"The Last Dance" has captured the nation's attention during the COVID-19 pandemic with its 10-part documentary chronicling Michael Jordan and the 1997-98 Chicago Bulls' chase for a sixth championship. It has all the ingredients necessary for must-watch television: Undeniable star power with M.J. finally willing to air it all out in front of the camera, the perfect storyline filled with drama and a triumphant climax, and recognition, as the Bulls were swarmed with attention back in the '90s making it a familiar access point for those watching during that era.
This Bulls documentary has naturally made us brainstorm which other team or franchise in recent memory could be next in line to create something similar. While the first assumption would be to consider the Golden State Warriors, owners of the NBA's latest dynasty, team executives already said they turned down the opportunity to do something of that nature. However, there are still a handful of teams since those Bulls deserving of an all-access documentary, that if created would garner the same level of attention as the captivating "The Last Dance" series.
Kobe and Shaq-led Lakers
The untimely death of Kobe Bryant in January makes this documentary far more difficult to pull off now, so the chances of this happening are probably slim. However, there have been reports about a potential Kobe documentary down the line that would just focus on the final season of his career. Bryant hired a film crew to follow him along in his last year in the league during the 2015-16 season, and while it wouldn't have near the drama as one centered on both he and Shaq, it would be interesting to see what comes of that.
Still, though, if a documentary could get done in a respectful manner chronicling the early Kobe and Shaq days in Los Angeles, there would be no shortage of riveting content. From Shaq and Bryant butting heads on and off the floor to reaching the mountain top and winning three straight championships, that Lakers squad captured so much of the nation's attention that a documentary on them and their legendary run would resonate with a lot of people.
Since retiring, Shaq has been very open in talking about his playing days, including his time with the Lakers, so it likely wouldn't be too difficult to get him talking in front of a camera. Phil Jackson should also be easy to get, especially since he's being featured in "The Last Dance". A documentary like this, though, wouldn't be the same without Bryant's presence in it. For every story someone tells about him from that era, it wouldn't feel right not to have Bryant there to chime in and give his thoughts on it.
The LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh era of the Miami Heat was nothing but pure entertainment, and it's filled with enough drama to create a 10-part documentary similar to "The Last Dance". Whether you loved this team or detested them, the Heat teams from 2010-2014 certainly stirred a wide range of emotions for those watching, as well as from opposing players in the league. There's also so much accessible footage out there on this dynasty already that it would be incredibly easy to make. From the highs of winning back-to-back championships and four straight Finals appearances, to the lows of losing in 2011 and 2014, there's a lot of content to work with for a documentary focusing on their highly productive four-year run.
Team president Pat Riley previously said when James decided to leave the Heat was seeing a "dynasty fly out the window," so it would be enthralling to hear from James, Wade, Bosh, Riley and others about those four years in Miami and the ups and downs during that span. Those years also served as a major turning point for James' career, as the 2011 Finals loss fueled him to come back and not only win straight titles, but consecutive league MVP awards, too.
There's so many directions this documentary could go in, and surely at some point LeBron, Wade and Co. would love to reminisce about those days in South Beach.
Spurs' two-decade dynasty
If Gregg Popovich ever agreed to sit down and tell all the nitty-gritty details about the San Antonio Spurs dynasty that spans across two decades, this would make for one captivating documentary. San Antonio gets a bad wrap for playing a "boring" brand of basketball, and has been an ironclad franchise when it comes to shielding any potential drama coming from within the team. But if you lift the cover up, there's bound to be some intriguing tidbits about this team from over the years.
From the David Robinson days, into the Time Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili era, there's likely a treasure trove of stories all those players could tell about each other and the time they spent battling for championships almost every season. You can't have a consistently elite team that is always considered a championship contender without there being some arguments along the way.
At the very least, it would be intriguing to hear from the players and Popovich on their thoughts regarding the 2013 NBA Finals loss to the Miami Heat after Ray Allen's miraculous shot extended the series. It would also be worth hearing what really went down between the Spurs and Kawhi Leonard that resulted in the franchise trading him to the Toronto Raptors. On the surface, a Spurs documentary might sound like a snoozefest, but there's plenty of content there. It would just need all the important big names willing to open up about it.
