3. The immense impact that MJ had on other NBA superstars early in his career
We know the respect that former NBA superstars had for Jordan during his early playing days in the league. But The Last Dance provides both a refresher on that immense respect and more specific times when he was able to mince up those other NBA superstars. One of the best looks at that in the first two parts of the docuseries came with a focus on the 1986 playoff series between the Bulls and Boston Celtics.
A Celtics team that featured five eventual Hall-of-Famers, and came into the playoffs with a 31-game winning streak at home in the Boston Garden should have really intimated and been able to limit a young Jordan. Instead, Jordan went off for 49 points in the first playoff game of that series and a whopping 63 in the second.
It’s amazing that more than 110 points combined from Jordan in the first two games of that first round playoff series with the Celtics wasn’t able to get his team over the hump. But the Celtics were still a true NBA juggernaut in 1986, and the Bulls didn’t have the supporting cast needed to get Jordan close to a title.
A number of meaningful quotes from other NBA legends in the first two parts were highlighted by one major bit of praise from Bird based on the performance that Jordan put on during the 1986 playoffs. Lakers legendary guard Magic Johnson and former North Carolina Tar Heels teammate James Worthy also had some praise for Jordan in the first two parts.