The 1997-98 campaign, Michael Jordan‘s final one in Chicago, was a “trying” one.
With Bulls management determined to break up a legendary squad, head coach Phil Jackson galvanized his players by calling it “The Last Dance,” resulting in their second three-peat.
Though understandably heartbroken to see their historic run come to an end, MJ ensured they finished things off “the right way.”
Per The AP:
“We were all trying to enjoy that year knowing it was coming to an end,” Jordan told Good Morning America on Thursday. Jordan appeared on the show via video conference from his home in Florida to promote the “The Last Dance,” a 10-part documentary series focused on the final year of the 90′s Bulls dynasty that won six NBA titles in eight years.
“The beginning of the season, it started when (general manager) Jerry Krause told (coach) Phil Jackson that he could go 82-0 and he would never get a chance to come back,” Jordan said. “Knowing that I had married myself to him, and if he wasn’t going to be the coach, then obviously I wasn’t going to play. So Phil started off the season saying this was the last dance — and we played it that way.”
Jordan said Thursday that after Jackson told the team it was to be the final season together, the Bulls focused on completing the task of a second three-peat.
“Mentally it tugged at you that this had to come to an end, but it also centered our focus to making sure we ended it right,” Jordan said. “As sad as it sounded at the beginning of the year, we tried to rejoice and enjoy the year and finish it off the right way.”