Presented By Bulls Insider

Here are five takeaways from Episodes of 5 and 6 of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” documentary, which airs Sunday night.

Warning: Spoilers abound.

Kobe Bryant’s appearance, which would’ve been powerful enough, packs extra emotional wallop

Everyone knows the late Lakers great modeled much of his early career after Michael Jordan. But to see a recent interview in which Bryant eloquently gives voice to Jordan’s influence is gut-wrenching to watch following Bryant’s tragic death in a January helicopter crash.

That there’s also footage of Jordan talking trash about a young Bryant in the Eastern Conference All-Star locker room at Madison Square Garden in 1998 makes their dynamic even juicier.

Jordan’s tearful eulogy at Bryant’s memorial service at the Staples Center comes to mind as these scenes played out.

RELATED: Michael Jordan once turned down a two-hour, $100 million appearance offer

It’s gotta be the shoes

David Falk, Jordan’s long-time agent, reveals his marketing strategy behind the man who became the most marketable athlete of all-time. A significant part of that, obviously, was the creation and release of the Air Jordan shoe line.

“Nike’s expectation when we signed the deal was that at the end of Year 4, they hoped to sell $3 million worth of Air Jordans,” Falk said. “In Year 1, we sold $126 million.”

The cultural impact of Air Jordans is explored with some high-profile appearances by music personalities.

The Dream Team produced plenty of storylines

Forget the sublime collection of basketball talent, which was compelling enough.

As if the Pistons’ Bad Boy era didn’t villainize Isiah Thomas enough, his exclusion from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics — and whether or not Jordan played a part — is explored. If that isn’t enough, the documentary reminds everyone how Jordan and Scottie Pippen took their wrath over late general manager Jerry Krause’s infatuation with Toni Kukoc out on the then-Croatian sensation.

Kukoc earns respect for his bounceback performance in the gold medal game, which foreshadows his status as a critical cog in the second Bulls’ three-peat.

Jordan’s public image takes its first hits

From the release of Sam Smith’s seminal book “The Jordan Rules” to allegations of gambling problems that most spectacularly play out in his trip to an Atlantic City casino on the eve of Game 2 of the 1993 Eastern Conference finals, Jordan has to play defense regarding his public image for the first time.

It’s fascinating to watch the vintage and modern-day interviews on the subject and not think about how they would play out in today’s world driven by social media.

One interview from back then with long-time anchor Connie Chung offers a classic Jordan soundbite on whether he has a gambling problem: “No. Because I can stop gambling. I have a competition problem.”

The suffocation of Jordan is real

In perhaps one of the most eloquent interviews from the documentary, longtime public and media relations head Tim Hallam details the intense scrutiny and demands he witnessed Jordan endure throughout his playing career.

“I wouldn’t want to be like Mike,” Hallam concludes his lengthy description. “It’s an impossible task.”

And the seeds for Jordan’s first, stunning retirement in 1993 are sown. This dynamic is played off what Jordan is experiencing in 1998, as well.

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