Greenberg On The Last Dance: "I Went In Skeptical"

Jared Greenberg shared what he liked – and didn't like – about the 10-part series and gave his take on the MJ-versus-LeBron debate

The DA Show
May 19, 2020 - 11:54 am

The Last Dance, as expected, was immensely popular among sports fans. In fact, it is ESPN’s most-watched documentary ever, averaging 5.6 million viewers throughout its run.

Some of that, perhaps, had to do with the pandemic, but most of it, in all likelihood, had to do with Michael Jordan. 

Even though he did have a say in the finished product.

“I went in skeptical knowing that Michael was an executive producer,” NBA on TNT analyst Jared Greenberg said on The DA Show. “Anytime somebody is an executive producer on something, it’s really tough to call it a documentary. I was surprised with that knowledge that they did go into some things like how tough of a teammate he is. Even though maybe they just kind of breezed over it, I was impressed that they went over the fact they he gave Steve Kerr a black eye, that he got into fights with teammates, that he picked on Scott Burrell. You could have come out of this looking at Michael Jordan as a bully if you didn’t accept his explanation for justifying and validating why he felt he needed to be like that. So I was impressed with that.”

Still, the 10-part series was not perfect, and a handful of things left Greenberg unsatisfied.

“The one thing I wish we had more of was why Jerry Reinsdorf got let off the hook so much for just passing the buck onto his general manager for being the villain,” he said. “They clearly took a documentary and found their villain and sensationalized the crap out of that angle from episode 1 through episode 10 and only at the end did we sprinkle in a little bit of, ‘Oh yeah, the billion-dollar owner might have had the authority and the wallet and the checkbook to say, No, I can make Phil Jackson stay and I could find a way to keep Michael Jordan, but I didn’t do it.’”

Indeed, Reinsdorf broke up the Bulls after their sixth championship. They went 45-169 (.210) over the next three seasons and haven’t returned to even the conference finals, much less the NBA Finals, since Jordan retired.

For many, the documentary solidified Jordan’s status at the GOAT. Greenberg, however, didn’t need the documentary to feel that way.

“I feel confident about Michael being the greatest of all time,” he said. “I’m kind of sick of the argument, but at the same time, I’m okay with entertaining the argument. I also think Kareem needs to be in this conversation, too.”

While Jordan’s 6-0 Finals record far surpasses James’ 3-6, Greenberg believes James has had to face far tougher competition on the biggest stage. He also thinks James’ victory over the 73-win Warriors in 2016 is more impressive than any of Jordan’s six titles.

“Look at the teams LeBron has had to go against in the Finals,” Greenberg said. “Michael Jordan was the Warriors. He never had to go up against those type of teams. Yes, he had to go against Karl Malone and John Stockton and Gary Payton and had to go against Charles Barkley and Clyde Drexler. But come on. Those teams, in today’s era, would have gotten swept in the Finals by almost any one of the champions that have won titles over the last decade.”