ESPN Doc On Pistons' "Bad Boys" Will Include Jordan, But Bird, Magic Decline Participation
ESPN, for its upcoming documentary "Bad Boys" on the late '80s-early '90s Pistons, interviewed more than 40 people, "including 10 members of the championship Pistons teams and opposing players" such as Michael Jordan, according to Richard Deitsch of SI.com. Immediately following the "30 for 30" film, ESPN's Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose "will host a one-hour discussion on ESPN about the Bad Boys era." ESPN NBA analyst Doug Collins, who coached against the Pistons while with the Bulls from '86-89, also will appear, "along with several Pistons players from that era." The two-hour film, set to air on April 17, is directed by Zak Levitt and "includes a synopsis of Detroit's cultural landscape" leading up to the '80s. The air date was "chosen because the NBA regular season ends on April 16 and the playoffs start three days later." The film is a "collaboration between ESPN Films and NBA Entertainment," which also worked together on the "30 for 30" doc "Once Brothers" about former NBAers Drazen Petrovic and Vlade Divac. NBAE Senior VP/Original Production Dion Cocoros said that the Pistons of that era "were the first team to give NBA Entertainment special access such as live sound in the huddles, training-room entry and cameras on bus rides and at hotels." Deitsch noted the "idea for a doc on the Pistons had been percolating for years," and the 25-year anniversary "felt like a timely news hook." The "only two subjects the filmmakers wanted who declined (as of now) interviews" were Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, but they "will be part of archival footage." Cocoros said that he "discovered never-before-seen footage of the team inside the locker room before and after games, as well as compelling footage" of late Pistons coach Chuck Daly's huddles (SI.com, 3/10).