30 for 30 (2009–2017)
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Jordan Rides the Bus 

In the fall of 1993, in his prime and at the summit of the sports world, Michael Jordan walked away from pro basketball. After leading the Dream Team to an Olympic gold medal in 1992 and ... See full summary »



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Episode credited cast:
Himself (archive footage)
David Falk ...
Terry Francona ...
Himself (archive footage)
Steve Kerr ...
Jack McCallum ...
Jerry Reinsdorf ...
Sam Smith ...
Himself (archive footage)
Steve Wulf ...


In the fall of 1993, in his prime and at the summit of the sports world, Michael Jordan walked away from pro basketball. After leading the Dream Team to an Olympic gold medal in 1992 and taking the Bulls to their third consecutive NBA championship the following year, Jordan was jolted by the murder of his father. Was it the brutal loss of such an anchor in his life that caused the world's most famous athlete to rekindle a childhood ambition by playing baseball? Or some feeling that he had nothing left to prove or conquer in basketball? Or something deeper and perhaps not yet understood? Ron Shelton, a former minor leaguer who brought his experiences to life in the classic movie "Bull Durham," will revisit Jordan's short career in the minor leagues and explore the motivations that drove the world's most competitive athlete to play a new sport in the relative obscurity of Birmingham, Alabama, for a young manager named Terry Francona. Written by ESPN Films

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Release Date:

2010 (USA)  »

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Just before the 29 minute mark, there is a man with a red shirt seen negotiating a sale of scalped tickets with a man in a grey shirt, red and yellow hat and sunglasses. See more »


Features SportsCenter (1979) See more »

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Another Winner from ESPN
25 August 2010 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

30 for 30: Jordan Rides the Bus (2010)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

After winning his third NBA championship, Michael Jordan's life would take a dark turn when his father was murdered. In this documentary we learn that his father always wanted him to be a baseball player so the already legendary Jordan retired from the NBA and tried to make it as a Chicago White Sox. What happened has the most famous person in the world going down to the minor leagues where he struggled and was a constant target of jokes but soon his numbers started to rise. I think anyone old enough to remember this event will know all the jokes, mysteries and all around chaos that was going on when rumors broke out that Jordan was going to retire. I was only 13-years-old at the time but I remember most of the details quite vividly and I think the majority of people looked at Jordan as a fool for walking away from basketball. This documentary doesn't shy away from that opinion but at the same time it tries to look at the event from a different side as we see a man simply trying to fulfill a wish of his dead father. Shelton makes a great case for why Jordan just wanted away from the NBA pressures and threw himself into a small-league baseball where he could get away from everything but then again he apparently didn't consider what was going to happen when he made this decision. The media and fans hunted him down and turned in the biggest attendance records no matter where he played. I think the documentary does a very good job at showing what all was going on in Jordan's life and how this trip to the minors made him a stronger person. We get interviews with several people from Jordan's life including Phil Jackson who talks about what management asked him to do when they learned that he was going to retire. I think what would have made the film even more interesting would have had those who played with Jordan express their thoughts and opinions on the summer. We do get to hear from a couple of the players and managers but it would have been interesting seeing all of these events from their eyes.

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