ESPN Films' "30 for 30" Series Continues with "Bad Boys"
The Documentary, Produced by NBA Entertainment and Directed by Zak Levitt, Premieres on April 17 Centering on the Detroit Pistons of the Late '80s and Early '90s.
Film to be Followed by "Grantland's Bad Boys Remix" Featuring Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose.
ESPN Films' 30 for 30 series will continue with "Bad Boys" Thursday, April 17, at 8 p.m. ET. Few teams in professional sports history elicit such a wide range of emotions as the Detroit Pistons of the late '80s and early '90s. For some, the team was heroic - made up of gritty, hard-nosed players who didn't back down from anyone. For others, it was their willingness to do seemingly anything to win that made them the "Bad Boys" - the team fans loved to hate.
The Pistons' path to championship greatness was a hard-won journey through a pantheon of Hall of Famers of the era. First, Detroit had to overcome Larry Bird and the Boston Celtics; then, Magic Johnson and the Los Angeles Lakers. Finally, their battles with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls helped define their identity.
"Bad Boys" features interviews with Isiah Thomas, Bill Laimbeer, Joe Dumars, Dennis Rodman, Adrian Dantley and Mark Aguirre among many others, providing viewers an inside look at what made this team tick: the toughness established by Laimbeer and Rick Mahorn; the quiet intensity of Dumars; the jolt of electricity personified by Vinnie Johnson; the fearlessness of Rodman and the comic relief provided by John Salley. But no player defined the Bad Boys more than Thomas, a lethal combination of sweetness on the outside and toughness within. All of this mixed with the grit, professionalism and style possessed by head coach Chuck Daly made for one of the most distinctive championship teams in NBA history.
"It has been 25 years since the Pistons won their first title, providing a perfect vantage point to reflect on the Bad Boys phenomenon and why it has left such a lasting impression on the NBA landscape," said Connor Schell, VP and executive producer, ESPN Films and Original Content. "Regardless of whether fans loved or hated the legendary characters of this Pistons era, the story - as told through the eyes of those who lived it - will provide a different perspective for those who followed this team while showcasing both the accomplishments and antics of the Bad Boys for many who may be newer NBA fans."
In addition to presenting interviews with the Pistons, "Bad Boys" contains a lineup of Hall of Famers who faced the team, including Michael Jordan, Clyde Drexler, Patrick Ewing, Kevin McHale, Dominique Wilkins and James Worthy, as well as insights from future Hall of Famer and former NBA Commissioner David Stern.
"The Detroit Pistons of the '80s and '90s are one of the most-talked-about teams of their era and now fans will have the chance to judge their place in NBA history," said Danny Meiseles, President and Executive Producer, Content, NBA. "The Pistons' championship runs were the first covered extensively by NBA Entertainment in an "all access" style, which provides us with a unique opportunity to tell the story of this team through rarely seen footage and new interviews with players, coaches, rivals, Hall of Famers, and journalists who witnessed the team."
A special one-hour presentation, "Grantland's Bad Boys Remix," featuring Bill Simmons and Jalen Rose, will air immediately following the premiere of "Bad Boys" on ESPN. Simmons and Rose will be joined by special guests Isiah Thomas and Doug Collins to discuss both the film and the highs and lows of the Pistons, and will be a part of Grantland's "Detroit Week" package kicking off April 14th. A full multimedia package consisting of long form written features about the historic city, as well as Detroit-themed podcasts on the Grantland Network, "Detroit Week" will not only be a comprehensive celebration of the Motor City, but also an online companion to "Bad Boys."
30 for 30-related updates are available at www.facebook.com/espn30for30 and www.twitter.com/30for30. Fans can join the conversation with hashtag #BadBoys.
About ESPN Films
Created in March 2008, ESPN Films produces high-quality films showcasing some of the most compelling stories in sports. In October 2009, ESPN Films launched the Peabody Award-winning, Producer's Guild Award-winning and Emmy-nominated 30 for 30 film series. Inspired by ESPN's 30th Anniversary, the films that made up the series were a thoughtful and innovative reflection on the past three decades told through the lens of diverse and interesting sports fans and social commentators. The strong reaction from both critics and fans led to the launch of 30 for 30 Volume II, which is currently underway. Additional projects from ESPN Films include the critically acclaimed Nine for IX series, SEC Storied and the webby award winning 30 for 30 Shorts.
About NBA Entertainment
NBA Entertainment (NBAE) is one of the largest suppliers of sports television and digital programming in the world, managing television, film, photos, promotional campaigns and marketing partnerships, as well producing events domestically and internationally for the NBA, WNBA, and NBA Development League. Founded in 1982 as the definitive visual archive of the NBA's history, NBAE's growth can be attributed to a simple philosophy: to tell compelling stories about the game of pro basketball and the people it touches. That storytelling mission has been carried out through a variety of short and long-form programming, including acclaimed documentaries such as the Emmy-nominated NBA TV's "The Dream Team" and "The Announcement" for ESPN Films; "Once Brothers," produced as part of the Peabody-award winning ESPN Films "30 for 30" series; and the Emmy Award-winning documentary "Whatever Happened to Micheal Ray?" as well as last summer's critically acclaimed film "The Doctor" for NBA TV.