The Last Dance (2020): Season 1, Episode 10 - Episode X - full transcript

Battered and exhausted, the Bulls conclude their "Last Dance" with a sixth championship. Michael, Phil and others reflect on the end of the dynasty.

The NBA title up for grabs

beginning Wednesday night
in Salt Lake City.

Utah Jazz!

Part two between the defending
champs and the Mailman's crew.

Super Mike and the gang looking human,

working on just two days' rest
in the thin air of Salt Lake City.

After they lost
the year before...

Utah came back better the next year.

The atmosphere in Utah was, "This is it.
We can finally vanquish them."

Utah was waiting for us.

We basically had to fly
to Salt Lake the next day.

It seemed like, uh,
we were running on fumes.

Most people struggle
to be present.

People go and sit in ashrams for 20 years
in India trying to be present.

Do yoga, meditate,
trying to get here, now.

What you listening to?

- What are you listening to?
- Huh?

What are you listening to?

Kenny Lattimore.
It's brand new, not even out yet.

He's a friend of mine,
you know I can get that.

Most people live in fear because
we project the past into the future.

Michael's a mystic.
He was never anywhere else.


I sense you know
you're gonna win this first game.

- I sense that.
- What'd you say?

Whatever it is, it's "Yes. No. Maybe."

Coming into the final series,
what's your mental preparation like?

Yes. No. Maybe. Whatever that was.

His gift was not that he could
jump high, run fast, shoot a basketball.

- Can I walk in peace?
- Go ahead.

I love you guys.

His gift was that
he was completely present.

And that was the separator.

Go ahead!

I got up, I stretched...

had a couple beers...

played the piano...

one cigar.

In the lobby bar?

No, in my room.

I've got a piano in my room, man.
I was in there...

It's called the Jordan Bar.

You see that go in?
Don't look at my fuckin' feet.

Look at where the ball is going.

MJ, you got four?

KB's got none.

Come on, Keith.
Get on the board, baby.

Get on the board.

Get on the board.
Go down and rebound that.

The big downfall
of a lot of players

who are otherwise gifted
is thinking about failure.

- Goddamn it!
- Midair right there. That's like...

Michael didn't allow what he
couldn't control to get inside his head.

He would say, "Why would I think about
missing a shot I haven't taken yet?"



Damn! Put 'em away, MJ.

Ooh, I just love it!


A spectacular move!

The game's over!

Chicago Stadium is going wild!

First of all,
there's no backstabbing going on here.

It's time for me to move on.

This will be Phil's last year
as the coach of the Bulls.

- Are the expectations too high?
- Where do we go from here?

The only question: how long can it last?

This year's Finals
has a familiar feel.

Same time, same teams,
same places, same high stakes.

But Utah is hoping
for a different end result this year.

Remember what we said
about your breathing,

and your centering,
and getting yourself focused to the court.

You guys know that you gotta support
yourselves and your teammates.

Here in this building,
it's like sheep to the wolves.

In '98,
were you guys in Utah?

- No, my mom didn't let us go.
- We were downstairs in the basement.

- Exactly.
- Watching the game. We had school.

She felt like Utah
was a little hostile for us as young kids.

I don't remember much of the games,
and seeing him play.

But I remember the fans
and it was so loud.

I mean, the screaming was just nonstop.

It was brutal.

We didn't like the Jazz at all.

As a family, we would get down there
and just talk so much trash.

Those games would get crazy.

This Utah team is vastly
improved from last year's finalists.

Better skills and much more confident.

The Bulls have beaten
every team this season,

except for the Utah Jazz.

Let's get ready to rumble!

Pippen working on Russell.

Double team,
Stockton comes over and steals.

Stockton waltzes in
off the left side of the lane.

I never said, "Oh, my goodness,
this is the Bulls."

Great team,

all the respect that they deserved,
they'd get from me.

But I sure didn't feel an aura
about Michael Jordan or the Bulls.

I don't know how you would play against
somebody with that. We were there to win.

