‘Just Wouldn’t Allow It to Be Released’: Author Details About Michael Jordan’s Last Dance Postponement

Published 06/08/2021, 3:30 PM EDT
18 Jan 1999: Michael Jordan at his retirement press conference at the United Center in Chicago, Illinios. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Daniel /Allsport


The best gift that Michael Jordan could give the new generation of NBA fans is his docu-series, ‘The Last Dance’. It was a wholesome collection of the legend’s tale and his struggles over a staggering 15-season career. Many like to call his era a revolutionization of 90s basketball. His skills got broadcasted at a time when people started getting hooked on the sport.

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Well, ‘The Last Dance’ that released last year came as a happy surprise for every person connected to sports. It is a Netflix miniseries of 10 episodes that took the audience through MJ’s childhood, his every single championship, and a bundle of controversies. Having won many awards thereafter, the series became a bible for Jordan fans.

‘The Last Dance’ series compiled different angles

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Even though the celebration was bound to take over, many banters came into the picture after the series got released. MJ’s opponents made appearances in the show, including Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson.

There was a ton of unseen footage from behind-the-scenes that revealed instances many weren’t aware of. Criticism was unavoidable after Last Dance took an international platform. For several months, analysts and the NBA world discussed the matters that emerged as an open book in the series.

Amongst the upstage of Michael Jordan‘s life story on television, famous author Roland Lazenby observed some peculiar moments. In conversation with Joe Molloy on ‘Off the Ball’, Roland talked about Last Dance and how timing played a crucial role for Jordan.

Years behind, Michael Jordan once told Roland that, “Timing is everything”. And, that’s what the Bulls star believes to have worked in his phenomenal career.

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For Michael Jordan, it was timing

So, Roland had a couple of friends who shot behind-the-seen footage during the 1997-98 season that was highlighted in the series as well. One of them was Golden State guard Klay Thompson’s uncle, Andy Thompson. During the same time frame, Roland was writing his popular book, ‘Blood on the Horns’ and he found Thompson in most instances.

“He (Andy) hardly gets mentioned in ‘The Last Dance’ but he shot it all,” says Roland. “All of this was going on and Andy for two decades had to sit on all of that footage.”

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Well, Michael didn’t want the series to be released at the time. And it finally took place right before the world was sent home due to the pandemic. It was the start of the lockdown in many countries and the audience went crazy over this celebrated series.

“They kept offering Jordan millions to do it and he didn’t want to do it… Jordan just wouldn’t allow it to be released. But, long before he knew there was going to be a pandemic, Jordan finally relented. For Jordan, it was timing.”

“Yes, he’s a proud man. He wanted to make a statement about something that is no longer with us…Yes, he wanted that on display,” Roland further added. “He had no idea there was going to be a pandemic and this docu-series was going to have the world’s wrapped attention. It has been astounding.”

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It was a commendable job done by the creators of this historic series. Additionally, this generation got a glimpse of the dominance they had missed in the name of Michael Jordan.

WATCH THIS STORY: Teammates Michael Jordan Was Lucky to Have

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Pavni Ahuja

498 articles

Pavni Ahuja is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Housing a keen interest in sports journalism, she is pursuing an undergraduate Journalism degree from Christ University. Pavni is an ardent fan of the NBA, with prior district-level playing experience in basketball.

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