The Last Dance, ESPN’s docuseries on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, is the most in-demand documentary to watch right now, beating out Netflix smash-hit Tiger King, according to piracy data and trends on social media.
It's even inspired some pretty hilarious meme content. That's in part due to the large cast of characters (NBA players) and their colourful commentary via a mix of vintage footage and recent interviews. Whether you're an old fan reliving the GOAT's exploits or a new fan who wants to learn everything you can about NBA legends, this documentary has become must-watch TV.
You get to see MJ crying over his first NBA championship trophy in 1991, spliced with hot-takes from his contemporaries, such as Dennis Rodman and Scottie Pippen. In fact, many of these players star in other amazing sports documentaries and movies you should check out next. We've rounded up a few of them for those of you who love The Last Dance and want more like it to watch.
What to watch after The Last Dance
Jordan Rides the Bus (2010)
Michael Jordan's 18-month stint as a minor league baseball player will inevitably be covered in The Last Dance (we're only two weeks into the series at this point). This hour-long documentary is filled with behind-the-scenes footage of Jordan in the Chicago White Sox minor league system. It also focuses on the death of Michael’s father, which some would say pushed him to play baseball.
Michael Jordan’s Playground (1990)
Perhaps the most interesting thing to watch in The Last Dance is how Michael Jordan was discussed and treated well before he became one of the greatest athletes of all time. If you agree, then this documentary from 1990 - released before MJ won a ring - shows how even then he was looked up to and revered among his peers. Best of all, there’s currently a copy to watch on YouTube.
Sportscentury: Michael Jordan
This episode of the ESPN docuseries Sportscentury chronicles Michael Jordan’s career immediately following his final retirement in 2003 and features some recycled interviews from The Last Dance. The episode is available online via YouTube, too.
Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies (2017)
The Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics have one of the greatest rivalries in sports, and it was in its heyday just as Michael was entering the league. This documentary series shows the rise of the Celtic’s Larry Bird and the Laker’s Magic Johnson - the two players Jordan would compare himself to as he worked hard to become the NBA’s most dominant player.
The Announcement (2012)
In Michael Jordan’s first trip to the NBA Finals, he played Magic Johnson’s Lakers. That Bulls and Lakers Finals could’ve been a preview of a 90s version of the Celtics/Lakers rivalry. However, it was derailed months later, when Magic Johnson announced he was HIV-positive and subsequently retired from the NBA following the season. This documentary focuses on that whole saga.
ESPN 30 for 30: Bad Boys (2014)
The primary antagonist, at least in the early years, of Michael Jordan's career is documented in this 30 for 30 from ESPN. It follows the building of the 1989 and 1990 world-champion Detroit Pistons. Both those teams would be among the last to ever beat Michael Jordan in the playoffs.
Rodman: For Better or Worse (2019)
Dennis Rodman gets plenty of his own screen time in The Last Dance, but if you want to see the full backstory on the only member of the 90s' Bulls - and perhaps American - to befriend North Korea's dictator, then this is the documentary for you. It's basically his life story.
ESPN 30 for 30: This Magic Moment (2016)
It might surprise younger NBA fans to learn that Shaquille O’Neal started his career on the Orlando Magic team with another young superstar, Penny Hardaway. This doc shows the building a young team with flashes of greatness - like when they defeated Michael Jordan in the 1995 playoffs - before the walls came tumbling down.
ESPN 30 for 30: When the Garden was Eden (2014)
This documentary tells of a mythical time when the New York Knicks were not just a competent franchise but a perennial championship contender. From 1970 to 1973, the Knicks went to three out of four finals and won two championships, with future Chicago Bulls head coach Phil Jackson as one of the team’s key cogs.
ESPN 30 for 30: Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs The New York Knicks (2010)
Reggie Miller was one of the basketball players that Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls would routinely battle in the playoffs. But this documentary series follows the rivalry between Miller and the Knicks.
Guru of Go (2010)
In the 1993 Finals, the Bulls faced off against Charles Barkley and the Phoenix Suns. This 30 for 30 documentary tells the story of the head coach of that Phoenix team, Paul Westphal, and how his influence changed basketball and the way it is played.
Space Jam (1996)
Perhaps equally important as any accomplishment he had in the NBA is the time Michael Jordan (with the aid of Bill Murray) beat the Mon Stars, helping the Looney Toons avoid a lifetime of servitude on Moron Mountain and returning the stolen talents of other NBA superstars.
Then check out: If you love Tiger King watch these shows next.