Allen Iverson was 'clincher' for Michael Jordan doc


Allen Iverson was the clincher to the new Michael Jordan documentary, according to executive producer and Philly native Michael Tollin. 

Tollin---who is a producer and writer who has worked on some incredible sports films like Radio, Coach Carter, and Hank Aaron: Chasing The Dream---says it was his 2014 documentary titled Iverson that sealed the deal for The Last Dance, a 10-episode docu-series on Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls set to debut on Sunday, April 19th and end on Sunday, May 17th. 

"So he's looking, oh Hank Aaron, oh Kareem, Varsity Blues, Coach Carter, whatever," Tollin told Angelo Cataldi and the 94WIP Morning Show on Friday about the pitch meeting with MJ for the documentary.

"And the bottom right corner, he gets to the last one and he sees a photo of Iverson, the documentary we did and he takes his reading glasses off and he looks up at me and he says,

'You did that? Watched that thing three times, made me cry. I love that little guy.'

"That was kind of the clincher."

Tollin explained that there was incredible exclusive footage of Jordan's final season in Chicago, who only agreed to the film crew that year if he could control if and when the footage was ever released. Tollin said he was able to pitch Jordan on a ten-episode series, which would show MJ's true character arc and not paint him in a bad light. 

"The reason I don't think Michael wanted to do the show for so many years was in one-off doc, you just see his bad behavior and you'd say what a jerk," Tollin said. "In a ten episode series, you see the character arc play out. You see his motivation, you see his intent, you see how it pays off in the end. I hate to burst the bubble, but to me he's a great guy who just cares deeply, is intense, is emotional and he was really honest with us. I think you see a candor in Michael Jordan that you haven't seen before."

Five minutes from the first episode of #TheLastDance has been released...

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 17, 2020

While the documentary has hundreds of hours of exclusive access to the Bulls during that 1997-98 season, the series will go way beyond just that season. 

"One thing I got to clarify," Tollin explained. "It's not just the 97-98 season. The Last Dance is the spine of the show. Every one of the ten episodes you precede from preseason, all the way to those insane playoffs where Michael hit that last shot against Utah. But then you use it to jump off and go back and tell the stories of Michael's whole career, the back stories of Scottie Pippen, Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr. So you really get an all encompassing portrait of this incredible team."

With the coronavirus pandemic shutting down sports, people are craving for live entertainment and appointment TV. Well, this documentary is finally that for so many.

"I've been doing this for 40-plus year and I've never been involved in a production with this level of anticipation," Tollin said.