Because God Won’t Give Us More Than We Can Handle, Michael Jordan Docuseries The Last Dance Will Now Premiere in April

Jay Connor | THE ROOT

Our prayers have been answered.

With the coronavirus condemning us all to our couches indefinitely, the world as we know it will never be the same again. Thankfully, ESPN has stepped up to be the hero we need during these perilous times and announced that its highly anticipated 10-part docuseries, The Last Dance, will debut on April 19 instead of its original June release date.

The Last Dance puts Michael Jordan’s final season with the Bulls under the microscope and according to The Athletic, it will air on ESPN every Sunday night from April 19 to May 17—two episodes at a time.

With professional sports leagues experiencing an unprecedented work stoppage that has turned ESPN’s programming schedule into a nightmare, this isn’t a perfect replacement, but it’s a damn good alternative to watching nothing at all.

“As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience,” ESPN said in a statement. “We’ve heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we’re happy to announce that we’ve been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that.”

ESPN continued, “This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.”

Considering some of our favorite shows and most-anticipated movies have either been canceled or derailed entirely by this pandemic, who do we have to thank for this timely miracle?

Fans have been clamoring for weeks for ESPN to move up the date, and during a recent appearance on Richard Jefferson’s Road Trippin’ podcast, LeBron James echoed their sentiments.

“If they release that thing right now? The views on it?” James said. “Listen, if I’m Michael Jordan, I’m going in there and I’m making a conference call and I’m like, ‘OK, what’s the reason that we’re going to hold on to it until June now? Compared to now when everybody is at home?’ Because it’s done [being edited]. It’s done. Yeah, it’s done.”

And as for the new release date, it’s safe to assume that it’s been met with universal acclaim.

Much like everyone else, I can’t wait to revisit my disdain for all things Michael Jeffrey Jordan—anyone care to remind him that my team, the Orlando Magic, gave him that work in the ‘95 NBA Playoffs?—and that the 19th can’t come soon enough.

Check out the extended trailer for The Last Dance below…

‘Things Are What They Are’: Kobe Bryant Says It Angered Him That He Didn’t Win Six Championships Like Michael Jordan Did

Daryl Nelson | ATLANTA BLACK STAR

When it comes to discussions about who’s the greatest NBA player of all time, Michael Jordan and LeBron James usually come up, at least among a certain generation of basketball fans.

But there’s another guy who some might say also needs to be included in that debate, and that’s none other than Kobe Bryant.

The retired hoops star sat down with Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson on “All The Smoke” podcast, where Jordan’s name came up.

Barnes mentioned that Bryant once said that he “wanted to sit at the table with MJ,” in terms of getting six championship rings like he did.

Kobe left the NBA with five rings, the last time being in 2010 when the Los Angeles Lakers outlasted the Boston Celtics in seven games.

“Oh, it pissed me off,” said Bryant around the 27:50 mark about falling one ring short of Jordan. “But things are what they are. You push for a goal. My original goal was to try to win eight.”

“You push for it and you try to do the best you can,” he added. “At the end of the day, you can be comfortable with the results and where they landed and where they ended up.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Bryant said he and Jordan are far different from each other, because the retired Chicago Bulls star would compete at everything and anything, while Bryant said he’s the opposite.

“I only compete with things that I really am good at,” he explained.

The former shooting guard also talked about a conversation that he and Jordan had about the 1991 Bulls taking on the 2003 Lakers, since both had powerhouse squads in those years.

“He’ll talk basketball all day long. ‘What would’ve happened if my ’91 against your ’03?’” Bryant said Jordan asked. “What he started the conversation, [was like] well, ‘I would’ve destroyed you.’”

“I just said, ‘Listen, remember who you talking to,’” Bryant continued. “And he just started laughing and said, ‘I’m just messing with you.’ And then we just kind of moved on.”

