The Last Dance (2020): Season 1, Episode 5 - Episode V - full transcript

From Air Jordan and "Be Like Mike" to the '92 NBA Finals and the Olympic Dream Team, Michael becomes a global cultural icon like any other.

["If I Ruled The World (Imagine That)"

[Costas] Michael Jordan
has said it many times.

He considers Madison Square Garden to be
the mecca of basketball.

If, in fact, this is his final
NBA All-Star Game,

it's a perfect place
to make a last statement.

[reporter 1] On the verge
of a repeat three-peat,

Michael Jordan is playing his last year.

Bulls GM Jerry Krause swore on Wednesday

that Phil Jackson
would not return next year,

and said if Michael chooses to leave

because there was another coach,
then it's his choice.

- Boy! Hey!
- [man] What's up?

Hey, your feet look good!

[reporter 2] Kobe Bryant,
the youngest All-Star in history

- at 19 years, five months.
- [reporter 3] I've talked to him.

It's the same thing.
He's a 19-year-old kid.

They're saying, "Kobe, you look ready
to be the man at the All-Star Game."

You can't forget the king
is still on the court.

♪ If I ruled the world ♪

[photographer] Michael's going here?

- [Jordan] There you go.
- [photographer] You get the chair.

Man, I must be the old guy.
I remember I used to be way in the back.

[photographer] We gave you
a nice, comfortable chair.

[camera shutter clicks]

So you're feeling all right, huh?

I guess so,
since you're gonna play me 40 minutes.

[chuckles] You better be ready.

[photographer] Good shots out there.

[Bird] If you don't have anything
in the middle, kick it out,

make that extra pass,
somebody should be wide open for a three.

While we're here, we might as well win.

- [player 1] Yeah.
- [player 2] Right?

That Laker boy's
gonna take everybody one-on-one.

I know, right?

- [player 3 laughs] Yeah!
- [player 4] Who, Kobe? Yeah.

[Jordan] He don't let the game come
to him. He just go out there and take it.

I'm going to make this shit happen.
I'm gonna make this a one-on-one game.

[player 5] I figured after the first four
attempts didn't go in, he was gonna chill.

[player 6] What?

[Jordan] After the first four attempts?

If I was his teammate,
I wouldn't pass him the fucking ball!

You want this ball again, brother,
you better rebound. [chuckles]

- This is the East locker room.
- [Johnson] Hold up, hold up.

- [Jordan] Got nothing to do with the West.
- [Johnson] Hold up.

He got nothing
but his damn Laker colors on.

Yeah, yeah, like he coaching.

Now, I'm with the old motherf... Oops!

- The old mugs.
- There ain't many of us here.

That's why I come to say
"What's up?" to my boy.

- [Jordan] What's happening? How you doing?
- How you feeling?


[man] Good, man.

- Michael...
- I'm lovin' it.

Would you like to have
some of his ass today?

[Johnson] Hey, you know
I'd be coming at him, Larry.

[Jordan] Just like I used to come
at both of y'all.

[all laugh]

[Costas] Just about tip-off time
at Madison Square Garden

for the 48th NBA All-Star Game.

And there you see Kobe Bryant
in the foreground,

the man many have dubbed
the next Michael Jordan.

I got Mike, I got Mike.

- [Costas] Here is Michael.
- [Bryant] Ah!

[Costas] Count it,
plus the foul for Jordan!

[Bryant] I grew up watching Michael on TV,

and now you got a chance
to go face-to-face with him.

You get a chance to really see
and touch and feel...

the strength, speed, quickness. And, um...

It was fun to be out there.

[Costas] He's got the ball
in his hands again.

To Garnett. Back to Kobe!

[commentators] Oh!

He just wants to get
to the offensive end and go one-on-one.

I'm gonna make his ass work down here.

[player] He make it out,
we gotta get back!

He hauling ass.

I ain't tryin' to be down there
on a poster, dog.

I ain't jumpin' with him. No.

It was a rough couple of years for me,
coming to the league.

At the time, the league was much older.
It's not as young as it is today.

So, nobody was really thinking much of me.

I was the kid that... shot a bunch
of air-balls, you know what I mean?

And at that point, Michael provided
a lot of guidance for me.

I had a question
about shooting his turnaround shot,

so I asked him about it.

And he gave me a great, detailed answer,

but on top of that, he said, "If you ever
need anything, give me a call."

He's like my big brother.

I truly hate having discussions
about who would win one-on-one,

and fans saying, "Kobe,
you'd beat Michael one-on-one."

And I feel like, "Yo!

What you get from me
is from him."

I don't get five championships here
without him,

'cause he guided me so much
and he gave me so much great advice.

[commentator] Kobe had challenged Michael.

Michael comes out and he's saying,
"Not tonight, young fella. Uh-uh, Kobe.

I got some more tricks left in my bag."

He's not ready to leave yet, folks.

[Miller] Great job, guys.
Hey, Jordan, you're my boy.

Thank you. You know it, you know it.

- I'll see you down the road.
- Cool.

- Congratulations.
- You're my boy.

See you in the Finals. Hopefully.

- Y'all gonna be there.
- I know we will.

