“The Last Dance” was every basketball player’s dream. For the first time ever, the NBA community got an unprecedented look inside into the career of Michael Jeffrey Jordan.
One thing that was lacking, however, was a view into Michael’s personal life. For all the series we heard about his heroics on the court and in the locker room, we never got to meet or witness any testimony from his family.
In a chat with Howard Bryant of ESPN, “The Last Dance” executive producer Mike Tollin explained why.
“We had a checklist: gambling, conspiracy theory about retirement, his father’s death, his lack of activism and his teammates,” Tollin told me. “I think we touched on all categories. From the start, we asked ourselves, ‘Is this a workplace drama or is it a domestic one?’ We both believed it was a workplace story, and [director] Jason [Hehir] and I shared a general disinterest of the wives and children of the lead characters. Michael is one of the most private people of our lifetimes. He’s glad this is over. He wants to get on with his regularly scheduled life. Michael never said you can’t talk to either of his wives. We didn’t feel doing so advanced the story.”
Long story short, they were going for a very specific angle in the doc — and that’s the reason why some noticeable names were excluded from the program.
Nevertheless, it’s hard to say the project wasn’t a huge success. It attracted audiences, started conversations, and, more importantly, told MJ’s story really well. It’s fair to say they made the right call.