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SIU Men's Basketball | 'The Last Dance' brings back good memories for Mullins
SIU Men’s Basketball

SIU Men's Basketball | 'The Last Dance' brings back good memories for Mullins

The Last Dance Jordan Basketball

ESPN has hit the quarantine gold mine with “The Last Dance,” the 10-part documentary that chronicles the career of NBA legend Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dynasty of the 1990s. And so have sports card dealers.

CARBONDALE — A Downers Grove native in his early 30s, SIU men's basketball coach Bryan Mullins lived through the 1990s Chicago Bulls that are being immortalized through ESPN's "The Last Dance."

Mullins was not a season ticket holder, but was at one of the most iconic games of the 10-part series in late March of 1995. After a 1-1 start to the 1994-95 season, the Bulls returned to the United Center for Jordan's first home game since returning from retirement. Mullins and his dad, Mike, were there, but couldn't even hear half of the most long-awaited introduction in the city's history.

"It was just me and my dad. When they introduced his name, as soon as they said "From..." I couldn't hear the rest of it," Bryan said on a virtual town hall meeting that aired on Facebook Live on Wednesday night. "You couldn't hear "North Carolina," you couldn't hear the height, anything. It was pretty cool, and was something that will always stick with me."

Jordan made just 7 of 23 from the field but scored 21 points, handed out eight assists and had four rebounds. The Bulls lost by seven to Orlando. Jordan wore No. 45 that night. He switched back to No. 23 during the 1995 playoffs, which the Magic won 4-2 in May.

Bryan Mullins looked back on SIU's 16-16 season and answered a few viewers' questions during the virtual town hall. It also included a short interview between sophomore guard Marcus Domask, last season's MVC freshman and newcomer of the year, and Voice of the Salukis Mike Reis.

Asked if the team would be a better rebounding squad with the new additions, Domask said SIU may play four or more bigs in 2020-21. The Salukis return third-year sophomore forward Sekou Dembele, walk-on forward Will Keller, Domask, and added three forwards in the spring recruiting class.

"With J.D. (Muila), Anthony (D'Avanzo), Kyler (Filewich), and I'm going to have a bigger role, and Ben (Harvey) will come in and rebound," Domask said. "As a committee, we're going to be more solid down low. We're going to outrebound teams this year."

SIU led the Valley in scoring defense last season, but were last in the league in rebounding margin (minus-6.5 per game).


On Twitter: @THefferman


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