I ain't that soft!

[Jordan] Big Daddy!

[Stern] I'm only gonna allow him
to have his trophy

if he promises to come back
and do it again.

[crowd cheering]

The All-Star of All-Stars,
the MVP, Michael Jordan.

If there was ever any doubt

that he could've kept playing
at an MVP and championship level...

there's the All-Star Game, he's the MVP.

He's still the star among stars.

Even though there were
explanations offered,

people couldn't understand
why he was gonna step away.

The public wanted him to keep going.

[commentator 1] A spectacular move!

[commentator 2] The game's over!

[commentator 3]
Chicago Stadium is going wild!

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

It's time for me to move on.

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

- [man 1] Are the expectations too high?
- [man 2] Where do we go from here?

[woman] The only question: how long can it last?

[Jordan] Knowing this is the last dance,
unless something actually changes,

I went into Madison Square Garden,

"This is the last time
I'm gonna be playing here."

And that was my favorite place to play.

Went back and grabbed
an old pair of Jordan 1s.

It's the first shoe I wore in the Garden,

so this was gonna be the last shoe,

being that this was the last time
I'd play in the Garden.

["Can I Kick It?" playing]

- ♪ Can I kick it? ♪
- ♪ Yes, you can! ♪

- ♪ Can I kick it? ♪
- ♪ Yes, you can! ♪

- ♪ Well, I'm gone ♪
- ♪ Go on, then ♪

♪ Can I kick it?
To my Tribe that flows in layers... ♪

[Kukoc] Sweet. You laced those.

[Jordan] Toni, you weren't around.
You was a baby when I broke these out.

[Kukoc] What was the year?

- '84. How old were you?
- [Kukoc] That's when I started.

You were 12 years old.

[man] Toni was still in diapers.

[Jordan] You look at these shoes,

you put these shoes on
then put on some of them...

Innovation has taken a long turn.

[Falk] I first met Michael Jordan in 1984.
I went to North Carolina

to interview Michael and his family
to represent him.

His parents asked great questions.

They were very intelligent,
extremely personable.

Our firm, ProServ, had a lot of
very high-profile tennis clients,

like Jimmy Connors,
Stan Smith, Arthur Ashe.

Arthur Ashe had his own shoes
and tennis racket.

This is the racket I won Wimbledon with.
You could've bought it. Really.

The strategy was to try to take
a team sport player

and treat him more like a golfer
or a boxer or a tennis player.

I said to David,
"What are you trying to do?

You trying to turn this guy
into a tennis player?

He's a basketball player,
he's not a tennis player."

I said, "That's exactly what I'm trying
to do." And the very first deal was shoes.

We took him out to meet Converse,

which, at that time,
was the official shoe of the NBA.

[singing] ♪ The Converse Weapon ♪

♪ That's the shoe lets Magic do
What he was born to do ♪

[Falk] They have Magic Johnson,
Dr. J, Bernard King, Larry Bird...

♪ Y'all already know what you did for me ♪

- ♪ What? ♪
- ♪ I walked away with the MVP ♪

[announcer] The Converse Weapon.
The number-one weapon in the NBA.

Converse had big players,
and told me, "We cannot...

envision you being put ahead of them."

Okay. Fine.

[interviewer] Did you have a shoe company
that you wanted to go with?

That was Adidas.

I like the Lakers
and I like Marques Johnson.

And I like Adidas. I like the Adidas shoe.

[Falk] Adidas was really dysfunctional
by that time.

They had just told me,
"We'd love to have Jordan.

We just can't make a shoe work
at this point in time."

I wanted Michael to go with Nike
because they were the upstart.

[White] In the early '80s, Nike was,
for the most part, a track shoe company.

Michael didn't even wanna be at Nike.

I couldn't even get him to get on
the damn plane and go visit the campus,

so I called his parents.

[Jordan] My mother said,
"You're gonna go listen.

You may not like it,
but you're gonna go listen."

"Mom, I don't wanna hear it.
I know what I wanna do.

I am not going to Nike's, Mama."

I says, "Michael,
you have to give 'em an opportunity."

She made me go on that plane
and go listen.

I go into that meeting,
not wanting to be there.

Nike made this big pitch.

My father said, "You gotta be a fool
for not taking this deal."

Back then, the best guys might've gotten
$100,000 or so,

and he got probably $250,000.

It was like...

"You will pay him what?

A young rookie...

that's done nothing?

You must be out of your mind."

[Falk] When I negotiated the Nike deal,
I said to them,

"You're a small company,
and if you want Michael Jordan,

he's gotta have his own shoe line."

Nike had just come out
with this new technology

for their running shoes called Air Soles.

And obviously, Michael played in the air.

I said, "I got it.
We're gonna call it Air Jordan."

"Air Jordan"?
That got a pretty good ring to it.

["I Got It Made" playing]

[Falk] Nike's expectation,
when we signed the deal,

was at the end of year four,

they hoped to sell $3 million
worth of Air Jordans.

In year one, we sold $126 million.

♪ I get paid when my record is played ♪

♪ To put it short ♪

♪ I got it made ♪

[reporter 1] As a commodity,

Michael Jordan is as hot
as a Cabbage Patch doll right now.

