The Last Dance takes a deep dive into the 1997-1998 Chicago Bulls, which saw the team enter the NBA season with five championships over the last seven years

By Robyn Merrett
April 21, 2020 05:33 PM
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Michael Jordan is donating his entire share of proceeds from The Last Dance to charity.

Forbes was first to report the news, explaining that the roughly $3 million to $4 million Jordan will rake in from the docuseries will be given to “charitable causes.”

A rep for Jordan tells PEOPLE, “Michael has already committed to donating to Friends of the Children, a national non-profit that provides vulnerable children, ages 4-6, with professional mentors who stay with them from kindergarten through graduation, and we are vetting additional Coronavirus-related causes.”

The first two parts of The Last Dance premiered on Sunday, and more than 6 million viewers tuned in, making it the most watched docuseries on ESPN in history, CNN Reported.

Before the premiere, Jordan, 57, warned fans that the 10-part film series will show a side of him that some might find too intense.

“When people see this footage, I’m not sure they’re going to be able to understand why I was so intense, why I did the things I did, why I acted the way I acted and why I said the things I said,” Jordan said in an interview with The Athletic.

Jordan — considered the best basketball player of all time — was famous for his intensity on the court, often trash-talking opponents and even his teammates. But he was undoubtedly the pivotal piece to the Bulls’ six championships during the 1990s.

The Last Dance takes a deep dive into the 1997-1998 Bulls, which saw the team enter the NBA season as defending champions after back-to-back championships in ’96 and ’97 (and three before that in ’91, ’92 and ’93). Despite their success, it would be the last time the team’s core players, such as Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Steve Kerr, Dennis Rodman and coach Phil Jackson, would all be together.

Michael Jordan

“Winning has a price,” Jordan says in the documentary, according to CBS Sports. “And leadership has a price. So I pulled people along when they didn’t want to be pulled. I challenged people when they didn’t want to be challenged. And I earned that right because my teammates who came after me didn’t endure all the things that I endured.”

However, Jordan isn’t the only focal point of the docuseries.

While fans tuned in for the highly anticipated look into the NBA legend’s life, a chunk of the social media chatter surrounding the broadcast before it aired had to do with the former President Barack Obama‘s title listed in the series.

When Obama, 58, appeared in The Last Dance, speaking about Jordan’s star power and influence in the 1990s, a lower-third identifier under his name jokingly read “former Chicago resident” — perhaps not the most obvious of descriptors for the two-term commander in chief.

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Donald Trump has so royally f— the reputation of being called President of the United States that Barack Obama was like ‘nah, I’m just a former Chicago resident,’” one person quipped on Twitter, as another wrote, “Calling Obama a ‘former Chicago resident’ is quite the understatement.”

“My new goal in life is to meet the person who decided Barack Obama would be ‘Former Chicago Resident,’” tweeted another viewer.

Michael Jordan
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In November 2016, Obama honored Jordan with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, calling the retired athlete “more than just the best player on the two greatest teams of all time.”

“There is a reason you call someone ‘the Michael Jordan of’ — Michael Jordan of neurosurgery, or the Michael Jordan of rabbis, or the Michael Jordan of outrigger canoeing — and they know what you’re talking about,” Obama said at the time. “Because Michael Jordan is the Michael Jordan of greatness.”

Obama added: “He is the definition of somebody so good at what they do that everybody recognizes them. That’s pretty rare.”

With two episodes down and eight more to go, two new episodes of the series will air each Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN until the finale on May 17.