The Last Dance: Reliving The Legacy of Michael Jordan

The Last Dance Reliving The Legacy of Michael Jordan

As we reach Day 30 of the lockdown, COVID-19 cases are still on the rise in India, offices are shut and social distancing is here to stay. Subscription based streaming service providers are scrambling to prepone scheduled releases to ensure people have enough quality content to watch/look forward to. Netflix Q1 results for 2020 showed an increase in subscriptions that were double the projections laid out before the start of the quarter.

Michael Jeffrey Jordan

The early 90’s was the take-off for marketing, globalization was in vogue and products along with their associated personalities knew no boundaries. The first global sporting icon was undoubtedly Michael “Air” Jordan. The National Basketball Association (NBA) shifted their entire strategy of promoting the “game” as a whole to riding Jordan’s coattails. Nike was first though, before he even stepped on an NBA court, but the portfolio grew quickly. In almost no time, Jordan along with superagent David Falk, was representing the entire United States. He had deals with Coke, McDonalds, Chevrolet and every other popular brand one could think of.

The Power of Sports

If we were to have a televised international cricket match tomorrow, millions across the planet will tune in and for the duration of that match, the situation that has put the entire world at a standstill will be put on somewhat of a hold. Sport is a unifier, leveller and teacher all rolled into one. Keeping aside the brand of Michael Jordon for a second, you will find a fierce competitor who worked his socks off to become the greatest of all time (GOAT) basketball player. Jordon inspired a generation that wanted to talk like him, walk like him and above all play like him.

The Last Dance

During the 1998-99 NBA season, which was to be Jordon’s sixth NBA championship, the Chicago Bulls allowed unrestricted access to an ESPN film crew to cover the team. The footage from that season remained untouched in ESPN offices until 2016 when Michael Jordon agreed to be part of the release. The 90’s was not the age of social media; we did not know much about people that were beyond our immediate circle. Compare it with the times today; I can search YouTube for Virat Kohli’s diet, workout plan and even his most embarrassing moment.

The 10-part documentary titled “The Last Dance” was scheduled to release in June 2020 but ESPN (taking cognizance of the present situation) went ahead with an early release available on Netflix to viewers outside the United States. The times right now are tough, we all need a reason to cheer and we definitely need some inspiration. Having idolized Michael Jordon my entire life and finally getting to see what he was like a competitor, I feel inspired and motivated more than ever before.

I leave you with a quote from Roy Williams, Jordan’s coach at University of North Carolina – “Michael Jordon is the only player that could ever turn it on and off, and he never freakin’ turned it off”.

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