Watching The Last Dance is like looking through a wedding album — you see staged photos and snapshots of joy without the warts.
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Even if you are not at the wedding, you go through the album to make sense of the time and event.
I was three years old in 1998. I never watched Jordan in his prime.
Fortunately, I’m old enough to watch The Last Dance.
The series was good. Entertaining, too long, but fun, like a wedding album.
When you take the wedding album off the coffee table, you know who it’s made by and who it’s made for. The album was made in conjunction with the photographers and the couple to maintain their history. It’s managed.
Similarly, The Last Dance was made by Michael Jordan for the purpose of maintaining his legacy. This wedding album is for folks who feel nostalgic for the Jordan era and for those, like me, who never saw it.
But the main reason he made the film, above all others, was to solidify himself as the best basketball player of all time. The GOAT. And it worked. At least, for now.
Jordan does not merely want us to watch, he wants us to remember him and his glory days of the NBA. He needs to be known as the best basketball player of all time.
MJ vs LeBron will never play one on one, but to Jordan, the conversation is still a competition.
Why else would a notoriously sheltered athlete want to do a ten-part doc?
You look through a wedding album to revisit the best moments of the past and, perhaps, rediscover just how good life really was back then.
This kind of historical archiving makes it easy to think that the best days have already come and gone.
And that’s what Micheal Jordan wants.
He wants you to see the joy, the champagne, the cherished family moments, and the once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
In The Last Dance, Jordan has made an enchanting wedding album. We saw his friends, we noticed his affection toward his family, we met his true love, basketball, and we watched him celebrate the event with a cigar.
Nobody adds photos to a complete wedding album. It is a showcase of ephemeral moments, printed to last forever.
We are supposed to put the wedding album back on the coffee table, and save it for a time we need to remember the past.
The story is over, the album is complete. His lore is now eternal.
Jordan wants to keep it that way.