Michael Jordan won’t profit from The Last Dance docuseries – he’s donating any and all proceeds to charity.
Chronicling the basketball star’s climactic 1997-98 season with the Chicago Bulls, with never-before-seen archive footage across the breadth of his career, many dubbed it to be the most anticipated sports documentary of all time.
However, the 57-year-old isn’t set to bank a pretty penny as a result. Instead, Jordan plans to give any profit from the series to charitable causes.
Jordan – whose net worth stands at $2.1 billion – was set to rake in between $3-4 million from the docuseries, according to Forbes. There’s currently no details of the exact charities he’ll be donating to.
The six-time NBA champion is no stranger to philanthropy; in October last year, he opened the Michael Jordan Family Medical Clinic in West Charlotte, North Carolina, providing ‘vital access to care to individuals in the community, including those who are uninsured or under-insured’.
The first two episodes of the 10-part series are available to watch on UK Netflix now, with further chapters hitting the platform every Monday through until May 18.
For folks in the US, the series is being broadcast on ESPN every Sunday (it was originally due to air in June, but was brought forward due to the outbreak’s impact on sports entertainment).
Jason Hehir, the series’ director, said in a statement:
Michael Jordan and the 1990s Bulls weren’t just sports superstars, they were a global phenomenon. 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.
In Jordan’s final season, it was former head coach Phil Jackson – who was also on his way out the door – who labelled it ‘the last dance’, a.k.a. the final time this historic set-up would dominate the court together. Back then, NBA Entertainment had an all-access pass to film and observe Jordan – this marks the first time it’s been released to the public eye.
An ESPN spokesperson added: ‘This project celebrates one of the greatest players and dynasties ever, and we hope it can serve as a unifying entertainment experience to fill the role that sports often play in our lives, telling a story that will captivate everyone, not just sports fans.’
However, Jordan opened up about concerns regarding how his actions would be perceived many years later.
He told The Athletic:
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.
When you see the footage of [me riding with Bulls teammate Scott Burrell], you’re going to think that I’m a horrible guy.
But you have to realise the reason why I was treating him like that is because I needed him to be tough in the playoffs and we’re facing the Indiana’s and Miami’s and New York’s in the Eastern Conference.
He needed to be tough and I needed to know that I could count on him. And those are the kind of things where people see me acting the way I acted in practice, they’re not going to understand it.
Former US presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, the late Kobe Bryant and Justin Timberlake also make appearances in the series. Take two hours out of your day and dive into the legacy of a legend.
The first two episodes of The Last Dance are available to stream on Netflix now.
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