Sports fans will finally have something to cheer for next month.
While leagues across the globe have halted all levels of competition amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, ESPN is offering some new entertainment, moving up the release of its highly anticipated documentary series about NBA legend Michael Jordan.
Originally scheduled for June, the 10-episode documentary — titled The Last Dance — will now kick off on April 19.
The change was announced on Good Morning America Tuesday, along with the premiere of a new trailer. ESPN said they were inspired to shift the premiere date at the urging of viewers.
“As society navigates this time without live sports, viewers are still looking to the sports world to escape and enjoy a collective experience,” the network said in a statement. “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.”
“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,” ESPN added.
The Last Dance offers an intimate portrait of Michael Jordan, with never-before-seen footage of the athlete and his then-team the Chicago Bulls captured throughout their triumphant 1997-98 championship season.
Over 100 people close to Jordan and the team were interviewed for the documentary.
“Michael Jordan and the ’90s Bulls weren’t just sports superstars, they were a global phenomenon,” said director Jason Hehir in a statement. “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. I hope viewers enjoy watching our series as much as we enjoyed the opportunity to make it.”
Jordan, 57, played 15 seasons in the NBA, winning six championships with the Chicago Bulls and nabbing the lead scoring title a record 10 times. The star was also the league MVP five times, and Finals MVP a record six times.
He first retired from the NBA in 1993 to start a new career in baseball, but returned to the Bulls in March 1995.
After helping the Bulls score three additional championship titles — in 1996, 1997, and 1998 — Jordan would go on to retire for the second time in January 1999. He came back to the sport to play two more NBA seasons — 2001 and 2003 — with the Washington Wizards.
The Brooklyn-born athlete currently owns the Charlotte Bobcats.
Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Michael Jordan
Though many consider Jordan he greatest basketball player of all time, he has famously shrugged off the title.
“I would never say that I am the greatest player,” Jordan said in a 2009 interview with ESPN.
In fact, Jordan said that “when I hear it, I cringe a little bit because it’s a little bit embarrassing because no one knows.”
“I don’t want it in a sense because I think it disrespects Wilt Chamberlain, Jerry West — you know all the guys that prior to me I never had a chance to play against,” Jordan said. “What everybody is saying I am, I never had the chance to compete against other legends that was prior to me. … I never had the chance, once again, to play against those guys. I would love to have played against them but I never did.”