ESPN’s The Last Dance docuseries about Michael Jordan’s final season with the Chicago Bulls became a cultural moment of its own last year, with basketball fans in lockdown reveling in the in-depth look at one of the NBA’s greatest dynasties. But a year later, Saturday Night Live focused in on one infamous scene from the show in a pitch-perfect sketch starring host Keegan-Michael Key.
The sketch has a bit of CGI wizardry in it, superimposing Key into Jordan highlights to preview what was an “extended scene” from Game 5 of the 1993 NBA Finals against the Phoenix Suns. But the action wasn’t on the court, it was in the bowels of the United Center and the game Jordan played against a security guard named John Michael Wozniak where the two tried to toss a quarter as close to the wall as possible.
You remember the one, it included this move when the security guard — played here brilliantly by Heidi Gardner — won.
“He won. I was happy for him,” Key, as Jordan, says later. “But he did that little shrug, and I took that personally.”
If you watched the clip from The Last Dance you know everything here is perfect. The outfits, the weird examples of Jordan’s legendary competitiveness, and the amount he absolutely seethed losing a very silly game to a security guard with incredible hair. Which is why, in the extended clip, the stakes go from five dollars to $1,000, and Jordan quickly gets the upper hand.
“That is financially rough for me,” Gardner’s character says as Jordan celebrates quickly taking $9,000 off a security guard.”
Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley shows up behind the scenes as well, and the SNL cast also plays Dennis Rodman and Phil Jackson in the sketch. The stakes get raised, the security guard somehow loses his pants and it’s all yet another slightly disturbing metaphor for Jordan’s competitiveness.
“If you’re not playing to win,” Jordan says, cigar in hand after seeing a security guard give him a gun to settle a bet. “Why play?”