D.A.: "The Last Dance" Isn't Digging Deep On "Difficult" Topics

More than halfway through "The Last Dance," the impetus for Michael Jordan's 1993 retirement remains a mystery

The DA Show
May 04, 2020 - 1:20 pm
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As The Last Dance continues to tell the story of the 1990s Chicago Bulls, Episode 6, which aired Sunday night, focused on Michael Jordan’s well-documented affinity for gambling

Jordan did not deny his love of gambling – he called it “a competition problem” – but maintains it never got out of hand or affected his play on the court.

Okay then.

“There’s not going to be anything apparently in this documentary that paints Michael in any type of poor light because Michael will quickly dismiss it as being a poor light and then the movie moves on to the next topic,” Damon Amendolara said on The DA Show. “The reason I thought this was really important was we’re coming to the point in time where it’s his retirement [and] nobody still knows why he retired. I’m looking for some evidence that the documentary will take that seriously and delve into issues that are uncomfortable.”

The impetus for Jordan’s 1993 retirement remains controversial, as some people believe Jordan gave baseball a try not for love of the game, but because the NBA slapped him with a gambling-related suspension.

“We do not have any inclination whether they are really going to delve into the very combustible theory that Michael’s gambling had gone so off the rails that David Stern has to quietly suspend him from basketball,” Amendolara said. “We have a quote in this part where David Stern basically says, ‘We looked into it. There wasn’t anything there.’”

Indeed, Stern told filmmakers that Jordan’s gambling “never reached epic crisis levels.” 

And on we go.

“I am skeptical that we are going to get a real big-boy treatment on that, and that is, right now, one of the most interesting what-ifs or whys in sports history,” Amendolara said. “I think we got early evidence that this documentary is not going to be in any way, shape or form digging too deep on things that are too difficult. Maybe that’s just the way that it needs to be right now because maybe people just don’t want the star of Michael tarnished at all and maybe we’re just in the middle of a time where people kind of just want to be enjoying the documentary and their sports and not having the reality of other stuff pulled in there when there’s so much reality of other stuff pulled into everything anyway.”