The endorsements are fast and furious.

The photo sessions seem endless.

[reporter 2] Like a politician,

Jordan moves gracefully
through a crowd of admirers,

sipping orange juice,
collecting business cards.

Deals have already been cut with
Wilson Sporting Goods, McDonald's...

For a kid, it was almost like...
holding a lightsaber from Star Wars.

You needed that shoe to be like him.

It was more than a status symbol.

You knew this guy was the guy.

♪ 'Cause I got it made ♪

They came in different styles.

The other brands didn't change too much.
Jordans changed with the times.

Everybody was like,
"You gotta get a pair of Jordans."

And so, every year we would save up money.

I would cut grass, and do chores,

and save up money,
and wait in line at Foot Locker.

Before Michael Jordan,
sneakers were just for playing basketball.

And all of a sudden,
sneakers became fashion and culture.

My first film was She's Gotta Have It.

I played a character called Mars Blackmon.
And I made sure that Mars

would be wearing a pair of Air Jordans

because Michael is the hero
of the youth today.

You stepped on my brand new
white Air Jordans that I just bought.

- How much you pay for 'em?
- A hundred bucks!

- American dollars!
- $108 with tax!

I'd give him 100 headaches.

And the fact that Nike used Spike Lee
to produce Jordan commercials

suddenly brought urban culture

and crossed it together with sports.

[man] Mark.

Yo! Mars Blackmon here
with my main man Michael Jordan.

Yo, Mike, what makes you
the best player in the universe?

- Is it the vicious dunks?
- [Jordan] No, Mars.

- Is it the haircut?
- No, Mars.

- Is it the shoes?
- No, Mars.

Money, it's gotta be the shoes.

Shoes. Shoes. Shoes. Shoes.

- You sure it's not the shoes?
- I'm sure, Mars.


[Jordan] My game
was my biggest endorsement.

What I did on the basketball court,
my dedication to the game,

led to all this other stuff.

Believe me, if I was averaging two points,
three rebounds,

I wouldn't have signed anything
with anybody.

So, my game did all my talking.

[commentator 1]
We are back at Madison Square Garden.

[commentator 2] Michael Jordan wearing
the original Air Jordans

that he wore the first time he played
at Madison Square Garden back in 1984.

[commentator 3] And Michael will get
a standing ovation

from the Garden crowd here.

[Costas] Michael. Two seconds
to shoot. Over Houston. Got it!

[commentator 4] It must be the shoes.

[Costas] Michael... hits again!

[crowd cheering]

[commentator 4] This is beautiful
basketball that we're watching.

By half-time, my feet are bleeding.

But I'm having a good game.
I don't wanna take 'em off.

[Costas] Michael... Oh, my goodness!

A number of the players and even
two of the officials are laughing.

Michael Jordan now has 40 points.

And only one guy
has this level of artistry.

Spinning in the lane for the slam!

[chuckling] And Spike Lee
is all over Michael Jordan,

and Michael has a few words
by way of retort.

[commentator 4] He just told him
that he couldn't guard him.

He said, "You can't guard me.
You too little."

Then he says, "You come out here."
Spike says, "I will, Money." [laughs]

[Costas] Michael with 42,

and if this was Michael Jordan's
final game at Madison Square Garden,

he leaves no doubt whatsoever
that he exits just as he entered.

The best there is.

I couldn't take those shoes off
fast enough.

And when I took the shoes off,
my sock was soaked in blood.

It's kind of fun to
come back here and play,

and remember some of the old days
and some of the things...

Some of the games that I've had here,
and the shoes was a part of that...

My feet are killing me. [laughs]

- [man 1] Michael!
- [man 2] Michael!

[crowd clamoring]

[indistinct chatter]

[man] Close that door.
Hey, close that door!

I had to go back to all the way to '84
to whip y'all ass.

- Don't start that shit.
- I won't.

[Jordan] How you been doing?

[Jackson] Prior to the season of '92,

the team talked about the difficulty
of repeating.

And we had this statement,
"You're only a success

at the moment you perform
a successful act."

You have to do it again.

["The Choice is Yours" playing]

[commentator] Jordan with the block
and then the save, which was unbelievable.

I've always thought that the '92 team
was maybe the best Bulls team ever.

♪ You can get with this
Or you can get with that ♪

♪ You can get with this
Or you can get with that ♪

♪ You can get with this
Or you can get with that ♪

♪ I think you'll go with this
'Cause this is where it's at ♪

♪ You can get with this
Or you can get with that ♪

Starting with that season, I felt Michael
never played basketball anymore.

He just figured out how to win the game.

He knew how to steer momentum,
he knew how to get guys going.

And not only was he that good
on the offensive end,

he was just as good on the defensive end.

He was just playing a different game
than the rest of us.

He'd let us play.
But he was there to win the game.

And he knew that.

And once he figured that out,
you couldn't beat him.

[crowd cheering]

[commentator 1] Good evening,
basketball fans, wherever you may be.

Tonight begins the 1992 NBA Finals.

[commentator 2] The Chicago Bulls,
the Portland Trail Blazers.

