Michael Jordan Takes Back Seat in Debut Episodes of 'The Last Dance': TRAINA THOUGHTS


1. The wait was long. The anticipation was out of control. And everyone on Twitter was performing at a high level to show you THEY were the ones who wanted to watch The Last Dance more than anyone else in the world.

When something is hyped this much, it rarely lives up to the expectations. That wasn't a problem at all, though, for The Last Dance, which answered the bell and provided two excellent hours of entertainment.

I'm not sure anyone had any doubts the documentary would be anything but outstanding. While The Last Dance technically doesn't fall under ESPN's 30 for 30 umbrella, it's basically a 30 for 30, so you knew it would be good based on the franchise's history and the subject matter—Michael Jordan. It was just a matter of how good it would be. 

However, it wasn't Jordan who provided the intrigue in the first two episodes. It was former Bulls GM Jerry Krause and Scottie Pippen.

If you are a sports fan with a brain, you knew before Sunday night that Michael Jordan is the greatest athlete of this generation. You already knew that despite being the best basketball player in the world, he was drafted third in 1984. If you were a sports fan who was around during Jordan's heyday, you knew he wasn't a great guy. You knew he was an intense and meticulous worker during his entire career. You knew he chewed out teammates.

That was all covered in Episodes 1 and 2, but the juiciest stuff regarding Jordan—the gambling, the first retirement, the awful baseball career, etc.—is still ahead of us.

Sunday night was about Krause and Pippen.

While Pippen's paltry salary and seven-year, $18 million contract got most of the attention from viewers, there was something even more fascinating.

To hear Scottie Pippen talk about waiting as long as possible to get surgery so he could enjoy his summer (his exact quote was, "I'm not gonna f--- up my summer") and screw his front office was a riveting moment of television.

To hear Krause told Phil Jackson that even if he went 82–0 in 1997–98, he would still not be retained as head coach is one of the more bats--- quotes you'll ever hear in sports. To see that owner Jerry Reinsdorf sided with Krause over Jordan still makes no sense.

If there was one disappointment with the documentary—and this is nobody's fault, obviously—it's that Krause constantly gets dumped on from everyone, but he's not around to defend himself or give his side of these stories.

Other highlights from the memorable two hours: the documentary's referring to President Barack Obama as "a former Chicago resident." 

Seeing a young Bob Costas with flow. 

Seeing all the old-school jerseys.

Jordan laughing about the Bulls being labeled the "traveling cocaine circus."

How good was The Last Dance? Even a commercial for The Last Dance was better than anything we've seen on TV in weeks.

2. The best tweet of the night regarding The Last Dance came from Scottie Pippen's wife, Larsa, who addressed Pippen's contract with the Bulls.

3. Friday's Traina Thoughts covered the 15-year anniversary of The Office's "Basketball" episode. ESPN used that episode to create a mock 30 for 30 trailer that we'd be happy to see become a real 30 for 30.

4. When we last left you Friday afternoon, we were covering an important story: An adult website had offered Joe Buck $1 million to do play-by-play for a scene. Buck gave us an exclusive quote about the offer, and his wife weighed in on the matter on Twitter.

Buck's offer had me thinking about what other broadcasters could handle such a gig, so I threw out this tweet.

My followers had strong takes about this subject and came through with some tremendous replies.

5. John Krasinski continues to provide everyone with desperately needed good news every week. His latest episode of Some Good News features a virtual prom that he threw for kids across the country.

6. The latest SI Media Podcast featured an interview with New York Post sports media reporter Andrew Marchand. Topics we covered included Drew Brees's passing on ESPN to join NBC, CBS's parting ways with Dan Fouts, Charles Davis's leaving FOX for CBS, the NFL draft, Mike Francesa vs. Funhouse, and more.

You can listen to the podcast below or download it on Apple, Spotify, Stitcher and Google Play.

7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: A little Jerry and Larry to get the week started.

8. SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: It's NFL draft week so we have to post the best NFL draft video around.

Be sure to catch up on past editions of Traina Thoughts and check out the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by Jimmy Traina on iTunes, Spotify or Stitcher. You can also follow Jimmy on Twitter and Instagram.