Jeremy Roenick shares a ridiculous Michael Jordan gambling story

Nick Schwartz | USA TODAY SPORTS

Michael Jordan is, among many other things, a legendary competitor and gambler, so this absurd story from former Blackhawks player Jeremy Roenick should surprise no one.

During an appearance on 670 The Score, Roenick told a tale from Jordan’s first three-peat with the Bulls, when the Bulls legend invited Roenick out for a round of golf on the morning of a game day. Roenick had the day off, so he visited Sunset Ridge Country Club and won a few thousand dollars off Jordan during his round. The rest of the story is epic.

“This was like end of the season for us, end of the season for them. I get a call from Michael, ‘meet me at Sunset Ridge early, we’re going to go play 18 holes.’ We didn’t have a game, we actually had a day off. So I meet him at Sunset Ridge… we played a round, beat him for a couple thousand, and I’m getting ready to leave. Now, the Bulls are playing that night. They play Cleveland, that night. So I’m thinking he’s leaving, it’s 10:00, he’s like ‘no, let’s go play again.’

So we fill up a bag full of ice and Coors Light and we walk again. We roll around another 18 and I take him for another couple. We’ve been drinking all afternoon. Now he’s going from Sunset Ridge to the stadium to play a game.

And I’m like messing around, I’m like ‘I’m going to call my bookie, all the money you just lost to me I’m putting on Cleveland tonight.’

He goes ‘I’ll tell you what. I’ll bet you that we win by 20 points and I have more than 40.’ I’m like ‘done.’

Son of a gun goes out, scores 52 and they win by 26 or something… after [36] holes of golf and having maybe 10 Bud Lights. The man, to me, is the best athlete that I’ve ever seen.”

Roenick estimates that the game in question happened around 1992-1993, so he’s likely talking about the Cavs-Bulls game on March 28th, 1992, when Jordan dropped 44 points and the Bulls won 126-102.

Magic Johnson details why Michael Jordan said Steph Curry no Hall of Famer… yet

Drew Shiller | NBC SPORTS 

On Monday morning, NBA legend Michael Jordan was a guest on NBC’s morning talk show, “Today.”

After he said that he still would pick Hakeem Olajuwon, Magic Johnson, Scottie Pippen and James Worthy as his four teammates to face any five-man lineup in NBA history, reporter Craig Melvin said:

“So Steph Curry shouldn’t be offended when he watches this?”

Jordan’s response: “I hope not. He’s still a great player. Not a Hall of Famer yet, though … he’s not.”

This comment set the Internet ablaze Monday night, and resulted in a lot of people coming to the defense of the Warriors’ superstar point guard.

On Tuesday morning, the world was delivered a gift in the form of a tweet from the aforementioned Magic Johnson:

Just perfect, and don’t forget that Jordan owns the Charlotte Hornets — Curry’s hometown team.

In August 2017 — four months after the Lakers received a warning from the NBA for comments made by Magic about then-Pacers forward Paul George — the team was fined $500,000 for tampering.

In February 2018, the Lakers were fined $50,000 for Magic’s comments praising Bucks superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo.

When Magic abruptly resigned as the Lakers’ president of basketball operations in April, he mentioned that he wanted to be able to tweet and comment freely without repurcussions. 

It looks like he’s living out his dream, and also is spot on with his take on Curry and the Hall of Fame.

📺WATCH: Michael Jordan on being a new grandfather, worries about upcoming ESPN documentary, the 4 players he’d take in an epic pick-up game + more

In an exclusive one-on-one interview with TODAY’s Craig Melvin, NBA legend Michael Jordan talks about grandfatherhood, saying “I’m having fun.” Sixteen years after retiring from basketball, Air Jordan has embarked on a new career of philanthropy and community service: “I feel like I’m making a difference.”