Kukoc has it picked off
by Russell,

handed to Stockton, now Malone!

Twenty-second timeout, Chicago!

Guys, this is a scary fucking situation.
This game should be dead fucking meat.

Now, goddamn it,
get yourselves serious on this.

Come on, think positive, man.
Let's go.

It's Scottie back to Michael.
Russell's on him.

Around the Longley screen.
Michael... dishes to Longley.

Up with the shot... to tie the game!

And it's overtime in game one.

Come on now, let's go.

Twenty-one for Malone!
Hooked away by Hornacek!

Trying to stop him.

He's chased by Jordan,
but makes it in anyway!

And game one goes to Utah in overtime.

Knowing that this
is the last dance,

I'm trying to muster up
the energy to finish this off.

We were mentally, physically exhausted,

but we didn't lose focus
on what we were trying to achieve.

Hornacek on Michael, fadeaway...

Got it!

Pippen slices through the defense
and slams it.

Kukoc... hits off the baseline.

Michael, with the shot clock winding down,
against Hornacek.

Michael's gonna do it.
Two defenders, a whistle...

Count the basket, plus the foul.

Chicago comes into Salt Lake City,
weary or not, and gets out with a split.

Three more, three more.

They swept LA.

You know how much it takes to guard Shaq
and try to push that motherfucker around?

That ain't the point. I ain't Shaq.

- Huh?
- I ain't Shaq.

Like I said, I ain't Shaq.

The Jazz won game one
in overtime at home.

The Bulls won a close game to even it.

It was a hard-fought series...

except for game three in Chicago.

♪ Right here! Right now! ♪

♪ Right here! Right now!
Right here! ♪

Gentlemen, game three!
Have a great game.


Here's Scottie, into the lane,
another runner.

He hits it, plus he's coming to the line.

Eisley has it blocked by Harper.

Karl on the run, a hook. It's an airball.

Michael spins on Hornacek
to the left hand. An absolute beauty.

Somehow, someway... he scores.

The Utah Jazz of Malone and Stockton,

the Jazz who managed to get to the Finals
two years in a row,

were held to 54 points.

The lowest point total since the advent
of the shot clock in any game,

not just a playoff game.


Now Bill's the only one who ain't scored.

the only Bull who hasn't scored.

So let him do it.

Well, the evening is complete!

A total humiliation for the Utah Jazz.

Beaten by 42.

Chicago leads the series two games to one,
but somehow it seems like more than that.

- Coach...
- This is actually the score?

- Is this the final?
- That's the final.

In sports, Dennis Rodman
is in more hot water this morning.

The talk at practice Monday

wasn't just about what the Jazz
was missing in game three,

but who the Bulls were missing
the day after.

Dennis Rodman, once again,
was nowhere to be found.

Is it true that Dennis
wasn't at practice today?

- That's true.
- Is that an excused absence?

- No, it's not.
- What transpired?

I don't know. He's not here.

I got the world heavyweight title,
and with Rodzilla in the house,

there will be no stopping
nWo Hollywood now!

So, Dennis Rodman
ran off after game three.

He took a detour, um,

from playing with the Bulls

to become a wrestler with Hulk Hogan.

And by the way, big dog,
I just love the way

you threw Malone around like a dishrag.

You just be the bomb, brah.

I wasn't trying anything.

I was just trying to play basketball,
party... fuck all the girls.

And so that just happened to be me,
Dennis shit, you know.

There are some things
worth missing practice for, brother.

He has a chartered plane ready and waiting
to whisk him off to some wrestling deal

where the scripted action called for him
to hit a guy with a chair.

Oh, my goodness!
That was Rodman!

Dennis' sideshow,
is it a reality check for the Bulls?

I think they're all very disturbed,
the coaches and the players.

He'll be fined
for this latest offense.

Rodman faces punishment by the Bulls
for missing practice.

Dickey, you weren't here
at the start were you?


