By KELLY MCCARTHY, ABC News
(NEW YORK) — As fans relived Michael Jordan’s show-stopping run with the Chicago Bulls to win the 1998 NBA title on The Last Dance, a docuseries that finished its 10-episode run on Sunday, the superstar’s his own kids say they now have a new perspective on their father’s storied career.
“At the end of the day, you know, the generation is getting younger and younger and they’re going to be in the same boat where they haven’t seen my father play,” Jasmine Jordan told ABC News’ Good Morning America on Monday. “They’re going to ask those questions as to ‘who is it he? Or what did he do?’ And that’s a responsibility that my brothers and myself take on. And it’s one that we love because it essentially evolves Jordan and the brand and the legacy that my father has created.”
Her older brother, Jeffrey Jordan, explained that like younger basketball fans, the series has been a way to rewatch their dad’s career highlights with a fresh eye.
“It’s been amazing to see him in a different light,” Jeffrey Jordan said. “We got to see him when he came home and he was done with work — but being able to see him in his element, in his atmosphere with the team and see all the ups and downs of that season has been a treat to watch.”
Jasmine Jordan — who admitted she once had to Google her own dad to grasp the concept of his fame — said the ESPN series that chronicled the pinnacle of MJ’s prime has “been eye-opening.”
“I had kids and teachers and stuff at school telling me ‘it’s incredible your father is who he is.’ And I’m thinking you all haven’t met my father to my knowledge, how do you know this? So I did, I googled him. And I found a lot clearly,” she said with a laugh. “I had that conversation with my father afterwards and he just laughed and was like, ‘Hey, there’s no way to really tell you anything like that.’ But between him and my mom, they made sure that we felt like he was normal as can be and we grew up very normal and for that I’m grateful.”
“I was so young at the time — so now I’m understanding the chaos and everything that was happening,” Jasmine Jordan, 27, continued. “It’s been a joy, really, to watch and I think like everybody else we’re sad that it’s over.”
Her brother also explained that the series gave them insights as to things that were happening with their dad’s teammates that they didn’t fully understand at the time.
“You would hear those things here and there off the court, but for the most part all those little details about the team — his teammates stories as well — were all eye opening and new for me. It was great to see those guys doing what they do,” he said of his dad’s Bulls teammates Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman and Steve Kerr.
The 10-part production that became must-watch TV on Sunday nights with six million viewers each week included never-before-seen footage throughout the Bulls’ 1997-98 season. Michael Jordan’s passion and tenacity were on full display and viewers got to see one of the greatest dynasties in sports history up close.
“He was tough and it was competitive,” Jeffrey Jordan, 31, said about what his dad was like off the court at home. “We always felt like the competitive atmosphere shaped us in a way that was for the better and got us prepared for what we were gonna face in the real world. We embraced it, but the switch was on.”
Jeffrey Jordan, who played basketball at University of Central Florida, said “it was definitely difficult” to carry the Jordan name onto the court.
“As you get older and you mature it kind of gets a little easier to deal with. But every night you knew you were getting everybody’s best game and you had a target on your back,” he said. “You just did your best to go out there and face it head on and enjoy it as much as possible.”
Their father’s name will long be hailed as the greatest of all time and his two kids said “it’s very important” that they continue to protect that legacy through his brand.
“It educates the younger generation as we continue to produce products, footwear, apparel, whatever it is for the younger generation,” Jasmine Jordan said. “It’s definitely an exciting aspect that we get to do and carry on, but as individuals we’re able to put our own spin on and keep it authentic so the next generation can ride the wave that we’ve been able to be a part of.”
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