'30 for 30' recalls MJ in Double-A
Next up in ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series is "Jordan Rides the Bus," debuting Tuesday, in which Ron Shelton, a former minor leaguer himself, revisits Michael Jordan's first retirement from the NBA and his stunning side trip into pro baseball
Shelton, the writer/director of sports-related movies such as the classic "Bull Durham," told me Friday he wanted to revisit what in retrospect seems an even more improbable development than it did at the time.
"It was, 'My God, did that really happen?'" he said. "It would be as if Kobe Bryant said, 'I think I'll play a couple of years in the National Football League.'
"It's so insane what he did that I just wanted to go back for myself and revisit it."
The film shows Jordan struggling badly at first but improving toward the end of his stay, greatly impressing baseball people, given his age and lack of experience.
Shelton said Jordan declined to be interviewed, so he pieced together past Jordan interviews on the subject and "tried to weave it together as if it were a narration."
There's not necessarily anything wrong with that, but it should have been made clearer to the viewer that the Jordan narration was from older interviews and not fresh material.