Sports fans are about to have a brand new piece of entertainment sooner than expected in their stay-at-home arsenal during the coronavirus quarantine.
That's because ESPN announced Tuesday morning that its highly awaited docuseries on Michael Jordan, "The Last Dance", will now be released two months earlier than was initially planned thanks to the pleas throughout the world of basketball fans. The official release date is April 19, and the first part will air at 9 p.m. ET.
"We've heard the calls from fans asking us to move up the release date for this series, and we're happy to announce that we've been able to accelerate the production schedule to do just that," ESPN said in a statement. The series will consist of 10 parts and will be 20 hours long, taking bits and pieces of over 500 hours of footage to put together the ultimate homage to Michael Jordan and his final season with the Bulls in 1997-98.
The trailer, though only a minute long, reveals some shots that help to demonstrate what will make the series so exciting. It shows Jordan's interactions with teammates and fellow stars (Magic Johnson and Kobe Bryant, notably) while also including snippets of interviews from non-sports figures that showcase the impact that he made throughout the nation and the world. Who doesn't love a Jerry Seinfeld cameo?
Perhaps most intriguing was a small clip of Jordan laying on the floor of the locker room in either pure ecstasy, or disappointment, or some other emotion that gives a glimpse into the many never-before-seen shots of action that took place off the court. Watch the full trailer below.
In the season covered by the docuseries, Jordan and the Bulls went 62-20, coasted through the early rounds of the playoffs and faced off with the Pacers and Jazz in two epic series to cap off a magical run. Jordan led the league in scoring with 28.7 points per game, capturing the last of his 10 scoring titles along with his fifth and final MVP award.
An act like this goes to show that media figures understand the benefit of having sports to watch as encouragement to stay home and stay safe during this national and universal health crisis. In a similar fashion, the NBA and other sports leagues have granted access to their streaming services for free, enabling fans to watch thousands of games that they otherwise would have needed to pay for.