NBA and basketball nostalgia will strike living rooms all over America Sunday night when ESPN premieres the first episode of its highly anticipated Michael Jordan documentary.
“The Last Dance,” a 10-part series chronicling the retired superstar and Chicago Bulls‘ 1997-1998 championship season, kicks off 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST.
The docuseries was originally scheduled to debut in conjunction with the NBA Finals in late June, but producers moved up the screening date, giving ESPN much-needed airtime after the sporting world was put on pause due to the coronavirus outbreak, NBC Sports reported.
The NBA regular season was suspended in March after multiple players contracted COVID-19, the deadly disease caused by the fast-spreading virus. The documentary is expected to satisfy the countless basketball and professional sports fans facing withdrawals.
The league was granted unprecedented camera access to Jordan, Hall of Fame coach Phil Jackson, the Bulls and the organization’s front office during the period. The footage captured the team’s final run for an NBA championship, the last of their impressive six titles in eight seasons.
The title “The Last Dance” came Jackson’s moniker for the season, knowing that management would not retain him beyond 1998.
The series will feature exclusive and unreleased behind-the-scenes footage of Bulls personnel, including Jordan, Jackson, Hall of Famers Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman, and the late Jerry Krause.
Krause was the team’s general manager and the main catalyst for the team’s breakup.
The miniseries will also feature interviews of the late Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, former U.S. President and Chicago resident Barack Obama and Hall of Fame coach Pat Riley.
According to CBS Sports, the footage sat in a New Jersey warehouse for more than two decades before Jordan signed off permission to complete and air the documentary. He agreed when he found out “The Last Dance” producer Mike Tollin also produced one of his favorite documentaries, on NBA Hall of Famer Allen Iverson.
“Let’s do it,” Jordan said.
ESPN will air “The Last Dance” five for consecutive Sundays, including two episodes per night. The TV series is sure to boost ESPN’s ratings, given its absence of live sports, according to Bloomberg.
Netflix, ESPN’s global distribution partner for “The Last Dance,” will house the miniseries on its streaming platform days after episodes premiere on traditional television.