BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Millions of fans tuned into watch the Michael Jordan documentary “The Last Dance” which aired over several nights for the past month and drew record viewership on ESPN.
One interested viewer was Baltimore’s own Keith Booth.
A first-round pick out of the University of Maryland in 1997, Booth left Baltimore to become a Chicago Bull.
He was the youngest member of a star-studded team that had already won five NBA titles. That year, in Jordan’s final season in Chicago, M.J. led the team to number six.
Jordan opened up with emotional reflections of the drama, pain and triumph in the documentary “The Last Dance.”
WJZ’s Mark Viviano: “You lived it. What was it like to re-live it?”
Booth: “It brought back a lot of great memories in terms of catching that run on the back end, that championship run. But to be honest, watching that documentary reminded me that, I remember at the time thinking, I had no real idea what I was getting myself into.”
Booth: “I was very fortunate to be in that situation with guys like Phil Jackson, Scottie Pippen, Michael Jordan. I learned a lot of life lessons that still plots my life to this day.”
Booth is humble. He played in just a couple games that year but practiced with the team every day. He experienced first-hand Jordan’s competitive fire, a fire some critics claim burned beyond control.
“People say how ferocious he was as a teammate,” Booth said. “Yes, but he also understood, and we understood as members of that team that’s what comes with winning. I think one of the statements Michael made in the documentary was winning comes with a price, right? It’s not about always buddy-buddy, not always going to be friends. There’s certain sacrifices, there’s certain times as teammates you’re not going to see eye-to-eye.”
It’s a perspective Booth has taken into his coaching career and fatherhood, passing lessons onto young people, including his own children.
“My son is 8-years-old now, and his friends say, ‘Your dad played for the Chicago Bulls,’ Booth said. “For him to get a chance to see it, he wasn’t even born back then. For him to get to see that is very touching for me.”