Bill Simmons is engaged in a marathon chat right now on ESPN.com. He’s taking the typical questions about the NFL conference championships, the NBA, and various pop culture themes, but a couple readers asked about the 30 for 30 series and where it’s going. Some of the information is out there in various places, but some was new to us.
The collected facts below.
We have some superior projects in the works right now – our goal is to run between 6-8 sports docs per year on par with the best “30 for 30” docs. And there are so many good ideas and good filmmakers that I think we can pull it off. Four good ones that I can mention are definitely coming down the pike: The Fab Five, Bartman, Renee Richards and the 86 Masters. The Bartman one is going to be incredible.
Scott in Phoenix said he’d like to see a documentary on the Portland Jail Blazers.
I would too. The problem with an idea like that (or the Bad Boy Pistons, or the Artest Melee) is that the NBA owns the footage for all that stuff, and they are extremely hesitant (and rightfully so) about not glorifying some of the uglier moments/teams/games in their league’s history. That’s just not the Stern way. I would play it that way, too. I am still holding out hope for an Artest Melee doc at some point though… I think that’s the home run idea.
And then there’s the best one that’s not yet in the works.
The Dream Team. And I think there’s a good chance we are going to pull it off. Let’s just say there might be some Zapruder-like footage of some of those legendary practices… that one has the highest ceiling of any sports documentary because of the names involved, the significance of the team, the interview subjects, the footage, the stories (I mean, they were in Monte Carlo for 2 weeks), Barkley, Magic/HIV, MJ/Drexler, Bird/Magic, Isiah getting left off… it’s the grand slam idea that’s out there.
Simmons also offers some fascinating thoughts on PTI and Mike Wilbon leaving the Washington Post for ESPN that are worth reading.