“He’s Glad This is Over”: The Last Dance’s Producer Reveals Why They Didn’t Showcase the Private Life of Michael Jordan

June 29, 2020 4:29 pm

Among the many people that were interviewed for ESPN’s documentary on Michael Jordan, The Last Dance, it did not include Jordan’s wife Yvette Prieto or his former wife Juanita Vanoy.

For the documentary’s executive producer Mike Tollin, it was about showing Jordan’s competitiveness which, according to him, was what people wanted to see.

“People wanted to get some insight into Michael Jordan: the uber-competitiveness, the drive, and we brought the mask down,” Tollin told Howard Bryant of ESPN.

The Last Dance team wanted to concentrate more on the professional side of Michael Jordan

Tollin said the team had a list of things that they wanted to work on for the documentary. He said they did not have any objection from Jordan for speaking to his family although he is a private person. The team, however, did not feel the need to interview his wife for a show that would concentrate on Jordan’s professional career.

We had a checklist: gambling, conspiracy theory about retirement, his father’s death, his lack of activism, and his teammates,” Tollin said. “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.”

The Last Dance eventually found great success. Released at a time when all.major sporting events were inactive, the documentary was the closest to live sports for many fans all over the world. It received viewership more than any other show that ESPN produced.

The show reiterated Jordan’s greatness to the world. As Tollin said the team had planned, the documentary managed to touch on various aspects during Jordan’s incredible run of six NBA titles in eight years.



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