LeBron James gets his wish with new Michael Jordan documentary series release date

Dan Loumena
LA Times

Lakers star LeBron James and many other basketball fans got their wish Monday when news leaked that the 10-part Michael Jordan documentary series "The Last Dance" will begin airing April 19 instead of the previously announced June 2.

The New York Post's Andrew Marchand reported Monday night to expect an announcement of the new air date Tuesday. It happened, with ESPN announcing the change on "Good Morning America."

James was among the chorus of people who thought that, with the NBA season suspended indefinitely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was no better time to release the series than now. He took to Twitter on Monday night to celebrate.

"The Last Dance" documents the final season of Jordan, arguably the greatest NBA player of all time, with the Chicago Bulls in 1997-98. A film crew was granted all access during the season. The 10-part series will be delivered in one-hour episodes featuring previously unreleased, behind-the-scenes videos plus more than 100 interviews.

James foresees a ratings windfall for ESPN, with live programming currently at a minimum.

”If they release that thing right now? The views on it?” James said during the "Road Trippin'" podcast released Thurdsay on Uninterrupted, the All-Star's multimedia platform. “Listen, if I’m Michael Jordan, I’m going in there and I’m making a conference call and I’m like, ‘OK, what’s the reason that we’re going to hold on to it until June now? Compared to now when everybody is at home?'"

The series reportedly will be shown on five consecutive Sundays. It will be available on Netflix outside of the United States.

"Michael Jordan and the '90s Bulls weren't just sports superstars, they were a global phenomenon," director Jason Hehir said in a statement. "Making 'The Last Dance' was an incredible opportunity to explore the extraordinary impact of one man and one team. For nearly three years, we searched far and wide to present the definitive story of an era-defining dynasty and to present these sports heroes as humans. I hope viewers enjoy watching our series as much as we enjoyed the opportunity to make it."

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