“Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can’t Jump) is in line to write and executive produce a one-hour drama covering the world of professional basketball for Showtime.”
That news comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which adds that Shelton will also direct if the series goes to pilot.
Now if having a series handled by the auteur of sports film doesn’t whet your appetite, perhaps this will: one of the executive producers is legendary coach Phil Jackson, who has a history of being eloquent and forthright. (His memoir, Eleven Rings, is a revealing read once you get past all the leader of men parables.)
THR also reports that the involvement of the Los Angeles Lakers organization goes beyond Jackson, who won five titles during his two stints in L.A. Kurt Rambis, an assistant coach and cult hero on some legendary 1980s Laker teams, is also on the roster as well as longtime execs Jeanie Buss (whose late father, Dr. Jerry Buss, owned the team) and Linda Rambis.
Jeanie Buss, Jackson’s fiancee, and Linda Rambis are executive producing under their company, Street Reason Entertainment.
According to THR, “the untitled project is a behind-the-scenes look at a professional team, focusing on the family that owns the franchise.” Jeanie Buss’s involvement bodes well, because the Buss family history is fantastic. Jeanie, who has posed in Playboy, served as a team exec while dating Jackson, an employee at the time. And Jerry Buss was a dashing ladies’ man who brought glitz to Lakers basketball–and the once-dormant NBA.
This could be appointment television. Shelton just needs to make sure the actors cast as the players can hoop and that the uniforms don’t look cartoonish.
[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]