COMING SOON: The Last Dance, a new documentary series produced by Netflix and ESPN Films which is set to premiere in 2019: the 10-hour program “will chronicle one of the greatest icons and most successful dynasties in sports history, Michael Jordan and the 1990s Chicago Bulls.” Directed by Jason Hehir (who also made documentaries about Michigan’s Fab Five, the Super Bowl-winning 1985 Chicago Bears and wrestling icon Andre the Giant) and produced by Mike Tollin, the series will also highlight Jordan’s rise to fame in the NBA, complete with contributions from Jordan and other players from the Bulls’ title-winning teams, plus “never-before-seen footage from the team’s last championship run in the 1997-98 season.”

Michael Jordan applauds athletes for using their platform for activism, says his views have changed over time

Ben Weinrib | Yahoo Sports

Perhaps one of the most famous quotes attributed to Michael Jordan is his one about activism: “Republicans buy sneakers too.”

Whether or not he actually said that, Jordan made a concerted effort during his playing days to not rock the boat and give his political views. He carefully manicured his image to be as presentable to everyone as possible, especially as his brand took off.

But today’s NBA is far different, with the league’s best players and coaches offering impassioned thoughts on the topics de jour. That’s gotten the league in hot water with China and has cost the league millions upon millions of dollars, but Jordan said in an interview with TODAY’s Craig Melvin, which aired on Friday, that his thoughts on speaking out have changed with time.

“When I was playing, my vision and my tunnel vision was my craft,” Jordan said. “I was a professional basketball player and I tried to do that the best I could. Now I have more time to understand things around me, understand causes, understand issues and problems and commit my voice, my financial support, too.”

Notably, Jordan did not comment on the budding global crisis, in part because he said he has pending litigation since 2012 on the improper use of his name in China. But the Charlotte Hornets owner did note the opportunity players have to let their opinions have an impact.

“I think it’s great,” Jordan said. “If they understand the causes, obviously if they feel their voice matters, great. You know and I support that.”

Jordan has been more outspoken with time

Whatever shortcomings Jordan may have had as far as speaking his mind during his playing days, he’s making up for them now. No instance is clearer than his thoughts about police violence against African-Americans.

After a string of public officer-involved shootings in the summer of 2016, Jordan penned an op-ed in The Undefeated in which he felt like he could no longer keep his thoughts to himself, cautious thoughts be damned.

“As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers,” Jordan wrote. “I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well. … I know this country is better than that, and I can no longer stay silent.”

Jordan not only spoke with his words but with his wallet. In that piece, he announced that he was donating $1 million each to the Community-Police Relations and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. He’s also made seven-figure donations for multiple hurricane relief funds, his high school in Wilmington, N.C., and medical clinics in at-risk communities. His first of two clinics that he helped fund opened on Thursday.

Jordan voices support for college athletes to be paid

During the interview with Melvin, Jordan also offered his opinion on the NCAA, which has been a popular topic among players, especially after California passed a law that will allow student-athletes to make money off their likeness.

While he didn’t have an elegant solution, he is the latest former athlete to stand with players who are being profited off. Given that he is also in a position of authority in management, his words carry even more weight.

“I think they should be paid some portion of money so that their basic needs are taken care of. There’s some complexity there that I think the NCAA is going to have to figure out. Are they entitled to some compensation? Yes. What is that number? I don’t think anyone knows.”

Jordan played three years at North Carolina before going pro and launching his historic career.

Emotional Michael Jordan unveils first of two medical clinics in Charlotte

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An emotional Michael Jordan unveiled the first of two medical clinics he and his family funded in Charlotte, North Carolina, that will provide care to underprivileged members of the community.

The six-time NBA champion and Hornets owner was on hand Thursday for the grand opening of the $7 million Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic. Tears streamed down Jordan’s cheeks as he said, “this is a very emotional thing for me to be able to give back to a community that has supported me over the years.”

The clinic, located in a lower-income section of the city, will provide vital access to primary and preventive care to individuals in the community, including those who are uninsured or underinsured.

Jordan vowed to do more, saying “this is just the start of a battle of being able to touch as many people as we can.”

Jordan first announced the $7 million gift in 2017.