The Last Dance

“The Last Dance,” the  ESPN documentary about the 1998 Chicago Bulls, started tonight.  As I was watching it I was reminded of the LeBron James vs. Michael Jordan debate Shawn Jr and I would always have.  Long before he was declaring Luka the GOAT (a bit in jest) he was always telling me how LBJ was the greatest basketball player ever.  How he would certainly beat MJ. That LeBron was the better athlete.  The better teammate.   That he made everyone around him better in a way that Jordan never did.  He made compelling arguments.  LeBron is a special player on and off the court.  I have always been a LeBron fan (even when it was not popular to like LeBron).  But, I still say MJ was the best to ever play the game.  His 6 and 0 finals record and dominate play is almost certain to stand the test of time - for a very long time.   

Watching “The Last Dance” tonight, I kept thinking about how much I wish Shawn Jr was right beside me watching it.  I am not sure he ever really appreciated the greatness of MJ.  Sure he had seen some highlights and knows the stats.  But this documentary gives a real inside look into what it was like to be the most dominate player in the NBA.  It would give Shawn Jr of bit of my perspective on the MJ v. LBJ debate.  He would have loved it.  

As I was about the lay down for the night, Misty brought me a stack of papers.  We have been cleaning / organizing our bedroom during this crazy time of COVID and she was digging through some papers.   She handed me a stack of papers.  On them we had been keeping track of Shawn Jr’s medications and the amount of fluid draining off his lungs.  So many medication and painful memories.  

This paper was from June 19th.  We didn’t know it at the time, but he only had about 3 weeks to live.  This was part of the historical record from his Last Dance.  

Hard times.  

I am reminded that LeBron is not done yet.  So while he may not be here to see it, Jr. may have the last word in this debate.  


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