Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, AfterBuzz TV is the artist-friendly entertainment news platform that celebrates, discusses, interviews, promotes and reports on the widest range of stars, creators and content through video, audio and article publications.
ABTV Loves The Last Dance
After the first four episodes of The Last Dance did some pretty significant legwork on the storylines of Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman. Viewers who weren’t quite up to speed on the Michael Jordan-era Chicago Bulls are fully immersed at this point. This allows the docu-series to finally get into the real good stuff – insert Episodes Five and Six which debuted Sunday night.
Episode Five was hard to watch. It was unexpectedly emotional for me, as I’m sure it was for many basketball fans who fell in love with the sport within the last 20 years.
The reason? A moving tribute to Kobe Bryant, who unexpectedly passed away in a helicopter crash earlier this year.
Aside from seeing Kobe reflect on the 1998 All-Star Game with Michael Jordan, he also credited Jordan with much of his success. I referred to this portion of the episodes as being hard to watch, and they were. It was emotional to watch this documentary knowing that Kobe Bryant, who is also one of the greatest to ever step on a basketball court, is no longer with us. Knowing that when these episodes were recorded – Kobe had no idea the emotions an audience would feel from watching him on their screen.
I wasn’t alone in these #feelings.
Los Angeles Lakers’ Quinn Cook was right there with me. He tweeted that the intro tore him apart. Going on to say, “Man I wish Kobe was here to see this man. Thank you for sharing that beautiful and special footage Mike! We miss you Bean!”
😥😥😥😥 that intro just tore me apart man. Man I wish Kobe was here to see this man. Thank you for sharing that beautiful and special footage Mike! We miss you Bean❤️🙏🏽! #TheLastDance
While many young NBA stars acknowledged Kobe’s greatness, it was the older players in the 1990s that really hit home.
The documentary took the audience into the Eastern All-Stars locker room where several players discussed Kobe and his game. Meanwhile, we were able to listen to Bryant recall what it was like for him during this time.
He mentioned how it wasn’t easy coming into the league during this era. “Cause at the time the league was so much older. It’s not as young as it is today,” said Bryant, “So nobody was really thinking much of me. I was the kid that shot a bunch of airballs, you know what i mean? And at that point Michael provided a lot of guidance for me.”
He continued to give credit to Jordan on the development of his own turnaround shot and that Jordan had told him “If you ever need anything, give me a call”. Bryant even referred to Jordan as a big brother.
However, I’m sure if Kobe Bryant was here to watch the documentary unfold today, he would be cracking up at Michael Jordan’s comment, “That little Laker boy’s gonna take everybody one-on-one.” Because let’s be honest, that was just exactly how Kobe did things.
ICYMI: "That little Laker boy's gonna take everybody one-on-one."
On Monday, Shannon Sharpe commented on Kobe Bryant’s statement from the episode, “What you got from me is from [Michael Jordan].” Sharpe said on the FS1 show Undisputed that Kobe Bryant was the closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan.
Jordan loved Kobe so much because he saw himself in Kobe. Kobe Bean Bryant was the closest thing we’ve seen to Michael Jordan pic.twitter.com/CHzPFKPDbA
And that wasn’t where the inspiration stopped. A huge point of emphasis for these two episodes was the magnitude in which Michael Jordan was beloved. However, in the most Michael Jordan fashion, he hit viewers with a quote that just stuck.
It especially spoke to U.S. Women’s National Team’s two-time FIFA World Cup Champion, Carli Lloyd.
If what I do inspires you, great. If it doesn’t, maybe I’m not the one you should be following.” – Michael Jordan #TheLastDance 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
Haley Graves is a host at AfterBuzz TV. She co-hosts on the panels for NBC’s This Is Us, ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and CW’s Legacies.
Founded by Emmy winning journalist Maria Menounos and Producer Keven Undergaro, artist-friendly AfterBuzz TV is the world’s largest digital broadcast network and pop culture news platform, producing post-game ‘after-shows’ for nearly all favorite TV shows, interviewing cast and showrunners and providing the widest video, audio and article coverage of shows, content and influencers than any entertainment news platforms in existence
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