30 for 30: Season 1, Episode 18

Jordan Rides the Bus (2010)

TV Episode  -   -  Documentary | Biography | Sport
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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:
Ed Bradley ...
Himself (archive footage)
David Falk ...
Terry Francona ...
Phil Jackson ...
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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2010 (USA)  »

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20 August 2012 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This installment of "30 for 30" was a walk down memory lane--to reminisce about this very strange sports story from the mid-1990s. While I clearly remember Michael Jordan giving up basketball to play minor league baseball, I really didn't remember the factors influencing this decision nor how good he became late in his minor league career--I just remember his awkward start and how the sports reporters went nuts over all this! The film begins with the murder of Michael Jordan's father. Obviously, Michael was feeling burned out, depressed and ready for change--especially since he'd been on top of his game for several years and there didn't seem to be much challenge left for him. What I didn't know is that his dad had wanted him to play baseball--and he decided to actually try following this dream--even though he hadn't played in many years.

As I said above, Jordan's start in the minors was not particularly good--though there was TONS of coverage and pressure on him. But, as I also mentioned, he did improve...a lot. While no star, he was well on his way. Why he gave this up after only one year--now that was something I couldn't recall. This and all the other questions were answered in this very good sports documentary. The only thing I wished they'd also mentioned was several years later when, again feeling burned out, he decided to move to play for Washington--and become a sort of player-coach. Overall, worth seeing and enjoyable.

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