Michael Jordan will officially fly into your TV, smartphone and mobile device in mid-April. After thousands of social media outcries “the mother-ship” is moving up it’s highly anticipated Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” from June to April 19th.
ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” is a 10-episode documentary that takes a deep dive into the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty during their final championship season in 1997-98. At the time The Bulls allowed an NBA Entertainment crew to follow the team around for that entire season.
Back in the 90’s Air Jordan was a highlight waiting to happen every-time he touched the ball. One thing I hope comes from this documentary is a whole new generation of sports fans will gain a better understanding of why their parents are always saying Michael Jordan is the greatest player they ever saw.
LeBron James Chimes In
“April 19th can’t come fast enough. I CAN NOT WAIT!! Yessir,” James wrote, adding a popcorn emoji with the hashtag #LastDance.
James suggested last week on Richard Jefferson’s Road Trippin’ podcast that the release date be moved up from its scheduled June release.
“Listen, if I’m Michael Jordan, I’m going in there and I’m making a conference call and I’m like, ‘OK, what’s the reason that we’re going to hold onto it until June now? Compared to now when everybody is at home?’” James said. “Because it’s done [being edited]. It’s done. Yeah, it’s done.”
“As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience,” ESPN said in a statement. “We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that. This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.”
I think it is important to thank ESPN for acting as fast at they did – considering that back on March 17th the documentary had still not been completed.
I know some have asked about The Last Dance, and the reality is that the production of that film has not yet been completed, so we are limited there at the moment,” ESPN executive vice president of programming, acquisitions and scheduling Burke Magnus said, per Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune. “Obviously, you can’t air it until it’s done.”
Air Jordan’s impact on the sports world goes far beyond the court:
Jordan through a partnership with Nike revolutionized the athletic shoe market. Back in the 90’s Jordan’s were the most popular shoes on the planet and ironically they still are today.
In addition, Jordan was a pitchman for McDonald’s, Chevy, Gatorade and hung-out with Bugs Bunny in Space Jam. By the time his career ended he was the most recognizable athlete in the world.
It’s been nearly 20 years since Jordan played in the NBA and today his brand is stronger then it was when he retired. Nike wisely went on to grow its partnership with Jordan by co-developing the Jordan Brand.
Today the Jordan Brand crosses over into other sports including football, baseball, golf, and fitness. In 2019, the brand generated over $3 billion in sales and Jordan took home an estimated $145 million, which is four times as much as LeBron James.
Jordan throughout his career was considered a charismatic character, but in retirement, he rarely conducts interviews or gives speeches. He did however step-up to deliver a touching tribute for Kobe Bryant at Bryant’s memorial service back in February.
Look, like LeBron James, I can’t wait to see the documentary of the man who during his prime actually believed he could fly!