Michael Jordan on The Last Dance (2020)

By now, many sports fans have probably watched ESPN’s The Last Dance and, in some cases, some may have seen it multiple times. The critically acclaimed docuseries, which chronicled the final championship run of Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls, really struck a chord with fans and casual viewers alike. As you can imagine, NBA players were also drawn to the show for one reason or another. This was true for Los Angeles Lakers point guard Alex Caruso, who found himself rewatching it ahead of his team's appearance in the NBA Finals.

Alex Caruso, of course, won his first NBA championship at the end of this past season. When describing that feeling of winning a title, he compared it to the “adrenaline rush” he received when watching the Bulls win their championships on The Last Dance:

It’s like a drug you can’t get enough of… I watched The Last Dance documentary and every time they would celebrate a championship, you’d see the banner coming, you’d see the confetti come up. I would get that adrenaline rush, I’d get that feeling and I was like, ‘Man I gotta feel that, I gotta know what that feels like.’

On J.J. Reddick’s The Old Man & the Three podcast, Alex Caruso further explained that this feeling is what led him to rewatch The Last Dance before the NBA Finals began. Apparently, he wanted to relive that dream scenario, which would eventually become a reality for him when the buzzer sounded at the end of Game 6:

Before the Finals started, I watched The Last Dance over again, because I wanted to get that little bit of juice because I wanted to have the dream in my head again. Even though we [Lakers] below them [Heat] out in Game 6, until the clock hit zero, I really didn’t have that feeling.

Anyone who’s seen The Last Dance can easily identify with Caruso’s sentiments. One of the reasons why The Last Dance was so compelling is that it accurately captures the energy of the basketball and the high stakes of the games being played. Whenever Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and their teammates won a title, you felt every bit of it. It’s honestly hard not to get some kind of high when you’re watching those sequences.

For me, these scenes are most effective because they serve as payoffs for everything those Bulls teams endured. Whether it be rowdy fans or brutal infighting, the teams persevered, making their victories that much sweeter.

The Last Dance ultimately proved to be just the jolt of energy Alex Caruso needed before the Finals, and it must be gratifying for him to actually receive that championship moment. If anything, his experience is a testament to just how inspirational the docuseries can be.

The Last Dance is currently available to stream on Netflix.

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