We beat up Dennis with some boffers.
You got to miss out on that shit.

Because he brought fame
and disreputation on all of us.

We were dishonored.

That's a good piece of money,

All right, let's go.

Come on, Rodzilla! Rodzilla!

The bad-boy reputation that, frankly,
Dennis carefully cultivated

overshadowed his contributions
as a player.

But Phil knew
that he was a singular defensive player

who contributed mightily
to the success of that team.

Does it bother you that he's
taking away the focus from the Finals?

No, he's only taking your focus
away from the Finals, not ours.

I just think that Phil realized
that I need to always do me,

just go do what I do.

You know, like the playoff game,
I went to go wrestle.

If I did this, I go over here,
if I do that, I got to go do this.

They're gonna get 100%
when I'm on the court.

If they see him, they'll think
he'll go out that way.

If he closes the door, they just think...

Here's the problem.

You got 300 freaking media out there.

Dennis blew off practice and he got fined
and he's got nothing to say to nobody.

As he would say, "in his words."

So we gotta try to sneak him out
gate three and a half...

while 300 media are in the main hallway
in front of the locker room.

I don't know if we'll get that done.

Good evening,
ladies and gentlemen.

Has there been a Rodman sighting or is he
off wrestling with Hulk Hogan tonight?

Eisley, gotta get rid of it.

Rebound to Rodman.
It's a two-point game...

and it stays there as Pippen misses,
but Rodman chases it down.

Rodman is there!

Scottie for three!

Rodman's there and Anderson fouled him.

The Worm is a poor free throw shooter.

Certainly not the guy you want on the line
in this situation if you're Phil Jackson.

He rolls the dice, he makes 'em both!
Who needs practice?

Off the court,
his tired freak show continues,

but on the court,
he brings tremendous energy and heart.

And Chicago wins it by four.

They're poised to finish Utah off
on Friday night.

What are your thoughts?

It might not only be your last game
with the Bulls, but your last game ever.

You've sat... Sitting on the fence here,

and obviously it's a thing
that the world wants to know.

Well, the world basically is gonna
have to wait and see what happens.

I mean, uh...

The job is not done,
so let's not celebrate yet.

Hey, try not to be dogshit tonight, dog.

For one time, come out ready to play.

Know what I mean?

You go out there, play hard, and we win,

you don't have to hear me
no more, ever again!

- I'm going to California with you.
- Shit!

- What time is our flight?
- Scott, after tonight...

if I ever see you again,
I'm gonna whip your ass.

You know I'mma whip your ass.

If it's in a bar,
I'mma start a barroom brawl.

Are your shoes okay?

I don't want you sliding all over
the damn place out there.

I'mma slide a ring on your hand tonight,
Tex. That's all you need to know.

Tonight, game five
of the 1998 NBA Finals,

and a win for the Bulls
caps the repeat three-peat.

The stage is set
for a celebration.

When Michael smells
the finish line, he knows how to close.

If this is the last dance,

you might as well have it
on your own dance floor.

Malone's first shot is there.

Stockton... gives it to Malone.

I sense a little anxiety,
a little tightness here in Chicago.

May be a lack of focus
preparing for the parade and celebration,

you're forgetting that you gotta come out
and play a game.

Malone... 39 points!

Personally pushing back for Utah.

10.4 seconds remaining.
Kukoc will play it in. Pippen...

Out to Kukoc for three,

he hits it!

Five seconds, it's a one-point game.

A two-point Utah lead.
Timeout Chicago. Bulls ball at half court.

For the Bulls
to win this at home,

they're gonna have to finish with a bang,
and a giant bang.


Into Jordan, a prayer...

And we go to Utah.

Rip up the headlines.
It is very much a series.

I would have loved to have
won it here at home...

but it didn't happen.

Everyone thought I could make the shot
and that's the beauty of the game.

For 1.1 seconds,

everybody was holding their breath,
which is kinda cute.

The Bulls know how to close,
but last night, the Jazz held their own.