The two best teams in the NBA
go head-to-head.

[commentator 3] We have two great teams
led by two superstar players.

All eyes will be focused on the matchup
of Drexler and Jordan.

When you look at these two players,

there's not a whole lot of difference
between 'em.

Both had outstanding seasons, seasons that
statistically mirrored each other.

[commentator 4] Clyde The Glide says,
"We're the two best in the game,

but I'm not getting into
a war of words with Mike."

Clyde was a threat.
I'm not saying he wasn't a threat.

But me being compared to him,
I took offense to that.

I'm working for NBC.

I'm covering the Finals.

So, the night before game one,
we're at Michael's house, playing cards,

and he said, "You know
what's gonna happen tomorrow.

I'm gonna give it to this dude."

[commentator] And the matchup
at the start,

Michael Jordan facing Clyde Drexler.

Jordan... from three-point land!

So he hit that first three.

- [commentator] Here's Pippen.
- [Johnson] And then here come the second.

- [commentator] Open for another three!
- The third one.

[commentator] Back to Jordan.
And hit for three!

That's his fourth three-point field goal.

Michael Jordan, with four three-pointers
in a half, has tied the NBA Finals record.

Michael didn't want anybody
to have nothing over him.

[commentator] Jordan for three! Yes!

An NBA Finals record.
Five three-pointers in a half.

And every time he hit a three,
he glanced over at me, at the NBC table.

[commentator] Here's Jordan again
from downtown.

Did you see that look?
Michael indicating he can't believe it.

An NBA championship record,
35 points in the half.

And he was like...
"I'm killing this dude."

Based on the way I was playing
at that time, it wasn't even close.

So I attacked him every night.

[commentator] Here's Jordan.

Jordan. Nice.

Thirty-five seconds.

Grant wide open!

What a move by Jordan!
Amazing! And hitting!

Four-point Chicago lead.

Drexler with the check. He thought
there might be a timeout remaining.

[crowd cheering]

The Chicago Bulls have won
the NBA championship

for the second straight season!


[players cheering]

One is great, two is almost impossible.
Congratulations, Chicago.

[Krause] This is the happiest moment
in many, many years!

It feels so good. Oh, boy!

The one thing I would say, and I'd say it
from Jerry Reinsdorf on down,

this is a great organization.

This organization is special.

From Jerry... It starts with Jerry,
and it goes down all the way to Joe Lee,

our clubhouse guy
who's been here 25 years.

It's an organization thing,
and that's what it's all about.

The team is great, but the organization
is one of the all-time great,

if not the greatest organization ever.
That's what I'm so much proud of.

- [man] Are you smoking a cigar, Mike?
- [Jordan] Yeah.

Give me one.

You can't smoke it.
It will stunt your growth.

[all laugh]

[McIntyre] Coming off
his second championship...

second Finals MVP, second MVP season,

Michael was the king of the world.

And it was the first year that we were
trying to get the pros into the Olympics.

[reporter] When are you putting on
the USAB sneakers?

Uh... It's a week from Sunday, isn't it?

[reporter] Yeah.

Yeah, but I got a lot of partying to do
from now until then.

- [man 1] Hey, Phil!
- I'm in charge of it today.

[man 2] He knows the neighborhood.

[Jordan] I tell you, the Olympics...

If Chuck Daly plays me
over ten minutes, I'm quitting.

[all laugh]

[Rashad] With the United States Basketball
taking a beating at international play,

the call went out for NBA help.
The result?

In 1992, for the first time,

a team of mostly NBA players
will defend America's Olympic pride.

[Jordan] Before the '92 Olympics,

Rod Thorn calls me and says, "We would
love for you to be on the Dream Team."

I says, "Who's all playing?"

He says, "What does that mean?"
I said, "Who's all playing?"

He says,
"Well, the guy you're talking about

or you're thinking about
is not gonna be playing."

[reporter] We're going
to ask a few things about the Olympics.

[sighs] All right. No Isiah Thomas stuff.

- [reporter] No Isiah Thomas questions.
- Cool.

Now there has been speculation

that your icy relationship
with Isiah Thomas

is the reason that he was not selected.

I respect Isiah Thomas' talent.

To me, the best point guard
of all time is Magic Johnson

and right behind him is Isiah Thomas.

No matter how much I hate him,
I respect his game.

Now, it was insinuated
that I was asking about him,

but I never threw his name in there.

I don't know what went into that process.

I met the criteria to be selected.

But I wasn't.

The Dream Team, based on the environment,

and the camaraderie that happened
on that team...

It was the best harmony.

Would Isiah have made
a different feeling on that team? Yes.

- [commentator 1] Magic Johnson angry.
- [commentator 2] He's very upset.

[Wilbon] At that point, Magic and Isiah
had had their thing.

Bird and Isiah have had their thing.

And Scottie. That's half the team.

They did not want to play with him.

Everybody puts it on Michael

'cause we knew that dislike
was out in the open.

[commentator] They left the bench
although there's 7.9 seconds remaining.

The Pistons just left.

But there was a lot more to it than that.

You want to attribute it to me, go ahead,
be my guest, but it wasn't me.

