OKC Thunder: The Last Dance debut excites players and fans alike

OKC Thunder: Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan (L), Scottie Pippen (C) and forward Toni Kukoc watch their teammates play (Photo by VINCENT LAFORET / AFP) (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan (L), Scottie Pippen (C) and forward Toni Kukoc watch their teammates play (Photo by VINCENT LAFORET / AFP) (Photo credit should read VINCENT LAFORET/AFP via Getty Images) /

With the OKC Thunder at home, The Last Dance series debut served up a great event for basketball fans and players both former and present.

For those of you lucky enough to have a zip code instead of a postal code you were provided with a special treat this weekend as The Last Dance debuted. Without the OKC Thunder to help quell our desire for live sports action fans are clamoring for entertainment.

Just like fans former and existing players were equally excited by the premiere of the series which will feature 10 episodes with two airing each week. Unfortunately, being in Canada I’ll have to wait to witness this much-anticipated series – but based on the feedback my excitement is building.

Fans weren’t the only ones excited by the long-awaited series. Players who were active during the filming jumped on the two episodes and active players were equally enthralled.

Click this link as ESPN captured their reactions as they took to social media with their thoughts on the initial two episodes.

Two former OKC Thunder players tweeted their excitement including Victor Oladipo and Enes Kanter.


An interesting side note on the project was just how long it sat on the shelves. Looking back this series was filmed during the season the Chicago Bulls made their run for the second three-peat.

The year was 1998 and the key takeaway was the mindset of ownership. At the time, owner Jerry Reinsdorf owned the Bulls and Jerry Kraus was the General Manager. Neither had good relationships with head coach Phil Jackson, the GOAT Michael Jordan or All-Star Scottie Pippen would be the greatest understatement of all time.

It’s insanity that Krause would tell this trio I don’t care if you win 82 out of 82 games this team will be broken apart at the end of this season. Can you imagine the Golden State Warriors deciding mid-run – forget it we’re just going to fire Steve Kerr and trade Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson?

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That is precisely how the Bulls entered that season. Noted as an unconventional coach who often gave his players books to read, Phil Jackson can be credited with the series title. Chicago began the season with “The Last Dance” on the chalkboard and team notes.

Ramona Shelburne offered up the background behind why the film sat for so long. Ultimately, Michael Jordan had all the control and that was the primary reason why it took so long to air. In Shelburne’s article, she notes the interesting timing of when the GOAT finally gave permission for the film to be turned into the series coincided with the same season the Warriors surpassed the pre-existing best regular-season mark of the Bulls (72-10) and during the Cavaliers championship parade.

Jordan’s competitiveness is well known and the takeaway from above will be that perhaps MJ felt it was time to remind fans of his dominance just as LeBron James won his third title. However you feel about two superstars one major difference is each and every time Jordan reached an NBA Finals he won. Other than Bill Russell no other player can come close to making the same claim.

The OKC Thunder franchise didn’t exist yet in 1998 but that doesn’t mean the players or fans won’t find this series compelling. To that end, T.I. looked at if OKC were to replicate a project of this nature some of the key moments that would be included in a Thunder series.

Let us know your thoughts about the first episodes. As stated, I’ll have to wait to chime in given my Toronto location – but I’m eager to see the series.

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As always, stay safe and healthy.