Utah knew it was going
to Salt Lake City

after Friday night's game five.

The Jazz just didn't know
Chicago would also be along for the ride.

The Bulls now 5-4
in title-clinching games,

and if they hope to win it this year,
it'll have to be in Utah.

This is it.
The Jazz have forced a game six.

Can they stay alive and take it to seven?

Both games here in Salt Lake City.
The crowd is going nuts.

The calm before the storm.

Not a lot of joking today, huh?

Like in those movies when you see the lion
just sitting in the shade, just staring?

Might see the kill today.

Some injury news,
and it's not good news

for Bulls forward Scottie Pippen.

After a great defensive effort
in game three,

during which he drew numerous charges,

Pippen has been experiencing stiffness
in his back. Earlier, we spoke with...

Everybody got their hand in?

Hands in means
"All for one, and one for all."

This is it.
Let's go out and give our best.

- What time is it?
- Game time!

We welcome you back
to Salt Lake City for game six.

And should the Jazz win tonight
and force a game seven,

then it would be worth noting

that very few teams have ever won
a seventh game on the road in the Finals.

Utah would have a slight edge,
it would seem, in that scenario.

So, if the Bulls want to
bring the hammer down,

game six is the time to do it.

Jordan, guarded by Russell.

Hornacek will open on Pippen.
They'll try and post Scottie on him.

They go to it right away.
Stockton comes over on the double team.

Now back to Scottie,
and they couldn't recover,

and an easy two for Scottie.

I started the game,

and the first play of the game,
I went for a dunk.

And it jammed my back.

I was done after that.

I'm telling MJ I can't go no more.
"Dude, I'm done."

It looks like Pippen is laboring
as he moves up and down the court.

A back injury is one of
the most crippling of injuries.

Malone... gets his first!

Jordan for three. Got it!

The Bulls lead by nine,
but here's the bad news for them:

moments ago, Scottie Pippen,
accompanied by trainer Chip Schaefer,

leaves the bench
and heads for the locker room.

He was in such pain.

Um, so disabled.

He had continued loss of function.

He was losing mobility
and his pain was increasing.

It was just sort of...
kind of spiraling.

Scottie's telling
the medical staff he is not able to play.

That could be the end of it
for Scottie tonight.

Malone in traffic.

Got his own, and put it back in.

Malone against Wennington.

Off balance,
hit it, plus the foul!

When Scottie left,
we were just kinda holding on.

Shot clock violation.
Michael gave it up.

They weren't even close to hoisting a shot
before 24 seconds.

It's Malone...

And it's Utah with the lead.

Only moments ago, they trailed by nine.

This will be
a very wearing game for Jordan.

They'll try to tire him down
and wear him out.

It will be interesting to see if he'll
have enough at the end of the game

because of the minutes
he's gonna have to play.

During the break,
I was in the locker room

trying to get some heat and steam
and stuff put on it

to try to see if I can,
you know, do something.

Ahmad Rashad,
back at the Delta Center,

where the Jazz lead the Bulls by four.

The big story in the first half has been
the condition of Scottie Pippen's back.

He's really been hurting.

Scottie Pippen is back
out here on the floor.

Whether or not he'll be able to play,
and play effectively, we'll find out.

Could you start? Really?

All right.

Utah in possession
as we start the third quarter.

Malone, right to work!

Rodman battling like crazy,
but can't quite hold onto it.

And Rodman trips Malone up.
They've got to call a flagrant here.

They've got to call a flagrant.

I love what I'm seeing,
the battle between these two guys.

They're fighting,
giving it everything they got.

Rodman... drills a 20-footer,
and gives it that "go figure" gesture.

This is Scottie out high,
immediately returns it to Harper.

A little jump hook. It's good.

Is Pippen anything more than a decoy now
on offense for Chicago?

I was a decoy that whole game,
but they didn't know it.

Michael said, "You just stay out here,
do what you can do.

You better being out here
than in the locker room."

