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What we found out about Michael Jordan off the court, from The Last Dance series

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Basketball fans enjoyed this year a beautiful display of the successful ‘90s NBA team lead by Michael Jordan, through the Netflix mini-series The Last Dance. The historic sports documentary with 10 episodes told the story of the legendary Chicago Bulls.

The team won six championships, between 1991-1993, and 1996-1998. It is the only NBA team to feature in more than a final and win all of them. Also, many sports fans and experts alike regard it as one of the best teams in the history of sports.

In the center was the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. He was just the third overall pick at the 1984 NBA Draft. He joined the Bulls for which he played until 1993, and then from 1995 to 1998. Basically, all the building and the success of the team were with Jordan leading it.

And he wasn’t just the best player for Chicago Bulls, but the main star of the NBA championship for years in a row. Jordan won the MVP award in all the finals in which Chicago Bulls featured.

He wasn’t alone, though. All the success was possible along with other great NBA players like Scottie Pippen or Dennis Rodman. Another main figure was the coach Phil Jackson. They all built a truly legendary sports dynasty, which was one of the most famous names in sports industry back in the 1990s.

But The Last Dance showed much more than the success on the court, or the hard work and the team behind that success. It also showed another face of the players, and of Michael Jordan also – the humans which live outside basketball.

Here are three of the things about Michael Jordan outside basketball, which we learned from the mini-series:

The Space Jam and Jordan’s comeback

Michael Jordan featured in some movies, but the most famous of them all is “Space Jam” (1996). The player filmed in the summer of 1995, just when he prepared to return to basketball after a not so successful baseball spell.

The eighth episode of The Last Dance shows how Jordan filmed for the movie, and how Warner Bros. studios built a place where he could play basketball, but also film. In fact, the contract said that the studio would provide the gym for Jordan to practice before returning on the court.

The former NBA star invited other great players from the ‘90s to join him over the set for games. And he would film, play some hours, lift weights, and go on until almost 10 PM, then start all over at 7 AM. So, the movie did play a big role in Jordan’s comeback.

“Space Jam” featured other NBA stars, like Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Shawn Bradley and Larry Johnson, as well as actors Bill Murray and Wayne Knight. It was the story of a Looney Toons cartoons characters – led by Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny and Daffy Duck – who team up with the basketball players lead by Jordan returning from retirement, against animated alien invaders.

Danny DeVito is the voice of the main animated antagonist, and the movie will have a sequel, “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, which will be released in 2021 starring LeBron James. The first movie grossed $230 million worldwide, but the overall success was a staggering $6 billion, because of all the merchandising, video games and comics.

Michael Jordan and poker

Charles Barkley was one of the NBA stars of the ‘90s, and the MVP in 1993. He would tell, in The Last Dance series, how Jordan used to play poker almost every night during playing weeks.

Jordan was a fan of gambling, and would prefer cards. Today, you can have all sorts of cards games and even bet on all the most important sports events at Unibet Sports Betting.

But the former Chicago Bulls leader wasn’t the only NBA player who liked poker. Apart from Barkley, there were Magic Johnson and Scottie Pippen also – all four of them playing cards each night.

His parents made him sign with Nike

Michael Jordan and Nike are a team since decades now, but the great basketball players wasn’t always keen on the sports brand. He wanted to sign one of Nike’s greatest competition, Adidas.

However, Jordan’s parents told him to sign with Nike, not just for the money, but also for the signature show – Air Jordan. The deal went on for more than thirty years and one billion dollars, and the silhouette of the “Jumpman” is legendary since.

 

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