The Last Dance

There’s a lot of anticipation building for the release of The Last Dance, the 10-part documentary series on Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls that premieres Sunday night on ESPN (or on ESPN2 if you want a censored version). Towards that end, ESPN has now released a five-minute clip from the first episode, featuring Michael Wilbon and J.A. Adande discussing that team, a clip from a Michael Jordan press conference ahead of that season, some of the behind-the-scenes footage from that season of players working out, discussions of the growing tension between the players and GM Jerry Krause, and more:

It’s remarkable to see ESPN put out a clip of that length before a documentary even airs, but in this case, it makes some sense. For one thing, this is a 10-part series, so they’re not exactly giving away the whole store here. For another, this helps show off what The Last Dance has to offer, from its focus on the different tensions on the team that season to its combination of previously-seen archival footage, previously-unseen behind-the-scenes footage, and new interviews. So this helps illustrate what the series will be, and helps generate some more discussion about it and buzz for it. (And with this tweet recording almost 4,000 retweets and over 13,000 likes in five hours, that’s a not-insignificant amount of buzz.) We’ll see if this premiere does top their documentary ratings record or not (held by You Don’t Know Bo‘s average audience of 3.8 million in the December 2012 post-Heisman slot), but either way, it’s going to draw a lot of people.

[ESPN on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.