Sunday saw the conclusion of The Last Dance documentary series ESPN produced about Michael Jordan. While the show was mostly about the 1997-98 NBA season, it did a great job covering pretty much Jordan’s entire career and key moments of his teammates as well.
The show was titled Last Dance because it was the last season for Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, and Jordan as members of the Bulls.
However, as we all know, it wasn’t MJ’s true Last Dance. That happened years later in Washington, when he played two, mostly uneventful, seasons with the Wizards.
Coach – Doug Collins
Doug Collins was the first coach Jordan was able to connect with in Chicago. It didn’t work out with Kevin Loughery or Stan Albeck and Collins took over in 1986, during Jordan’s third season.
In their second season together, Jordan won league MVP and won his first playoff series, that epic game winning shot in game 5 against the Cavs. Collins coached three seasons and was fired after 1989, to make way for Phil Jackson.
Wizards were 37-45 in both the 2001-02 and 2002-03 season, missing the playoffs each time.
Jerry Stackhouse was acquired from the Pistons in a trade for Richard Hamilton during the summer of 2002. Stackhouse is the only teammate to ever average more points than Jordan (21.5 ppg to Jordan’s 20 ppg).
Hubert Davis was on the Wizards in 2001-02, before being part of the aforementioned trade that sent Hamilton to the Pistons for fellow Tar Heel Jerry Stackhouse.
Brendan Haywood was drafted #20 in 2001 by the Cavs and immediately traded to the Wizards. Jordan had to surround himself with Tar Heels. Haywood averaged 5.6 and 5.1 rpg in his two years with Jordan.
Charles Oakley began his career on the Bulls with Jordan in 1985 until 1988, when he went to the Knicks. They went from friends to rivals, but reunited in 2002-03, where a 39 year old Oakley played 42 games.
To end the 1998 NBA Finals, Jordan hit a legendary shot over Jazz guard Byron Russell. After 9 seasons in Utah, Russell joined Jordan on the Wizards in 2002. He averaged 4.5 ppg in 20 mpg.
Christian Laettner is arguably one of the most hated basketball players ever, if not, the most hated Duke player. Laettner was 32 years old when the famous Dukie played with the famous Tar Heel. In those two years Laettner averaged 7.2 ppg and 5.7 rpg.
Jordan joined the Wizards at a time when they were terrible. Terrible enough to earn the #1 pick in the 2001 Draft. Rather than go the route of taking an established college star like Jason Richardson, Shane Battier, or Joe Johnson, Wizards took Kwame Brown out of high school – the first high school ever drafted #1.
In 2002, Wizards took Jared Jeffries 11th overall. Jeffries had a really successful career at Indiana as an All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year.