The Last Dance: The truth behind the Flu Game, Jordan wanting to run it back among 5 things we learned in Episodes 9-10

Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images
Photo credit should read JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images /
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Bulls The Last Dance
Photo by JEFF HAYNES/AFP via Getty Images /

1. Jordan believes the Bulls could’ve run it back

On the surface, it doesn’t sound surprising that a guy as competitive as Michael Jordan believes the 1997-98 Bulls could’ve run it back in 1999 if they had kept the team together, but up until this point, it seemed like he had just accepted the way that core fell apart as inevitable.

Jordan had wanted to run it back, sure, but the way everyone seemed to be resigned to that season being “The Last Dance” meant the end was finally here — championship or no.

According to owner Jerry Reinsdorf, he called Phil Jackson in to try and bring him back, despite the promises of general manager Jerry Krause that the 1997-98 campaign would be Jackson’s final season in Chicago.

However, Reinsdorf didn’t want to pay to keep that group together, considering how they were all getting older, more injury-prone and how much it would cost with so many free agents on the roster.

Jackson didn’t want to undergo a rebuild and decided to step away to avoid further drama with Krause, and the rest was history.

In Jordan’s mind, however, if management had been committed to running it back with that same group, he would’ve re-signed on another one-year deal like he already had the past few seasons. Jordan believes that, in turn, would’ve helped convince Pippen and the rest of the guys to re-sign on one-year deals as well.

And in that scenario, MJ believes the Bulls would’ve won No. 7:

The following season was a lockout shortened year, which would’ve helped the aging Bulls who needed to start monitoring their minutes. Jordan suffered a finger injury over the summer thanks to a cigar cutter, but perhaps he’s a bit more careful if he’s approaching the offseason with the mindset of coming back for one more year?

The Bulls certainly would’ve had their hands full in the 1999 Finals against a dynamite San Antonio Spurs squad with a young Tim Duncan, who won his first championship that year. However, this is one of the greatest NBA what-ifs of all time, and it’s interesting to hear the GOAT say he believes the Bulls couldn’t four-peated if not for management’s decision to break it up.

Next. 5 best quotes from Episodes 9-10 of The Last Dance. dark