So I gutted myself through that game.

Pippen, giving it his best.

And that time, it was good enough.

Pippen is barely
getting up and down the floor.

So, I'm taking all the shots,

I'm bringing all the energy,
and I got very little left in the tank.

As we start the fourth quarter,
Jordan has scored 29 points.

He's played 34 of the 36 minutes so far...

after playing 45 on Friday night.

You have to believe fatigue
is an important factor now.

Out to MJ for three! It's short.

Michael... Short.

The jumpers come up short
when fatigue is a factor.

There's Pippen heading back
to the locker room again

to try to stretch out that ailing back.

We had a massage therapist
working with him

and using medication
and doing everything we could...

to try to relieve his pain
and his symptoms.

Treat him for five minutes so he can get
pain relief and play for five minutes.

They had him in the back,

they were putting ice on his back and
electrical stimulation for pain relief,

and they were trying to bide their time
up until the ten-minute mark

to bring him back out and see if he
can play the last ten minutes of the game.

As you can see, he's back on the floor.
We just have to see how it goes.

Anybody that'd have a notion
that Pippen was a soft player

is patently absurd.

He's as tough a player and as intense
a competitor as anybody I've worked with.

What he did in game six was extraordinary.

I know so many players
that would've tapped out

without hesitation in that situation.

And he was gonna just throw it out there
and finish it no matter what.

Malone, three defenders on him
and they take it away.

It's Pippen wincing as he
comes up with the loose ball.

Scottie just hobbling around.

Jordan with the jumper.

And with 37 points

as Utah falls behind now for
the first time since the second quarter.

Stockton has a little daylight...

and Utah has a three-point lead.

Pippen in the lane,

connects on the turnaround.
Playing through clenched teeth.

Game six is going back and forth
and back and forth...

and I just didn't see any way
this wasn't going seven.

Utah was really mentally tough.

Fifty seconds.


Crosscourt Stockton, a three...

It's there!

There was less than a minute to play.
We're down three.

Phil calls timeout.

This is a big 20-second
timeout for Chicago

because it allows Jordan to get some rest.

Michael Jordan,
at this advanced stage of his career,

has to carry the team.

He has to play extra minutes
in a grueling series.

And that last sequence
in the final half-minute-plus...

is one of the greatest sequences
you'll ever see in any sport.

The Bulls want a
two-for-one possession here.

Try to get a quick score
and get to the free-throw line

to give them two opportunities for one.

Pippen into Jordan.

Michael working on Russell.

Brings them to within one.

Michael takes it right to the rim
and lays it in, so now we need to stop.

When I made the layup
and it went back down,

I knew they were gonna run
that patented play through Karl Malone.

They ran that play a couple times prior.

And Dennis and Malone
had been fighting all game.

And Karl totally forgot
that I was on the weak side.

Malone is doubled.
They swat at it and steal it.

Michael never clears,
so Malone doesn't see him.

He comes from the blind side
and strips him.

Now I got the ball,
and I can see Phil,

basically out of the corner of my eye.

He wasn't gonna call a timeout.

If we could do something
without them talking about it,

working against a set defense,

we'd rather go with a live ball situation.

Seventeen seconds from game seven
or from championship number six.

What are you thinking
as you're coming back up the floor?

"Get the hell out the way."

"Get the hell out the way,"
only thing I was thinking.

I ain't had to do shit. All I did was
plant myself right down there.

I knew it, I said,
"He's gonna shoot this fucker."

He is not gonna pass this fucking ball.

I don't give a fuck if it's John Paxson
or fucking Steve Kerr.

Hell no, this is his turn.

When I scoped over the floor,

I felt like I can get a jump shot off
or I can get all the way to the basket.

So it's just a matter of me
picking the right time when to attack.

Jordan, open...

Chicago with the lead!

Timeout Utah.

5.2 seconds left.

Michael Jordan running on fumes
with 45 points.

At the end of the game,
you gotta get it out of his hands.

