If you thought Michael Jordan’s gripping recollections from The Last Dance was about all the MJ action you’d be getting this month, think again. Coming fresh on the back of ESPN’s hit series is another documentary about the global icon, but one centered on the phenomenon of his Air Jordan brand and its facilitator, Nike.
One Man and His Shoes premiered on VICE TV on Monday night, only one week removed from The Last Dance‘s finale, and is an excellent watch featuring interviews from Jordan’s former agent David Falk, former NBA commissioner David Stern, sports journalist Jemele Hill, sports writer Scoop Jackson, and the man who made it all happen, Sonny Vaccaro (a surprising exclusion from The Last Dance).
Basketball fans were thoroughly entertained by the 10-part docuseries and can’t be happy that it’s over; fortunately, there’s already something else to check out.
The timing really couldn’t have been any better – yet, according to the film’s director Yemi Bamiro, it’s totally coincidental.
Talkbasket.net caught up with the British filmmaker for a chat about the release and the inspiration behind it. Bamiro claimed it took him over six years to complete the documentary because there were several shifts in focus over time.
“It took that long because originally I wanted to tell a story about Jordan collectors. I was interested in exploring their obsessive nature, why they’re so enthusiastic about this specific brand,” he explained.
“I tried to make that story about a year but then quickly realized I didn’t know how interesting that story was and I didn’t know if that could sustain a feature-length duration of a film. So then I started to think about the phenomenon of Air Jordan and sort of like how it happened, how Nike basically bet the farm on Michael Jordan, and how the deal happened. And then that kind of like took me on in the direction that basically the film goes in.”
Bamiro claims the timing of the premiere had nothing to do with The Last Dance and he had expected it to be way ahead of the Chicago Bulls documentary. He isn’t mad about how things turned out, though.
“It’s a massive coincidence,” he said. “It looks like really good timing given that it’s coming up right behind this mammoth 10-part series on Michael Jordan but it was a complete coincidence and it’s funny how stuff works out sometimes.
“Like I said, we’d been making the film for almost seven years and I think I heard about The Last Dance maybe three years ago, so I knew it was in production. I knew it was coming but I always imagined that we would be quite clear off down the road by the time it happened. I think life has a funny way of scuppering your plans.”
One Man and His Shoes is now available to watch on VICETV.com and the VICE TV app.