Saving The Last Dance Parts 5 & 6 (The Baseline NBA Podcast)

For the basketball-starved public, ESPN is providing a pseudo fix with the release of The Last Dance. This in-depth look at Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls is nostalgia, history and greatness all rolled into a ten-episode ride. The Baseline boys figured it was only right to do after shows on this engaging content that has fascinated the basketball community. We will be taking a look each Sunday after the episodes drop. This week we dive into episodes five and six which feature:

Jordan the Brand
– MJ’s agent David Falk (and his parents) had to convince him to take a meeting with Nike after Converse and Adidas passed on the opportunity to sign him
– Jordan’s relationship with Spike Lee got his shoes in Do The Right Thing which was one of the first movies in the culture to reference sneakers
– Mike always remained partial and played it safe when it came to issues of social justice and politics. – His quote “Republicans by sneakers too” has haunted him for years in reference to Harvey Gantt
– He always had to be on and aware of his surroundings and the public scrutiny became too much to handle
– Sam Smith’s Jordan Rules book where Horace Grant allegedly told all played a major impact on Mike’s psyche

Jordan’s competitive nature and legacy
– Clyde Drexler comparisons bothered MJ
– 1993 Eastern Conference Finals with the Knicks and gambling controversy
– NBA Finals vs the Suns and how Jerry Krause’s appreciation of Dan Majerle motivated Jordan
– Meetings with terminally ill children before games and how he brought joy off the floor
– Jordan’s innate competitive streak. He gambling on golf, cards and pretty much anything. Did the same thing that made him contribute to his flaws?
– His fatigue of having to live up the hype day in and day out. Do you really want to be like Mike?

Dream Team
– The omission of Isiah Thomas
– The infamous practice where Magic pissed him off
– Krause’s wooing of Toni Kukoc caused contention for Jordan and Scottie Pippen when they face Kukoc in the Olympics
– His global brand elevated after the Dream Team
– MJ & Kobe
– Kobe’s appreciation for Jordan’s craft
– Comparisons laid to rest by Bryant after saying he couldn’t have become what he did without Jordan

Warren is a seasoned NBA writer and co-host of The Baseline NBA podcast. He is currently a contributing writer at CloseUp360 and the founder of His previous work includes time with Dime Magazine, Yahoo Sports and Celtics Life.

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