Thursday, April 23, 2020

The Last Dance: Discussion Guide Part 1 of 5

The sports gods must know how desperate we are for new content. With the NFL draft taking place tonight, Notre Dame women's basketball coach Muffet McGraw announcing her retirement after 33 years at the helm and the fact that we are but three days away from the next two installments of the latest 30 for 30: The Last Dance, sports fans everywhere have some good material to chew on. We will make it! 

While the subject of this documentary event isn't exactly new—it tells the story of Michael Jordan's career, through the lens of his final season with the Chicago Bulls—this ten part series began with but two episodes on Sunday April 19, 2020. Even though fans tweeted "Can I watch the other 8 episodes NOW please!" you will have to pretend like it is 1997-1998 again, when we had to wait!
What has impressed me most are the number of talking points that emerge—in particular for coaches and athletes from this unfolding story. Thus, what you have here is the first of five posts, serving as a  discussion guide. Since the proverbial water cooler is quarantined, find a way to create your own and I hope you reach out to other coaches, athletes and sports fans to break open and discuss. Please share other ideas or questions it has sparked for you!

Episode 1:
  • Jerry Krause, GM of the Chicago Bulls said "players and coaches alone don't win championships, organizations do." Respond.
  • The name of the program is a reference to the title Coach Phil Jackson used for the Bulls 1997-1998 season. Do you /have you named  a season? Ever given it a title? Is this idea appealing to you?
Episode 2: 
  • Scottie Pippen elected to undergo surgery on a ruptured tendon in his ankle before the season concluded, He admitted that he didn't want to spend his summer rehabbing (projected at two to three months). Jordan and Jackson have very different reactions to Pippen's choice. Do you think he made the right decision?
  • Michael Jordan's fundamental principle of sport—as evidenced so clearly post-injury is: You do it at the highest level possible and to the best of your ability every time. Respond.
  • Why does Jordan say he will not play for another coach?  How and what does Phil do to develop relationships and keep everyone moving in one direction?
Please note, a viewer can choose to watch with mature language or not. Always glad to see the option!
Photo Credits
MJ and Pippen
The Last Dance

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