Add another trophy to Michael Jordan’s already-stacked shelf.
Saturday evening, ESPN’s “The Last Dance,” the 10-hour docuseries which chronicled the final season of the Bulls’ six-title dynasty, took home a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special.
In doing so, it outdid “American Masters,” “Hillary,” “McMillion$,” and “Tiger King” in the category.
“Thank you so much to the Academy voters for this incredible honor, on behalf of all of the wonderful partners who made ‘The Last Dance,’ the NBA, the Jordan Brand, ESPN, Netflix, Mandalay Sports Media,” director Jason Hehir said on the FXX broadcast of the event. “Thank you to Michael Jordan himself for giving us his time and his honesty and his candor, and to the other 105 people who sat down and gave their time and their honesty to make the story what it was.
“I hope that we brought a little bit of brightness to a dark and difficult year.”
“The Last Dance” fixated on Jordan’s illustrious career, tracking his legend from his upbringing in Wilmington, N.C. to his ascension at the University of North Carolina, to his explosion into a global icon — and consummate champion — with the Bulls. Along the way, the adversities he overcame, and the triumphs he enjoyed, were heavily spotlighted.
Interspersed throughout were the backstories of key teammates, coaches and executives, but make no mistake: Jordan was the protagonist of the story.
And it was a phenomenal one. The docuseries drew seismic ratings and sparked universal debate around and appreciation for both the 1990s Bulls and the era they inhabited (plus, memes galore). That its release was accelerated to assuage a sports-and-entertainment-starved world amid the COVID-19 pandemic only added to its reach and resonance.
Now, director Jason Heir and company are beginning to stack some hardware to back that up.