The Durant-Westbrook-Harden Thunder
There's probably a long list of people wanting to do a documentary on the Oklahoma City Thunder team that could've been a long-standing dynasty. However, this would need to happen once all the air is cleared between Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, as well as Durant and the Thunder front office. It's still crazy to think that OKC had three future MVPs on their roster, and not only failed to win a championship, but were unable to hold on to all three of them long enough to build something truly great.
Trading Harden to the Houston Rockets for Kevin Martin and Jeremy Lamb could be a whole documentary in itself, as well as the final year of Westbrook and Durant in OKC that led to K.D. leaving for Golden State. While Durant has spoken about his decision to leave Oklahoma City on occasions, Harden has never delved deep into him being traded, and Westbrook was just traded last summer so it's still new for him, too. Hopefully, though, there will come a time when all three of these players will be open to talking about that time in their careers, and be brutally honest in doing so.
'Lob City' Clippers
Similar to the Thunder, the Los Angeles Clippers are another tale of "what could've been," but to a lesser extent. The amount of drama and dysfunction that surrounded this team would easily fill a documentary. Hearing Chris Paul being completely unfiltered in talking about his relationship with DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and everyone else on that team would be reason enough to watch. It would also be great to hear the thinking that went into barricading Jordan inside his house so he couldn't sign with the Dallas Mavericks during 2015 free agency.
There was so much promise with this team, but it could never put aside differences long enough to even reach the Western Conference finals. The reason this documentary would be so compelling is because most of the players involved haven't really been vocal about what happened behind closed doors. We only know of the stories that have been told in the media, like the time Griffin broke his hand by punching an equipment manager, or Paul's rocky relationship with Jordan, but surely there's more to the downfall of this team.
JJ Redick is the only one who has been somewhat open about the disappointment in never winning a title with that group of guys. But this documentary would need Griffin, Paul, Jordan and Doc Rivers all willing to talk about their issues on camera, so perhaps Redick can be the one who gets the ball rolling in getting this documentary made.
Celtics' Big Three era: Boston posted a lowly 24-58 record in 2006-07, prompting a trade to acquire Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen the following summer. The very next season, the Celtics finished 66-16 and won their first NBA title since 1986. That big three of Garnett, Allen and Paul Pierce was a dominant force in the league that season, but despite having all the makings of a multiple championship-winning team, it failed to reach that point again.
With the number of outspoken characters on this team, from K.G., Pierce, Tony Allen, Rajon Rondo and even Kendrick Perkins, this documentary wouldn't be short on jaw-dropping comments. As one of the early initiators of the "Big Three" concept in the '00s, this Celtics team doesn't get as much recognition as it should for laying out a blueprint that teams followed from 2007 up until Kevin Durant left the Warriors this past summer.
The story of this team has already been well chronicled through various documentaries and articles, and very soon Garnett will have his own film with Showtime detailing the story of his life from high school phenom to Hall of Famer. Even with all the information we already know, though, this documentary is too compelling to not happen. Garnett and Pierce have been outspoken about that championship team and the events that followed. The key here, though, is getting Allen to open up about his decision to leave Boston and sign with the "enemy" Miami Heat team in 2012. That decision is still the reason Garnett and Pierce don't talk to Allen to this day, and he's rarely included in any events that celebrate Boston's 2008 title team. It's time for all the air to be cleared and figure out what really went down with that trio that stopped them from winning two, possibly three titles.
The 'Seven Seconds or Less' Phoenix Suns: For four seasons (2004-2008) in Phoenix, the Suns had the most electrifying offense in the league. Head coach Mike D'Antoni's run-and-gun offense changed the way the game was being played in the NBA. His brand of fast-paced, 3-point-heavy offense has been replicated several times over in the league today, including his current team, the Houston Rockets. However, no one's done it better than in the 2000s, with Steve Nash running the show, and Shawn Marion and Amar'e Stoudemire alongside him.
As good as those teams were, though, the Suns failed to reach the Finals during that span, despite making it to the Western Conference finals in back-to-back seasons. This documentary would not only be about a team that came so close but couldn't get over the hump, but also about D'Antoni, who revolutionized the NBA.