Supporting Cast Made 'The Last Dance' Great: TRAINA THOUGHTS

Author:
Publish date:

1. Except for the terrible ending about burning poems, the final two episodes of The Last Dance that aired Sunday night were no different than the first eight for the following reasons: 1) It showed you that Michael Jordan was the best player in NBA history and an assassin on the court who was as good as anyone in the history of sports when it was crunch time, and 2) The secondary characters were more interesting and captivating than Jordan.

There wasn't a ton we learned about Jordan over the 10 hours. The "flu game" really being the "pizza poisoning game" was the top revelation.

Throughout the series, we were treated to Jordan's hit list and need for motivation in order to dominate opponents. We got more of that in Episodes 9 and 10 with Bryon Russell.

The most powerful moment during the final two hours came via Steve Kerr, who talked about the death of his father and gave a great speech at the Bulls' championship parade.

However, the single best moment on Sunday night was Larry Bird's reaction to Reggie Miller hitting a three-pointer with 0.7 seconds left to give the Pacers the lead over the Bulls. I should say, Bird's "non-reaction." His player just hit an INCREDIBLE shot to put you 0.7 seconds away from the NBA Finals and this is his reaction because he knew it wasn't over thanks to Jordan.

The Last Dance was here to tell you that Jordan was the greatest thing ever and he had to be a jerk to be good and he was a master at creating motivation. The show successfully got its point across each Sunday evening.

But throughout the series, it was often someone other than Jordan who provided the most memorable quote or most memorable scenes.

On Sunday night it was Kerr and Bird.

In another episode, it was Scottie Pippen saying he wouldn't have changed a thing regarding his decision to take himself out of the final seconds of a playoff game. 

In another episode it was Dennis Rodman fleeing to Vegas in the middle of a season for some fun and Carmen Electra. In another episode it was a deluded Gary Payton bragging about stopping Jordan.

It another episode it was Ron Harper getting pissed off that Craig Ehlo was assigned to cover Jordan.

It another episode, it was this guy:

The Last Dance was highly entertaining, had a killer soundtrack and took us back to a much different time in the NBA. But at the end of the day, what fans want is to learn something new. That's why the "flu game" revelation stands out. That's why Pippen doubling down on refusing to enter a playoff game stands out. 

Jordan didn't give us a lot of "new," but a lot of other people in The Last Dance did and it was wonderful. 

2. 1) I'm not sure what's going on with the filming here. 2) Alex Rodriguez made $545 million playing baseball. 3) Alex Rodriguez used PEDs. And, 4) A-Rod's agent once interrupted a World Series game to announce he was opting out of his Yankees contract. But sure, A-Rod, tell us about how you side with the owners and care about the game so much now.

3. This is very impressive by Reds pitcher Hunter Greene, but I want to see the previous takes, too.

4. The best thing I read over the weekend was by Foo Fighters lead singer Dave Grohl, who wrote about missing live performances and what coronavirus has done to live music. If you love going to concerts, this will hit you hard. And if you don't love going to concerts, just replace concerts with sporting events and this article will still apply to you.

5. The latest Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features a conversation with Peter Schrager from Good Morning Football and FOX NFL Kickoff. Topics discussed include two-person booth vs. three-person booth, possible Joe Tessitore and Booger McFarland replacements for Monday Night Football, the fun of watching games from the '80s and '90s, NFL's Christmas Day and Thanksgiving schedules, NFL teams not being on an even playing field when/if the season starts, critiquing The Last Dance, kids causing havoc during live quarantine shows, quarantine foods we're eating too much of, and much more.

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

6RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: Some Good News is taking a break for a little while, but the weekly digital show that aims to uplift really pulled at the heartstrings in the finale, with John Krasinski tearing up while saying goodbye 14 minutes into the episode.

7SPORTS HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY: The Desmond Howard Heisman pose after a punt return touchdown called by Keith Jackson remains a great moment.

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