top of page

‘The Last Dance’ is Just a Metaphor

If you’re like me, you will consume anything sports-related at the moment. If you’re also like me and you KNOW that Michael Jordan is the GOAT, then keep reading. If you are a small-brain and think that LeBron James deserves to be in the same conversation with MJ, then politely take a long walk off a short pier.

All jokes aside, ‘The Last Dance’ is one of the best sports documentaries of all time. The behind the scenes footage of MJ and Company and the Chicago Bulls from 1984-1998 is some of the most captivating footage a sports fan can watch. Having tuned in for all 10 episodes over the past 5 weeks, I realized that this story is bigger than that of sports or any one individual. This is a story of life.

Michael Jordan is one of the most beloved, controversial, larger-than-life athletes to ever play any sport. The trials, tribulations, wins, and accomplishments, however, are really what speaks to us on a human level:

MJ versus the late 80’s Celtics and Pistons

Losing his father to a homicide

Early retirement + returning to the game

Gambling issues + media crucifixion

Bulls versus the Jazz

‘The Flu Game’

‘The Shot’

‘The Shrug’

Air Jordan

Space Jam (kidding… but still love this movie)

This list can go on and on and on. We often ONLY associate MJ with success, but these highlights are stories of success through a path of adversity. A man living with a bullseye on his back (no pun intended) his whole life ALWAYS found a way to win. But, this often came with help, mentorship, a tremendous amount of sacrifice and dedication, and even a little bit of luck.

In the late 1980’s – he was the lynchpin, but he needed help. So they got Scottie Pippin and Phil Jackson.

In the early 1990’s – he had help from John Paxson and Horace Grant.

When his father died – his security guard, Gus Lett, became his best friend and father figure.

When the media came after him – he was shielded by Phil Jackson and family

When ‘The Flu Game’ occurred – his trainer and medical staff helped him through the night

Sure, MJ is the greatest SINGLE basketball player, and without him 6 titles would not have happened, a culture wouldn’t have been transformed, Kobe Bryant and LBJ as we know it don’t exist, etc., etc. BUT! MJ never went it alone. There was always something or someone behind the scenes.

You can’t go it alone.

If MJ, the best player of all time, had a trainer, a physician, a shooting coach, a physical therapist, and a diverse support system, then you must also.

No person’s life is void of tribulation. You must surround yourself with a team of people to help you maximize your potential.

“But I’m not MJ!” Well, that’s even more reason to get help in areas where you are deficient!

Thanks for reading!

Jake Reynolds, PT, DPT


To settle the debate once and for all: MJ wins 5/6 categories 🡪

1. single game highs (MJ)

2. awards (MJ)

3. career totals (LBJ)

4. regular season stats (MJ)

5. playoff stats (MJ)

6. championships (MJ)

*first 14 seasons in the league*

Dr. Jacob Reynolds PT, DPT, OCS

Physical Therapist

Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Follow Jake on Instagram: @theswimmingphysio

880 views0 comments


bottom of page