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The 7 best parts from Michael Jordan’s ‘The Last Dance’ documentary so far

These were our favorite moments from the first two installments of ‘The Last Dance’ chronicling Michael Jordan’s time with the Chicago Bulls.

Footage from the The Last Dance sat in a vault in Secaucus, New Jersey, for 20 years waiting to get the green light from Michael Jordan. As legend has it, Jordan finally relented after seeing a true challenger emerge for his unofficial title as basketball’s greatest of all-time. Once LeBron James helped the Cleveland Cavaliers win a miracle championship over the 73-win Golden State Warriors in 2016, MJ decided to give ESPN permission to get to work.

The first two episodes in a 10-part docu-series chronicling Jordan’s final championship season with the Chicago Bulls debuted on Sunday night. Much of the first two hours were dedicated to laying the origin story for Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and the Bulls as a franchise, with exclusive footage and brand new interviews sprinkled in.

With no live sports and a captive audience of viewers in quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic, it felt like The Last Dance had the entire country’s attention. If the first two parts are any indication, the docu-series is going to live up to its immense hype.

Here are the seven most memorable moments from the docu-series so far.

Barack Obama as a “former Chicago resident”

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Former President Barack Obama makes an early appearance to say he couldn’t afford Bulls tickets during the dynasty years, but it was the way ESPN identified him that turned into an instant meme. Yes, this is how I will be referring to No. 44 for the foreseeable future.

The pre-Jordan Bulls as a “traveling cocaine circus”

The Bulls were dreadful throughout the early ‘80s before eventually drafting Jordan. The superstar is asked on camera about the Bulls reportedly being called a “traveling cocaine circus” during his rookie year, eliciting a huge laugh from Jordan and launching him into a story about witnessing his teammates’ illicit drug use at a hotel party

“You got your lines over here, your weed smokers over here, your women over here,” Jordan begins. With a full glass of scotch on the table next to him, Jordan said he doesn’t smoke or do other drugs, and didn’t drink “at that time.”

Scottie Pippen wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of him enjoying summer

The second episode of the series delves into Pippen’s long-standing beef with Bulls management over his contract. Pippen signed a 7-year, $18 million deal after the Bulls’ first championship, which quickly made him wildly underpaid after NBA salaries skyrocketed over the next few years. As the Bulls refused to renegotiate, animosity between Pippen and the franchise grew.

Things boiled over following the Bulls’ fifth championship in the summer of 1997. Pippen was playing injured and knew he needed toe surgery, but decided to delay the operation until the start of the next season as a way to get back at management. As Pippen said: “I’m not going to fuck my summer up.”

Common’s fake autograph story

Chicago native and renowned rapper Common tells a story early in the documentary about his time as a ball boy for the dynasty Bulls. Common says a friend gave him $5 to ask Jordan if he could get his autograph. When Common approached Jordan with the request, he told the then-ball boy to sign the item himself. Common faked Jordan’s signature and gave the item to his friend, who immediately noticed Jordan’s first name was misspelled.

Yes, Common had to give the $5 back.

“Depends on how fucking bad the headache is”

Jordan suffered a foot injury during his second season which threatened to keep him out all year. He never stopped pushing the Bulls to let him return, and believed the reason the team wanted to keep him out was so they could tank in the lottery standings.

At one point, Jordan and Bulls owner Jerry Reinsdorf are talking to a doctor who says Jordan would have a 90 percent chance to avoid re-injuring himself if he returned. The other 10 percent of that equation could result in a career-threatening injury. That led to Reinsdorf asking Jordan the following question: If you had a headache and were handed a bottle with with 10 pills inside, and knew nine of the pills would make you better and one would kill you, would you take one?

Jordan’s response: “Depends on how fucking bad the headache is.”

Jordan’s hat collection

Jordan rocks a wide variety of unique hats during the first two episodes that he was often seen in throughout his playing career. Kangol is getting better free advertising than anyone out of this docu-series.

Jordan and Phil Jackson standing up for Pippen

Even as Pippen feuded with management, his head coach and best teammate always had his back. Despite the Bulls getting off to a slow start in the 1997-98 season because of Pippen’s delayed surgery, Jackson still supported him, saying in an interview he had no problem with Pippen’s decision.

Later in the series, Jordan offers Pippen the ultimate praise: “Whenever they speak Michael Jordan, they should speak Scottie Pippen.”