He's a killer.

Watch Jordan's left hand here
as he gives Russell the push.

Referee can't see that.

Jordan frees himself up for a clean look.

Everybody say I pushed off him.

Bullshit. His energy was going that way.
I didn't have to push him that way.

Russell was already stumbling away.

That hand on his backside

was the equivalent of a maître d'
showing someone to their table.

When he took that shot,

you could just hear the energy
get sucked right out of the building.

That may have been the last shot
Michael Jordan will ever take in the NBA.

If that's the last image
of Michael Jordan, how magnificent is it?

And those devastated fans...

were just groaning this collective groan
as the Jazz take timeout.

I'm tired as hell. I'm exhausted.

But I have one more stop.

One more stop, big man,
one more stop.

Here we go, baby.
Come on, baby, one more stop.

I can't do nothing else.
Just go to the basket.

You got to be ready to run a charge.
Don't give 'em another T.

I'm collecting my thoughts,
but I'm tired.

I'm trying to muster up the energy...

to finish this off.

If they score,
there's a game seven.

If they don't,
for the second straight year,

they go out on six.

Stockton, Harper's on him.

Behind the screen.
Harper got a piece of it.

It comes off!

The Chicago Bulls...

have won their sixth NBA championship,

and it's their second three-peat.

Oh, my God! That was beautiful!

- What a finish!
- I had faith!

I'll bet you did. God bless you.

The Chicago Bulls, the 1998 NBA Champion,

and a team for the ages.

- Can you believe it?
- Yeah, I can.

I can't believe it.

- I believed in it.
- That was beautiful.

I never gave up. I never gave up.

Every time we were close,
I knew we were gonna do it. I knew it.

1998 NBA Finals MVP, Michael Jordan.

He's a hero. He's the guy
that delivered every time he was asked

during these types of situations.

Man, can you believe it? Six.

- Six!
- Six.

Six of 'em! Six of 'em!

Yes, sir! Six of them!

Now, y'all say whatever you want,
they can't win till we quit.

Check that out. Man, look at that.

That's waterproof color right there,
that's waterproof.

- What was you watching this afternoon?
- I was watching Man with the Iron Face.

- Iron Mask.
- Iron Mask.

And he's here!

You know what I told the guys
when we stuck our hands in?

- What?
- All for one and one for all.

I did. I'm not kidding.

- Congratulations.
- Thank you. I'm glad you came.

You did some beautiful stuff
just now, man. That was poetic.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Can you continue this,
with this championship?

I'm not even gonna think about this.
All I'm gonna think about is

tonight have fun, tomorrow morning,
we'll worry about everything else.

Scottie, now that you're celebrating,
feeling good,

you're coming back next year, right?

I'll answer that in a couple days.
Maybe at Grant Park.

Greatest team to ever play this game.

You just gotta respect it.
If they don't respect that?

There's a lot of people
doing a lot of illegal drugs.

- Thanks, man.
- That's what it is. That's it.

Can you imagine? It's still daylight.

We might be able
to get some golf swings in.

This is great. This was the greatest.

Dennis, good job.

Fellas. Great job.

Thank you, man. Take care, man.
Tell the wife I say hello, okay?

See you guys. Excuse me.

Upon arrival at the hotel...

we just had cameras in front of us
and people waiting for autographs.

That was so amazing, you know,
just being with the group...

- Jordan! Jordan! Jordan!
- ...and feeling that rush of adrenaline...

because of people's adoration
for Michael, mainly.


I'm sorry,
is this the smoking floor?

- Yes, it is.
- It is now.

♪ We are the champions ♪

♪ My friend! ♪

- Kiss it.
- Kiss the trophy?

- Yeah.
- Oh, man!

Yeah! Damn right!

Phil said, "Can you play 48 minutes?"
I said, "Whatever it takes."

It didn't help much
when Scottie went down.

I wasn't expecting him to go down.
That scared the shit out of me.

How good did that
jumper feel? I see you gave the little...