[reporter] With Jordan, Pippen, Magic
and Bird leading the way,

this team's billed as
the greatest ever assembled.

[interviewer] What did you treasure
the most

about that experience that summer?

The practices... and the camaraderie.

You know, how the guys bonded together.

[singing] ♪ Sometime I dream
That he is me ♪

♪ I just wanna be like Chuck...
I mean, Mike ♪

[photographer] Great!

You can't get too close to Michael.
It's a foul.

- Hey.
- [all laughing]

You haven't committed a foul in almost
a year and a half, man. How can you talk?

My goodness.

I don't think you ever
fouled out of a game.

When did he ever foul out of the game?

I'm the young guy
with the elder statesmen.

That's right, that's right.
They all have to listen to me.

Whatever I say, goes.

[cameraman] Who's that?

[Johnson] Man, I had some of my fondest
memories just hanging out with Michael.

We played cards every night
against each other,

and if I had the upper hand,
he wanted to play another hour.

Another hour.

And then, he never wants to just beat you.

He wants to put his foot
on your neck and just... [grunts]

I mean, "You're not satisfied
with beating me,

you wanna crush me, too?"


They had a practice game in Monte Carlo.

And Magic and Barkley's team
got off to a big lead.

- [player 1] Ball!
- [player 2] Whoo! Yes!

That was the greatest basketball, I think,
that we all were involved in.

Great passing, great shooting,
great defense.

All NBA players going back and forth
at each other.

[Malone] Let's go.

There was real trash talking
going on from...

Particularly from Charles and Magic
toward Michael.

Don't be cheatin' on me!

Magic always got under Michael's skin
for some reason.

[Johnson] Right there.
Right back at it, baby.

I'm coming after you. Free throws.

It's all right! That's all right!
Here we go!

[Jordan] God damn.
You don't play no defense. That's weak.

[Johnson] We ain't in Chicago Stadium
no more.

We're up about eight points, I think.
Something like that.

And I went over and tapped him.

I said, "Look, man, if you don't turn into
Air Jordan, we gonna blow you out."

Man, what did I say that for?

[Thorn] Michael proceeded to score
every time down the court.

He was like,
"You wanna know who the guy is?

Here's who the guy is."

[Johnson] He broke the huddle,
hit a three. Bam!

Came back down, hit another three. Bam!

He came through the middle
and just shook everybody. Bam!

Before we know, they was up two. [laughs]

- Yes!
- [whistle blows]


He drove to the basket
and the referee called a foul,

and Magic threw the ball up
to the top of the arena

and was screaming about,

"Just like the NBA, he gets every call!
Same thing over here!"

[Johnson] All they did was move
the Bulls stadium right here.

That's all they did. That's all they did.

[Jordan] This is the '90s.

[Johnson] I don't care if it's the '90s
or not. What's that supposed to mean?

[Jordan] This is the '90s.

How you like that ass kicking
we gave y'all?

[Barkley] No, no, no. Come on, now.

[Thorn] After the practice, they get
on the bus to go back to the hotel.

And for a couple of minutes,
there's no talking.

When we got on the bus,
it was... It was... Whoo! Man.

And all of a sudden,
Magic says to Barkley,

"Hey, Charles, I guess we
shouldn't have pissed the man off."

And then everybody, "This is
the greatest practice ever. We love this!"

Ooh, la, la!

[McIntyre] After that game, everyone
acknowledged we're in a new era.

Michael Jordan was the alpha-alpha.


- [man] Michael!
- What's up?

Game on the line,
who would take the last shot?


- That's a dumb question. Me.
- Yeah.

[Costas] But now,
a cavalry rides to the rescue.

As the Olympics open to NBA players,

the US sends
the greatest team ever assembled.

The United States will be
the overwhelming favorite in Barcelona.

Among the competition, though,
there's one team that stands out.

Like the USA, it's loaded with talent.

Croatia has built a basketball powerhouse.

There's Toni Kukoc, the 6'10" wizard
they call the left-handed Magic Johnson.

A lot of excitement about
tomorrow's game against Croatia,

our first chance to see Toni Kukoc
against this kind of competition.

What do you know about him and them?

I don't know a lot about him,

but if you listen to Michael and Scottie,
they know a whole lot about him

because, apparently,
there was some mixed emotions

about him going to Chicago.

With the second pick in the second round,
the Chicago Bulls select Toni Kukoc.

Toni's certainly an outstanding
young prospect.

I also think
that he's an outstanding young man.

[Kukoc] But after I was drafted
by the Bulls,

the situation at home was not so great,

'cause of the war and everything.

[Costas] Yugoslavia is, of course,
a country divided.

In June, two of its republics,
Croatia and Slovenia,

declared their independence,
igniting a bloody civil war.

[Kukoc] I just decided to play
a couple more years in Europe first.

[Toni speaking Croatian]

Just to be there, kind of,
just to, uh, not take off completely.

And I was making
considerably more in Europe

than I would make
my first couple of years here.

We're not talking a little money,
we're talking a couple million.

Jerry went over to watch Toni play
in what was then Yugoslavia

and said Toni Kukoc is gonna be
the future of the Chicago Bulls.

