How “The Last Dance” Happened in the First Place with Exec Producer Andy Thompson.
What wasn’t in “The Last Dance” that you should know? And how did the Jordan/Bulls doc come to happen in the first place? Jumoke Davis chats with executive producer, Andy Thompson of NBA Entertainment (and uncle of Klay Thompson), about how he got access to the Bulls and his attempts throughout the years to get the documentary made.
On this episode of the Just For Sport podcast, Jumoke interviews NBA Entertainment’s, Andy Thompson. He is a Vice President at NBA Ent and one of the executive producers on “The Last Dance” documentary. As a Producer in ’97, Andy was the brainchild behind the idea of having an all-access crew follow Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls for the final championship season. They talk about how the idea came to be, his attempts throughout the years to get the documentary made, his thoughts on the 10-episode series on ESPN and Netflix, and what didn’t make it in the doc that you should know.
Also find out how Andy, went from playing professional basketball to covering it, how NBAE is pivoting during this pandemic, and how being the younger brother of the Lakers #1 draft pick in 1978 and 2x NBA Champion, Mychal Thompson, and the uncle to the Golden State Warriors, 3x NBA Champion, Klay Thompson, has helped him see the value in his post-playing career.
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3:00 How NBA Entertainment is pivoting coverage of the NBA during this pandemic, and how Kobe got to see an advanced version of the Jordan-Bulls footage.
6:45 Embedding a crew with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls final championship season and trying to get Jordan’s permission to make the documentary.
12:41 Working with ESPN and Netflix on The Last Dance, how it grew to a 10-episode series, and what was left on the cutting room floor that is worth seeing.
23:50 How Andy began working with NBAE, being the brother of the Lakers #1 draft pick, Mychal Thompson and uncle to Golden State Warriors, Klay Thompson, and how the Dream Team launched Andy’s idea for following Jordan and the Bulls.
30:51 Mychal and Klay’s thoughts on The Last Dance and how they keep in touch and work together today.
36:04 The new ways to cover the NBA, LeBron not being an all-time top 5 player in the league, and what episode of The Last Dance had the best ending.
44:10 Did Jordan change his own legacy and the next documentary Andy would like to see.
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