Fans rejoice, for Michael Jordan’s all-access documentary, ‘The Last Dance’ is finally happening! It took the NBAE years to convince the basketball legend to agree to film him in all his glory. When Adam Silver first pitched the idea to Jordan after refusing many times, he finally hit bulls-eye with an offer the latter could not refuse—”Worst-case scenario,” Silver told Jordan, “you’ll have the greatest set of home movies for your kids ever created.”
This kind of access was unique given a team surrounded by as much controversy and pressure swirling around it as the 1997-98 Bulls. “I mean, then, as it is now, Michael was one of the most famous people on the planet,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver, who was the head of NBA Entertainment at the time. “And there were rumors that it was going to be Michael’s last season.”
“I remember thinking, ‘Man, this guy is going to retire,” Thompson said. “And we’ve never really fully documented a year in the life of potentially the greatest athlete in the history of the sport.”
Jackson is notorious for his need for control and as long as he could shut off the cameras from time to time he was willing to trade some privacy for the sake of history.
For years footage lay unused in the Secaucus library with the condition that neither would be able to use the footage without permission from the other. Thompson believed that one day Jordan—the man, the legend—would be ready to tell his story to the world. And finally, he was.