ESPN isn’t ready to quit The Last Dance just yet. Following the airing of Sunday’s final two episodes of its 10-part Michael Jordan docuseries, the network is pushing interest in the story of the Chicago Bulls’ last NBA championship run to overtime.
On Tuesday, ABC will air a one-hour after-show titled After the Dance, hosted by Stephen A. Smith and featuring guests such as Magic Johnson. And ESPN will follow that up Wednesday night with a new presentation for Game 6 of the 1998 NBA Finals, in which Jordan and the Bulls clinched a third consecutive NBA title, their sixth championship in seven seasons.
Titled Game 6: The Movie, ESPN is promoting the telecast as a “cinematic production” of the landmark contest featuring new game footage from NBA Entertainment (presumably what was filmed for the game in addition to footage NBAE chronicled while following the Bulls for what was believed to be Jordan’s final season).
The telecast will use the original NBC play-by-play and commentary from Bob Costas, Isiah Thomas, and Doug Collins, along with reporting by Jim Gray and Ahmad Rashad. According to ESPN’s official release, this will also be the first time that 1998’s Game 6 will be shown in high-definition.
Amusing title aside, this is certainly a different way to repackage a classic NBA Finals game than simply replaying the NBC broadcast. ESPN and ABC have been showing several NBA games of recent vintage, such as Kobe Bryant’s final game and various NBA Finals clinchers like 2008’s Celtics-Lakers matchup and 2016’s Warriors-Cavaliers decider.
But this new presentation could be compelling with footage that normally wouldn’t be seen during a game telecast. For instance, we’ll hopefully see clips of on-court conversations, perhaps between Jordan and Utah’s Bryon Russell before, during, and after that fateful game-winning shot. Maybe we’ll get looks at the Bulls’ bench and coach Phil Jackson in pivotal moments of the game. Or maybe this will just be a box with shiny new wrapping paper on it.
Game 6: The Movie will premiere on ESPN Wednesday night (May 20) at 9 p.m. ET following replays of Episodes 9 and 10 of The Last Dance.