How to watch The Last Dance, ESPN’s new documentary about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls on Netflix

Monday, 20th April 2020, 11:58 am
Updated Monday, 20th April 2020, 11:58 am

It's a day to rejoice for basketball fans on Netflix.

Not only does the Michael Jordan-starring Looney Toons crossover classic 'Space Jam' come to the service, but so too does The Last Dance.

A new sports documentary series focusing on the Chicago Bulls between 1997 and 1998, The Last Dance follows Jordan and his team as they begin a quest to win a sixth NBA title in eight years.

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Here's everything you need to know about it:

What is The Last Dance?

Focusing on the Chicago Bulls between 1997 and 1998, The Last Dance is compiled over 500 hours of footage captured by a crew with an all-access pass to the Bulls during the NBA season.

The series features both interviews and never-before-seen footage, which has taken over 20 years to see the light of day.

According to Adam Silver - who was the head of NBA Entertainment at the time of filming, but is now the NBA Commissioner - Jordan allowed the filming with the agreement that the footage would only be used with his direct permission.

The star refused the use of the footage for many years, until eventually agreeing to a documentary proposal in 2016.

The series takes it name from Bulls coach Phil Jackson, who dubbed the Bulls' attempts at winning a sixth NBA title in eight years 'The Last Dance'.

The Jordan/Bulls partnership was a fruitful one, but despite all the superstar basketball player had achieved since his debut 13 years earlier, the season would be shadowed by both tension with the club’s front office.

From a fan's point of view, there was also the overwhelming sense that this was the last time the world would ever see the greatest player of all time - and his extraordinary teammates - in full flight.

Is it any good?

At the time of writing, The Last Dance enjoys a 100% approval rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.

"The Last Dance offers the best and most intimate look at how Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dominated the sports world in the 1990s," said NPR's Eric Deggans, while CNN's Brian Lowry called it "a thoughtful look at the costs associated with stardom and how they've evolved in the modern sports era, particularly in the NBA."

Richard Roeper of Chicago Sun-Times called the archival footage "priceless", and Josh Sorokach from Decider said, "if you're a fan of the Chicago Bulls, you'll love it. If you hate the Chicago Bulls, you'll also love it."

When can I watch it?

The first two episodes of the 10-part series debuted on Netflix on Monday 20 April.

Two more episodes will be released every Monday from now until the series wraps up in the UK on 18 May.

The series was originally not expected to debut until June 2020, but because of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN (who produced the series) moved the premiere forward.

In a statement, they said: "As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience."

"This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans."