Tonight sports are back! Sort of!
At 9 p.m. tonight (!) ESPN is set to air the
Michael Jordan Documentary The Last Dance, a 10-hour documentary about the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls, the last of Michael Jordan’s six NBA championship seasons. While normies like yourselves and myself can only speculate about the footage and materials we’ll happily absorb over the next five weeks like Dragon Ball Z’s Android 19 sucks in an energy blast, the reviews are already setting the expectation bar incredibly high.
I have no idea if this documentary will rival the quality of ESPN’s Academy Award-winning documentary O.J.: Made in America, but I am sure that given the context of the world and the celebrity of Michael Jordan that this documentary will at least become one of, if not, the G.O.A.T. of sports documentaries in the entertainment department. Jordan has already admitted that people will probably hate him upon seeing this series, and that makes sense, given all the anecdotal evidence that points to him not being the greatest guy.
DMV readers, you may be asking: Why the hell is a hyperlocal culture magazine wasting Internet space on a documentary about Michael Jordan and one that doesn’t even focus on his epilogue with the Wizards? I’m going to answer that right now: Because I can, and because the Bulls played the Wizards four times that year.
On one hand, the 1997-1998 Washington Wizards weren’t a championship team, obviously as the Bulls defeated the Utah Jazz 4-2 that year, but on the other they were a totally mediocre and forgettable team. The squad finished 42-40, missed the playoffs and therefore were forgotten. UNTIL NOW. I’ll admit this was driven out of pure boredom, but since we’re here, these are six things you should know about the 1997-1998 Wizards, henceforth known as The Last Dance Wizards.
The 1997-1998 season was actually the first year the team would be known as the Washington Wizards following the move from the team’s previous Bullets moniker. The move was spurred by the “violent” overtone to the word bullet, but fans still wear just as much Bullets merch as Wizards merch at the stands. Can you imagine your team all of a sudden changing not only the uniforms and color scheme, but the name too? Would be a tough pill to swallow.
Rod Strickland Was Really Good at Basketball
Rod Strickland is a name that definitely seems lost to time, but he was an incredible point guard in his heyday. This season is right on the backend of his prime years, but in 1997-1998, he led the league in assists per game at 10.5. Though he didn’t make the all-star team (damn popularity contest amirite), he did score a 2nd Team All-NBA nod, which means that a lot of people thought he was basically one of the 10 best players in the league.
The Fab-Five Sequel
Okay, I’m starting to wonder how this team only won 42 games. Not only did the lineup sport one of the league’s better pass-first point guards, but it also trotted out an extremely modern frontcourt with these two Michigan Wolverines. The center-power forward combo famous for baggy shorts, dunks and snarls during their college years were…let’s say…less successful during their collective stint as Wizards. But both went onto successful, long NBA careers after this…with different teams *sigh*.
Ben Wallace Played Guard/Small Forward When He Played
Due to his measurements, it’s not really fair to look at Bernie Bickerstaff and blame him for failing to see that Ben Wallace was actually a center. A man standing at 6’7″ isn’t a traditional “big” in the league, but Wallace was a unique talent and one who would eventually be unlocked during his stint with the Detroit Pistons, where he won a championship and multiple Defensive Player of the Year awards.
The Last Dance Bulls Kicked Their Asses Three Times
Okay, so I embellished a little as two of the three losses were relatively close and overall the Wizards only lost by an average of 9.6 points per game, but even that’s misleading given the Bulls clowned the Wizards by 18 in the last meeting. But the first meeting…
THE WIZARDS BEAT THE BULLS
That’s right! The Wizards beat the champs, which made them the champs for at least one night! (Man, I miss sports.)