Oh, I had to, everything was short!

Flicking my wrist, everything was short.
I had a great...

- That time I put one of them...
- All the way!

Fundamental shit,
you throw your two fingers at it.

Got another one in ya?

It's the moment, man. It's the moment!

That Zen Buddhism shit,
y'all get in the moment and stay here.

Just stay in the moment till next October,
then we know where the hell we are.

world champs, NBA mack daddies.

Chicago completing
its second three-peat this decade.

Tens of thousands of fans
in Chicago's Grant Park,

chanting, "One more year!"

One more year!

I wanna tell Jerry Reinsdorf
he'd better bring 'em back.

Because if he doesn't,
we're gonna ride him out of town.

And now,
your six-time world champion

Chicago Bulls!

About a year ago,
Jerry Reinsdorf called me and asked me,

did I think we could do it again?

I said yes.

Without Scottie coming back,
we never would have got it done.

And Michael loaded us up on his shoulders
and carried us home.

And I want to thank Jerry Krause
for giving us the opportunity to do it.

He had another plan, but he put it aside.

Thanks, Jerry.

We can't knock him.
We gotta give him credit.

He deserves the credit because
he was the general manager of those teams.

I've had a lot of great people in my life,
and that's why my success happened.

I played with Phil Jackson,
the greatest coach in the game.

Michael Jordan, the greatest player
in the game.

Jerry Krause, obviously the greatest
general manager in the game.

I want to thank all my teammates,
the organization. It's been a great run.

Thank you for our last dance.

I know a lot of people didn't think
we'd end up back in Grant Park this year.

Nobody knows if we're gonna be
in Grant Park next year.

But the one thing I do know is
my heart, my soul and my love

has always gone to the city of Chicago.

And I do know that,
no matter what happens,

my heart and my soul and my love
will still be in the city of Chicago.

You have to
almost appreciate his celebrity even more.

Because he didn't have those platforms
to be known worldwide.

There was no ability to promote yourself
through social media,

to post videos, no tweets,
nothing like that.

He was known for his play

and for having
this larger-than-life persona.

I'm most proud of the impact

that those teams had
on the city of Chicago and the fans.

When we had the celebrations after
each of the championships in Grant Park,

and to look out over a crowd of faces as
far as you can see, and they're all happy.

They're all happy. It makes you feel good
that you played some role

in bringing happiness to these people.

In '92,
the NBA was in 80 countries.

And now the NBA is in 215 countries.

Anyone who understands that phenomenon
of that historical arc

will understand
that Michael Jordan and his era

played an incredibly important part in it.

He advanced us tremendously.

There are great players who don't have
an impact beyond their sport.

And then there are certain sports figures
who become a larger cultural force.

Michael Jordan helped
to create a different way

in which people thought about
the African-American athlete,

a different way in which
people saw athletics

as part of the entertainment business.

He became an extraordinary ambassador
not just for basketball,

but I think for
the United States overseas,

and part of American culture
sweeping the globe.

Michael Jordan and the Bulls...

changed the culture.

That night, Jerry Reinsdorf called me up,
and he asked me to come back.

After the sixth championship,

I offered him the opportunity
to come back.

"You've earned the chance,
the opportunity to come back,

regardless of what was said before now."

I said, "Well, I think I should
just take a break."

I said, "I don't think it's fair to Jerry,

and I know it'd be difficult for him
to accept that."

Let me play you...

This is Jerry Reinsdorf saying why
he had to break the team up.

- Reinsdorf?
- Yeah.

I can't wait to hear this.
I never understood...

We've never had any dialogue about why.
I made my own assumptions why.

Now after
the sixth championship,

things were beyond our control.

Because it would have been suicidal

at that point in their careers,
to bring back...

Pippen, Steve Kerr, Rodman, Ron Harper.

Their market value individually
was gonna be too high.

They weren't gonna be worth the money
they'd get in the market.

