Michael Jordan and ‘The Last Dance,’ Episodes 5 & 6

The tears come early. Twenty-eight seconds into Sunday night’s Episode 5 of The Last Dance we hear the voice of ESPN’s Stuart Scott (1965–2015). And 24 seconds—yes, 24 seconds—after that we see 19-year-old Kobe Bean Bryant (1978–2020) pass by Michael Jordan in the Madison Square Garden hallway of his first NBA All-Star Game, back in 1998. A few minutes later we see NBA commissioner David Stern (1942–2020) announcing Jordan as that game’s MVP.

Sic transit gloria.

Yet another Latin saw—veni, vidi, vici—comes to mind as we watch Jordan lay waste to various foes, real and imagined, in the fifth and sixth hours of our national pandemic magnet. Is there any challenge this man ever ignored? Any slight he has ever brushed off his tailored suit without lingering on it? His eyes light on fire as he talks about vanquishing fellow Dream Teamer Clyde Drexler in the 1992 NBA Finals—but also the Suns’ Dan Majerle, in the ’93 Finals.

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