clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Let’s pay tribute to all those ‘Last Dance’ memes

Social media is bad at so many things. But the memes about ESPN’s ‘The Last Dance’ were A+. Let’s pay tribute.

Michael Jordan in “The Last Dance.”
Michael Jordan watches interview footage on an iPad while being filmed for the documentary series “The Last Dance.”
Netflix/Mandalay Sports Media/NBA Entertainment

I’ve spent the last five Sunday nights watching ESPN’s 10-part Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance,” then discussing it with Deseret News sports reporter Jody Genessy. Our write-ups usually focused on the big stuff — the murder of Jordan’s father, Jordan’s often-disturbing will to win, Scottie Pippen’s role in the Bulls’ six championship runs — with some forays into smaller moments that caught our attention. But every episode had so many little asides that felt hilarious or questionable or fascinating in their own right. We didn’t have enough time to write about them all as they happened.

One of the great joys of watching “The Last Dance” was how pop culture latched onto these many peripheral details. If you noticed something weird in “The Last Dance,” even if it was tiny, you can bet tons of other people online noticed it, too. No moment went unmentioned or un-memed.

Here’s my tribute to those minuscule, memorable moments.

Jordan’s terrifying pointer fingers

Jordan had remarkable dexterity. That’s nothing new. But I’m still trying to make sense of this moment from Episode 3 when a current-day Jordan, apropos of nothing, casually bends his right pointer finger back — and I mean waaaaaay back — the opposite direction of how a finger normally bends. I’m still bothered.

Also terrifying: Jordan’s yellow eyes

Jordan’s eyes have become, like, extremely yellow in recent years. We see those eyes a lot in “The Last Dance.” It has to be a more recent development — all the footage from Jordan’s Chicago Bulls days show the whites of his eyes looking, well, white. Some media organizations have recently looked into it. There’s no public disclosure of Jordan being treated for jaundice or other genetic conditions that might turn his eyes yellow. So that’s good, I guess. I just hope he’s OK.

Baby B.J. Armstrong

Time takes its toll in different ways — unless your Jordan’s former teammate B.J. Armstrong. In which case, you just don’t age at all. I’ll have what he’s having.

The world’s most unnecessary Justin Timberlake appearance

Maybe I’m misremembering this, but I think Justin Timberlake shows up only once in the entire 10 episodes. And it’s for about 10 seconds. Timberlake claims that when he was a kid, he’d save up money to buy Air Jordans by mowing lawns.

Um, wasn’t he a member of the Mickey Mouse Club? Something tells me Disney was paying him good money back then. Mowing lawns? Please.

Different decade, same Karen

Hoosiers, man. In Episode 9, which aired on Sunday night, we get a taste of Indiana Pacers fandom circa 1998 — via one truly alarming woman screaming her lungs out behind the Chicago Bulls bench. If the rest of Pacer Nation is anything like her, we’ll keep our distance.

The memes, the memes, the glorious memes

With most people stuck at home in quarantine, “The Last Dance” dominated the TV ratings every Sunday night. Over its 10 episodes, “The Last Dance” averaged 5.65 million same-day viewers. And with those numbers came meme after meme after meme. Below are some of my favorites. (If they don’t make sense, you’ll just have to watch “The Last Dance” like the rest of us.)