98 season, Jordan retired from the NBA for the second time. However, he returned in 2001 and signed with the Washington Wizards and averaged 21 points per game in two seasons. In 2006, Jordan bought a minority stake in the Charlotte Bobcats (now Charlotte Hornets) and has been with the team ever since.
Scottie Pippen was traded to the Houston Rockets in 1998 and was with the team for one season. He was then traded to the Portland Trailblazers in 1999 before returning to the Bulls in 2003. Pippen retired from the NBA in 2004. Most recently, Pippen was working as a public relations ambassador for the Bulls. He's also a contributor to ESPN's The Jump.
"I was just tryna play basketball, party, f*ck all the girls."
-Dennis Rodman pic.twitter.com/gP2ETPg2p0— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) May 18, 2020
The Bulls released Dennis Rodman in 1999 before the start of the lockout-shortened season. He signed with the Lakers that year, only to be released after playing in 23 games. He spent some time in pro wrestling before returning to basketball in 2003, playing for the Long Beach Jam of the American Basketball Association. He also played overseas before calling it a career in 2006. Rodman was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011 and has been making various appearances on TV ever since.
Steve Kerr joined the San Antonio Spurs in 1998 and helped the team win the championship that year. He was with the team for threes seasons before joining the Portland Trailblazers in 2001. Kerr returned to the Spurs in 2002 and helped the team win another championship to end his NBA career with five rings. However, the winning didn't stop for Kerr has he became the head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 2014. In his five seasons, Kerr has led the team to three titles. Not bad for a late second-round pick in 1988.
"Before a vision can become a reality, it must be owned by every member of the group." – Phil Jackson pic.twitter.com/Ny4NR2Xb0l— Jay Hidalgo (@jayhidalgo) May 18, 2020
After the 1997-98 season, Jackson became head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers in 1999. With the help of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant, Jackson led the Lakers to three consecutive championships from 2000-2002. And with just Jackson and Bryant leading the way, the Lakers won additional titles in 2009 and 2010. Jackson left the Lakers in 2011 and moved on to be president of the New York Knicks in 2014. The team parted ways with Jackson in 2017.
Horace Grant was a key member of the Bulls when they won their first three championships. But that came to an end when he was traded to the Seattle Supersonics in 1994. Grant also spent time with the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic before retiring in 2004. Grant stays active in the community with his camps. He's also a big family man, as he has three daughters and three sons.
John Paxson, one of my all-time favorites. pic.twitter.com/dYk3J4xs7f— Aaron Morrison (@_aaron_morrison) May 18, 2020
Paxson retired from the Bulls in 1994 and considered coaching. Instead, he became the general manager of the Bulls replacing now-deceased Jerry Krause in 2003. During his time as the Bulls GM, the team has yet to reach the NBA finals and they lost in the first round of the playoffs seven times. In April, Paxson was reassigned as the team's senior advisor of basketball operations.