So, when we realized that we were
gonna have to go into a rebuild,

I went to Phil and offered him

the opportunity to come back
the next year.

But he said,
"I don't wanna go through a rebuild.

I don't wanna coach a bad team."

That was the end.
It just came to an end on its own.

You know, had Michael been healthy
and wanted to come back,

I don't doubt that Krause could've rebuilt
another championship team

in a couple years. But, yeah,
it wasn't gonna happen instantly.

In '98... Krause already said
at the beginning of the season,

Phil can go 82-0,
and he was never gonna be the coach.

So, when Phil said it was the last dance,
it was the last dance.

We knew they weren't gonna keep the team.

Now, they could have nixed all of it
at the beginning of '98.

Why say that statement
at the beginning of '98?

If you ask all the guys who won in '98...

Steve Kerr, Jud Buechler,
blah, blah, blah...

"We give you one-year contract
to try for the seventh."

You think they would've signed?
Yes, they would've signed.

Would I have signed for one year?
Yes, I would have.

I'd been signing one-year contracts
up to that.

Would Phil have done it? Yes.

Now, Pip,
you would've had to do some convincing,

but if Phil was gonna be there,

if Dennis was gonna be there,
if MJ was gonna be there,

to win our seventh,
Pip is not gonna miss out on that.

You know, '91-'92, I was...

I was young, full of energy, hungry.

In '98, when you're winning
six out of eight,

and yet being just as dominant
as you were in '91,

that's where the craftsmanship came in.

I think '98 was much better
than any of the other years

because of how I was able to use my mind
as well as my body.

So was it then satisfying
to leave at your peak?


Or is it maddening
to leave at your peak?

It's maddening, yeah,
because I felt like...

we could have won seven.

I really believe that.

We may not have, but, man,
just not to be able to try,

that's something that I just can't accept.

For whatever reason,
I just can't accept it.

This is a good time to go.

It's a great run,
we'd had a wonderful time. Good team.

Time to go.

I remember there was this
team meeting with Phil...

and it was like, "This is it."

My wife had gotten her master's
in social work

and she was part of a group that went in
to help people who were grieving.

One of the things they did was a ritual,
in which they put things to rest.

He says, "This is it, the last dance.
Last time we're ever gonna be together."

He asked everybody to bring in
anything you want to write

about what the team means to you.

"Write what being on this team
has meant to you during this year...

and read it and we'll burn it
in a coffee can."

And every guy
had emotional words to say.

And I remember
Michael actually wrote a poem.

It was a depth of emotion
that you never thought he had.

♪ You can spend your time alone ♪

Phil had this knack,

no matter how big you are
or how big you think you are,

to always draw you in
to be a part of the process.

I'm not a poet.
I just spoke what I felt at the time.

We're always gonna be bonded.

You say thanks for the past,
enjoy the moment.

Let's make sure we end it right.

We saw him as this bully sometimes.

But that day, he showed his compassion
and his empathy for all of us.

Then everybody put the paper in the can,
and at the end of the session...

Phil turned out the lights
and he lit the paper in the can.

It's one of the most powerful things
I've ever seen.

♪ You can spend your time alone ♪

♪ Re-digesting past regrets, oh ♪

When I look back, it's very gratifying
to come from Wilmington, North Carolina,

and never been in Chicago

but that became my home
and became a part of my history.

My passion on the basketball court
should have been infectious

because that's how I tried to play.
I played for them.

Start with hope.

Start with hope.

♪ In the present tense ♪

We went from a shitty team...

to one of the all-time best dynasties.

All you needed was one little match...

to start that whole fire.

Stolen by Pippen!
Scottie Pippen, a great play!

Here's Michael
at the foul line, a shot on Ehlo... Good!

The Bulls win it!
They win it!

A spectacular move by Michael Jordan!

I just want the franchise
and Chicago Bulls to be respected.

Like the Lakers or the Philadelphia 76ers
or the Boston Celtics.

Hopefully I can... That this team

and this organization
can build a program like that.