“The Last Dance”: Episodes 3 & 4 Review

The poster for ESPN's

Published under fair use

The poster for ESPN's "The Last Dance"

Adam McCaffery, Sports Editor

After another week of waiting, episodes three and four of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” were released on Sunday, April 26. Still building the backstory for the 1997-98 season, this episode focused on easily the most intriguing character of the Bulls roster: Dennis Rodman.

Like Pippen, Rodman had an underdog upbringing, as he played at a junior college and lived on the streets. As Rodman himself said, he could have easily turned out to be a drug dealer or something worse, but through basketball he avoided that path. This episode did a great job of portraying who Dennis Rodman was. 

At first, Dennis Rodman could have seemed like the bully on the court. After all, he once rivaled Jordan on the two time NBA champion Bad Boy Pistons. Fans thought Rodman was dirty, and even Rodman admitted he would try and hurt Michael Jordan on the court. The episode revealed that Rodman wasn’t really a bully, he was just misunderstood. He was arguably a once-in-a-generation as he played his role to perfection. Rodman was a rebounding and defensive machine, and was hardly concerned with scoring like most players. He did the dirty work.

That is what Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson saw he could bring to the Bulls. They needed rebounding, and they took a risk in Rodman. Rodman and Phil Jackson had an unusual connection through Native American culture, but it worked. Scottie Pippen and Jordan both respected Rodman for what he did on the court, and Rodman respected leadership. 

With all that being said, however, Rodman had his problems like any of us. Afterall, Rodman basically invented “load management” with his week-long trip to Vegas. He partied around the clock and had crazy Vegas stories. But the thing that remained constant, as Jordan and Jackson said, is that Rodman always came to perform on the court. 

“I’m loving the seemingly raw insight into not only Michael Jordan, the greatest player of all time, but also how the showtime Chicago Bulls came together as a team,” senior Jake Ford said. “It gives a much-needed taste of the game, one that is a whole different era of ball.”

So far, the documentary has been giving fans exactly what they have wanted, and with six more episodes, hopefully it stays that way. Episodes five and six air on Sunday, May 3.