Unseen Footage From Last Dance Shows Michael Jordan Explain His Motivation for 6th NBA Title

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Around March and April, the entire world was lying low due to the havoc caused by the pandemic. But that’s when ‘The Last Dance’ released and captured the attention of millions who once again rewatched Michael Jordan building his legacy, but in a more cinematic way. While the docuseries tried to delve into every possible story, here’s an unreleased clip from it! 

The ten-part docuseries about Michael Jordan’s incredible career served as the perfect appetite for basketball fans during summer. It begins with his initial journey with the Bulls and ends at the point where they win their sixth NBA championship in 1998. 

However, Michael Jordan gave a pertinent interview amid the finals series against the Utah Jazz. ‘His Airness’ sat down with SportsCenter’s Stuart Scott to dive into the significance of winning the 1998 championship and what it means if he doesn’t. 

MJ already had five career rings at that point, enough to fill in one hand. But what pushed him to strive hard for the sixth? “You set your own expectations. You live up to those,” Jordan said. “Your expectations are gonna be geared toward (what) people feel you can accomplish.”

How Michael Jordan dealt with Utah being the best team in the 1998 regular-season

As the Bulls entered the finals, they didn’t receive the home-court advantage. Despite finishing with the same number of W/L record as the Jazz during the regular season, Chicago lost the tiebreaker, which awarded the home-court advantage to Utah. For Michael Jordan, this was just added motivation in increasing his hunger for victory.

“Sure, everybody’s saying this is Utah’s year,” Jordan said in 1998. “Best record, they’ve got home-court advantage. … Yeah, that’s motivation. If it’s not, then you certainly need to look in the mirror.”

“But that’s a sense of motivation,” he added. “You’ve gotta have some inner motivation, too. You want to be successful. It’s a long season that you started off trying to end the season with a win. That should never deteriorate, but other things come in with the same type of intensity in terms of motivation.”

How MJ would’ve reacted if the Bulls lost the 1998 finals

The double three-peat achieved by the Bulls shines a bright light on their legacy. Winning six titles in eight years made is an unbelievable task. This marked the 90s Chicago Bulls as one of the greatest teams ever. But how would things be if they hadn’t won the elusive sixth championship?

This question came to Michael Jordan when he in the middle of trying to win the sixth ring. But even then, MJ remained extremely calm about the matter and replied by mentioning the magnitude of the things that he had accomplished in the past. 

“No. The things that we’ve accomplished cannot be refuted at all, and a loss doesn’t erase it all,” Jordan said. “We end the season with a win, then we make sure that our objectives are met in the course of the year.”

Michael Jordan is considered one of the fiercest competitors in the league’s history. The man never likes being defeated, but he was just about to accept a loss if it had to happen during his ‘Last Dance.’ “If it so happens, and it’s not meant to be that way, we don’t look at the season saying, ‘Well, that was a wasted season.’”

Nevertheless, the Chicago Bulls made quick work of the Jazz in six games. Michael Jordan was once again outstanding, as he averaged a mammoth 33.5 points a game in the series. MJ took home his sixth championship ring and finals MVP award that year and called the curtain on his glorious career in Chicago. 

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