[Stack] Jerry was fawning
over Toni so much

while our team here
was winning championships.

And it just... It rubbed a lot of
the players the wrong way, unfortunately.

The timing of this Kukoc thing
is where the problem has been all along.

He went out to negotiate with Kukoc

while Pippen was waiting to sign
the deal that he's currently under.

They put him on hold
while they negotiated with Kukoc.

Krause, you know, he's willing to put
someone in front of his actual kids,

who have given him everything
that we could give him.

At that time, I have no idea
what was going on with the Bulls.

I don't know the frictions between
Scottie and Jerry, Michael and Jerry.

So, going to the Olympics,
I kinda thought everything was okay.

[commentator] The major story line
that carries into this game

involves European star Toni Kukoc.

In the Dream Team locker room,
before the first game against Croatia,

Michael just said, "Hey, guys. Kukoc.
Leave him for Scottie and me."

[commentator] Kukoc being played
by Pippen.

And Kukoc went to the reverse.

There's Jordan with the step on Kukoc.

Kukoc trying to return it,
Pippen with the steal.

Well, I didn't play a good game.

I got surprised
by how strict they played defense.

I didn't expect somebody to be next to me
literally the whole game.

[commentator] Jordan and Pippen are intent
on showing their superiority.

Toni Kukoc became a great teammate
and I love Toni Kukoc for who he is,

but the way he was introduced
to me and Scottie was...

I didn't appreciate it
and it drove my energy.

[commentator 2] And at this point,
Toni Kukoc...

zero points, zero rebounds
for the Croatian team.

Jordan and Pippen have been all over him.

I felt bad for Toni and I thought
Michael and Scottie were out of line.

He was terrified.

[commentator] And it's Pippen again.

Here's Pippen...

Third foul.
Pippen with a setup from below.

Well, to this point,
it has been all Scottie Pippen.

[Pippen] Jerry paved the way
for a lot of hell on Toni Kukoc.

Not only was it just me and Michael,

but every guy on that Olympic team
looked at that kid and felt like,

"He may not even think about coming
to the NBA after he played against us."

[commentator] The pressure continues.

It wasn't anything personally
about Toni...

but we were gonna do everything
that we could to make Jerry look bad.

[commentator] Eighteen off a 19-5 run.

Jordan rejected Kukoc.
Here's a three-on-two.

Pippen, all the way!

[all cheering]

[Costas] A 33-point victory.

Pippen also holding
Toni Kukoc to four points.

I know Scottie was a little pissed about
all the publicity surrounding Kukoc,

and he proved today that if they gonna
give anybody in Chicago any more money,

it better be him.

I still hear talk that he just had
a bad game, he was nervous, but...

if he's that nervous, then he can't
come to the NBA and play two games.

They didn't know me.

I don't see a reason...
Why would they try and take it on me?

They don't know me at all.

That's the first time we meet.

[reporter] Scottie says he doesn't
think he could play in the NBA.

Do you agree?

Yeah, that's a little bit unfair
and unjust to him. You gotta realize,

the guy was playing against 11
of the best players in the league.

Once we were in the finals,
because obviously...

the United States is gonna be
the second finalist, then we'll play.

[commentator] Coming up shortly,
the Dream Team,

the US Men's Basketball Team,
will take on Croatia for the gold medal.

This is the second meeting
between the United States and Croatia.

The last time they met, last week,
the United States won by 33 points.

[McIntyre] The second game
when we played them,

Kukoc came back and I give him credit.

He came back and played a much better game
than he did the first game.

[commentator] Toni Kukoc certainly
has turned it around

from his performance in the earlier
meeting against the United States.

[Wilbon] Americans didn't understand
how tough people like Toni Kukoc were.

They had no idea.

Some people have no idea
about the war-torn situations,

and the poverty and the oppression
that guys like Kukoc came from,

that produced them, that hardened them.

So, it was stupid to call him soft.

He had to fight to gain their respect...
and he did it.

To come back after being
totally emasculated,

it showed me a lot about Toni Kukoc.

[commentator] Kukoc now has 16 points,
six assists.

I remember Michael coming
to the locker room saying,

"He played pretty well.
He's tougher than we thought."

[commentator] ...117-85 and they have,
as expected, won the gold.

[Stern] The team won the '92 Olympics.

And then, Michael decided

that he didn't want to display
the Reebok logo

that was on his uniform.

[reporter] Maybe Michael Jordan
did come to the '92 Olympics

with an innocent desire
to recapture his pure love of sport,

but money quickly complicated
the sentimental journey.

Reebok had spent millions
to outfit the teams in Barcelona

and expected all US athletes
to display its logo,

especially the high-profile Dream Team.

[Jordan] Harvey Schiller. What a dick.

[man] Who is that?

[Jordan] The guy who said
if we don't wear our uniforms,

we can't accept our gold medal
and all that stuff.

[man] Is that still a big issue?
They still talking about that?

[Jordan] Nah. They said they are going
to try to hide the Reebok on it.

But they can't hide it
like I'm gonna hide it.

They in for a big fucking surprise.

