Michael Jordan and ‘The Last Dance,’ Episodes 3 & 4

A couple years after the dipsomaniacal screenwriter played by Nic Cage could not bring himself to leave Las Vegas, Dennis Rodman was going through the same thing. With the reluctant blessing of coach Phil Jackson, Rodman had decamped to Vegas in mid-January of 1998 while his Bulls teammates were doing other things. Like, you know, playing basketball.

So did the creative forces behind The Last Dance fashion much of the central tension for Sunday night’s two-episode doubleheader. Jackson had given Rodman a 48-hour freedom window, and away ticks the hours, a cinematic version of the 24-second clock. It was a wise decision to turn the spotlight on Rodman; no doubt, many forgot exactly what transpired when the Worm was granted his sybaritic version of load management. Judging by the shots-all-around snippets of Rodman’s Carmen Electra-charged whirlwind that were captured in Vegas—spoiler alert: his vacay clocked in at 80-plus hours—load management was not much of a concern when he was on the Strip.

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