The Last Dance drew strong reviews and viewership around its debut last night, but it also saw one notable anachronism pointed out. In a portion of the documentary covering the Bulls’ run to the playoffs in 1986, a list of the NBA standings featured the “Wizards” in sixth. But Washington didn’t become the Wizards until 1997; they were the Bullets in 1986. And that led to a number of people pointing out the error on Twitter. NBC Sports Washington’s Prince J. Grimes got a statement from ESPN that this was in fact just an error rather than a conscious choice to avoid the Bullets name, and that it will be fixed in future airings:
Some fans speculated this was purposefully done by ESPN in an attempt to be politically correct in a social climate where the name “Bullets” is no longer deemed acceptable. In a statement to NBC Sports Washington, ESPN said the error was simply a mistake.
“This was an error on the graphic,” an ESPN spokesperson said, adding that it “will be fixed in future re-airs.”
There are some edits made after the fact for content reasons, but this doesn’t appear to be one. But it is an interesting miss. And while a mistake like that doesn’t devalue the documentary much, it is one of those things that can draw some attention, like Uncut Gems‘ ESPN-TNT mixup. And it’s more proof that many sports fans are out there watching content pretty closely.