[Bay] Michael was so singular
in his competitive drive

and the drive that extended
to his partners, like Nike,

that he could not bear the thought of
wearing the Reebok logo on a global stage,

receiving a gold medal at the Olympics.

So he covered the Reebok logo up
with the United States flag.

[commentator] Michael Jordan draped
in the American flag...

[Bay] It was extraordinary.

[commentator] I think that is not solely
for patriotic reasons.

Here in Barcelona and the Olympics, these
folks have done a job taking basketball,

and Michael Jordan, particularly,
to unbelievable heights.

[Wilbon] Michael was the face
of the Dream Team,

and the Dream Team changed everything
about international basketball.

The Dream Team's entirely responsible
for the NBA's profile

taking a massive jump forward.

It just... It shaped how the world
felt about the NBA.

Michael Jordan, the Dream Team,

helped bring sports into that place
of cultural influence globally.

So it wasn't just music that was cool,

it wasn't just fashion in the US
that was translating into other countries.

All of a sudden, it was the NBA.

I think it was the first time that
sports was being sold in a cultural way.

We were selling Americana.

And then what attached to it was this
incredibly handsome, successful player...

his swagger, and people
wanted to be part of that.

After the Olympics,
Michael was the most recognizable,

the most popular sports figure,

but really, cultural figure, in the world.

He was really a global superstar.

Everyone around the world
knew Michael Jordan.

♪ Sometimes I dream ♪

♪ That he is me ♪

♪ You've got to see
That's how I dream to be ♪

Once he got to the point
where it was "Be like Mike"...

♪ If I could be like Mike ♪

...that changed everything for him.

There's pressure to be like Mike.

If you're gonna be like him, you've gotta
be clean, you've gotta be Teflon.

You've gotta be completely spotless
as a person,

and no human being is like that.

- ♪ Be like Mike! ♪
- ♪ Be like Mike! ♪

♪ Like Mike, if I could be like Mike ♪

Any African-American in this society

that sees significant success

has an added burden.

And a lot of times,
America's very quick to embrace

a Michael Jordan or an Oprah Winfrey
or a Barack Obama, uh...

so long as it's understood
that you don't get too controversial

around broader issues of social justice.

Part of the reason
he remained popular is that

he never did anything to piss anybody off.

Probably the most controversial thing
Jordan said in his career

was when Harvey Gantt
was running for Senate

to be the first African-American
from North Carolina

to serve in the US Senate.

Michael would not come out
and endorse or support Gantt

and, uh, was quoted as saying,
"Republicans buy sneakers, too."

[reporter] Democrats in North Carolina
have nominated Harvey Gantt

as their candidate for the Senate.

If he defeats incumbent Jesse Helms,

Gantt would become
the state's first black senator.

1990 North Carolina Senate race.

You have the infamous Jesse Helms

and an African-American
by the name of Harvey Gantt.

The stakes are really high.

Jesse Helms was a reprehensible figure

in terms of his racism
and conservative politics.

Nothing cool about Jesse Helms.

[reporter] Jesse Helms can take
full credit or blame

for killing a new National
African-American Museum.

Helms also stood against
the Martin Luther King holiday.

I'm not saying to you that
we wouldn't have segregated schools,

or largely segregated schools,

under a Freedom of Choice plan,
such as I've suggested,

but I will say to you that
that would be the choice.

Michael refuses to do a commercial
to support Harvey Gantt

and the statement that emerges,
"Republicans buy Nikes, too,"

sounds as though Michael is saying,

"My personal wealth
is more important than my politics

as it pertains to the issue of race."

I don't think that statement
needs to be corrected

because I said it in jest on a bus
with Horace Grant and Scottie Pippen

and it was thrown off the cuff.

My mother asked me to do
a PSA for Harvey Gantt.

And I said, "Look, Mom, I'm not speaking
out of pocket about someone I don't know,

but I will send a contribution
to support him," which is what I did.

[reporter] Conservative incumbent
Jesse Helms won a fourth term,

defeating liberal black Harvey Gantt.

[Helms] There is no joy
in Mudville tonight.

[crowd cheering]

[reporter] Gantt was not bitter in defeat,

but this contest proves that race is still
a powerful issue in American politics.

[crowd chanting] Harvey! Harvey!

Michael did lose some credibility
with an African-American audience

and people were disappointed because
he did not come out and support Gantt.

Everybody in the world
respects Muhammad Ali.

You know why?
Because he stood for something.

He stood for something
even if it meant sacrificing a payday.

We respect that.

Ultimately, Michael Jordan
may be forgotten.

Muhammad Ali won't be forgotten.

[Jordan] I do commend Muhammad Ali
for standing up for what he believed in,

but I never thought of myself
as an activist.

I thought of myself
as a basketball player.

I wasn't a politician when I was playing
my sport. I was focused on my craft.

Was that selfish? Probably.

But that was my energy,
that's where my energy was.

I'll be honest that when...

it was reported that Michael said,
"Republicans buy sneakers, too..."


For somebody who was, at that time,

preparing for a career in civil rights law
and in public life

and knowing what Jesse Helms stood for,

you would've wanted to see
Michael push harder on that.

