With the completion of The Last Dance, there are plenty more NBA stories to tell and plenty more Orlando Magic tales that deserve a documentary.
The NBA world is still going through a bit of withdrawal with the end of The Last Dance.
In this time without any live sports — or NBA basketball — fans were hungering for something to look forward to and connect with the game. Reliving and revisiting Michael Jordan‘s final season with the Chicago Bulls and his entire NBA career seemed to be just what the doctor ordered.
For two hours every Sunday for the last five weeks, we could all gather and watch basketball played at its highest level by perhaps (probably) its greatest player.
To many basketball fans, the story was very familiar. But even hearing it told again with new footage and new commentary from Jordan himself and other members of those Bulls teams gave it a new shine.
Even if there were some complaints with how the story was told and what it chose to focus on — skipping over the 1996 Eastern Conference Finals does not sit great with our readership — even those who disliked that part had to admit the 10-hour experience was enjoyable and much needed.
The documentary should show how each season is a story in itself. And while not every season deserves a 10-hour documentary — or could find an audience for one — there is undoubtedly so much that goes into each season and the building of each season. The documentary should give some appreciation for all the winding stories that converge to create a team.
The Orlando Magic already had their turn with a documentary. This Magic Moment was a story of the folly of youth, detailing the sudden rise and the sudden crash of the mid-1990s Magic featuring Anfernee Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal. It tried its best to capture a moment that created that team and why they still resonate in the NBA pop culture.
For Magic fans, the documentary probably did not go too much into the details of everything that went down that season. Plus, with Shaquille O’Neal and Anfernee Hardaway as executive producers, it might have had a tinge of bias in how it chose to tell some of its stories.
That was undoubtedly a great story. And while This Magic Moment is not considered among the very best 30 for 30 documentaries, it is hard to find anybody who disliked it and did not enjoy it.
Magic history is full of stories like this though. It is full of stories that deserve at least an hour’s worth of documentary time.
The FOX Sports Florida-produced Inside The Magic series on 30 Years of Magic Basketball last year was a solid look into the Magic’s history. Dennis Scott sat down with current players to get their perception of Magic history and with Tracy McGrady for his perspective on his time with the Magic.
These two hourlong specials — along with another Inside the Magic focusing specifically on the 2009 Magic Finals run — are great and a fun watch.
Their recurring series this year following the Magic’s current season has also been a fascinating watch, helping tell the story of the season and give some special access to this year’s team.
Inside the Magic has given us at least a few Magic-centered documentary-style specials to give us a look behind the scenes
But, no offense to them, they are not quite true documentaries, although they prove useful. There is not much of a critical eye.
We are still looking for the next great Magic documentary. Here are a few of our suggestions.