On the other hand,

he was still trying to figure out,
"How am I... managing this image

that has been created around me, um,

and how do I live up to it?"

It's never gonna be enough for everybody.
I know that, I realize that,

'cause everybody has a preconceived idea

in terms of what they think I should do
or what I shouldn't do.

The way that I go about my life
is I set examples.

And if it inspires you, great.
You know, I will continue to do that.

If it doesn't, then maybe I'm not
the person that you should be following.

[O'Neil] In '97 and '98, the ticket
requests went through the roof

because there was a question mark,
"Did Michael wanna play or retire?"

That year, we put our tickets on sale
on a Saturday morning, at ten o'clock.

And people lined up
at the Chicago Stadium.

By noon, the entire season was sold out,

but then, every request was a battle
for the rest of the season.

Michael, on most nights, would need
anywhere from 12 to 20 tickets.

Other players would want some.

It was funny, too, because at some point,
I had to limit the players.

We didn't have unlimited tickets
in those days.

[indistinct chatter]

Does it matter where they are, man?
Or you want 'em just in the building?

They could be in the locker room
next to God.


- Next to who?
- God.

- You just got one from him.
- [all laughing]

Just kidding.

No, he ain't.
No, he ain't, dude. No, he ain't.

Hang on, that's a lie.

- Do not take that off the tape either.
- You better.

- He's not kidding.
- Shit!

[man] Lord, I am with you.

- I was just kidding.
- He's not kidding.

- Don't edit that off.
- Get your ass on outta here.

I gave you a ticket, get the hell out.

Thank you. Make sure y'all don't
edit that off. He ain't kidding.

The road was sometimes
more challenging than at home

because you were dealing
in other people's arenas.

When he played down at Atlanta,
the Bulls played there,

they had more people
than you'd have for a football game

in the Atlanta Dome, just to see Michael.

["Rosa Parks" playing]

[reporter] NBA record 62,046 fans
packed into the Georgia Dome

to see what may have been
Michael Jordan's final game in Atlanta.

Right now, if we had another 15,000 seats,

I believe we could still
sell them for this game.

It's the hottest thing I've ever seen.

All I know is when the tickets
came in this morning,

my wife ran downstairs
and she was crying, she was so happy.

So, I'm the hero.

[commentator] Oh!

There's nothing you can do about that.
See that's Michael Jordan at his best.

[O'Neil] Everywhere you went,
people wanted tickets,

but it became overwhelming.

We gonna see Michael Jordan!

This is what you call a Pope
and Jesus phenomenon.

[crowd exclaiming]

♪ Ah ha, hush that fuss ♪

♪ Everybody move to the back of the bus ♪

♪ Do you wanna bump and slump with us? ♪

♪ We the type of people
Make the club get crunk ♪

♪ Ah ha, hush that fuss ♪

♪ Everybody move
To the back of the bus... ♪

[man 1] We saved a lot of money

and we traveled 24 hours
to see Chicago Bulls.

- [man 2] It's a dream!
- [man 1 laughs]

Tonight's game is sold out.

Do not purchase tickets
from scalpers on Seventh Avenue.

They are counterfeit.

[O'Neil] And everybody in the world
begged me for tickets.

Movie stars would come in
and celebrities would come in.

You got to know people.

I can beg. I'm a beggar.

If there's tickets to be gotten,
I will find 'em.

♪ Say ah ha, hush that fuss ♪

♪ Everybody move to the back of the bus ♪

♪ Do you wanna bump and slump with us? ♪

♪ We the type of people
Make the club get crunk... ♪

People expect him to still put on a show
and he does that every night.

Hey, look, I wanna be like Mike also.

- [Jordan] What up, fighter?
- [exclaims]

Michael doesn't pass me the ball.

- You heard it here first.
- He doesn't pass me the ball at all.

[Lee] I want Michael to play
as long as he wants.

He's at the top of his game.

It's a shame what Krause and Reinsdorf
are doing. I don't understand.

[Seinfeld] The similarity between
the Bulls and Seinfeld?

The show of the '90s,
the team of the '90s,

and I'm trying to make quitting
the move of the '90s.

Let the new people in.

- Hey, partner. How you doing?
- How you doing?

Haven't seen you since the photo shit.

These are a couple
of your good fans right here.

- Every day we come in to watch the game...
- Nice to meet you.

- ...they're watching your show.
- [laughs]

Sooner or later,
you gotta get tired of Seinfeld.

[Jackson] Let's go, guys.

- Hi, Phil.
- [Jackson] How are you doing?

All right, have a good game.

- Principal's kicking you out.
- Good to see you.

I'll see you, Jerry.

[man] All right...

This is not gonna work, by the way.
I would get that out of there.

- How you doing?
- [man] All right.

Have a good game.

[Jordan] When you get to the top,
it's great to be admired and respected.

I'm not saying that wasn't fun.

But every time I would get by myself,

I'd think about the end of the season
and the ultimate goal,

holding up that championship trophy

and being recognized
as the best team in the world.

It's something at the end
of this rainbow that I'm fighting for

and I'm going to give
every little bit to get to it.

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