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Six Free Narrator Ideas for the Michael Jordan Documentary

A powerful orator could lift what promises to be a loooong documentary. Here are a few candidates for ESPN to kick around.

Photo: Chicago Tribune

Twenty years have passed since an aging Michael Jordan led the Chicago Bulls to their then-third consecutive championship and rode off into the sunset. (Let’s not talk about the Wizards years.)

The Bulls haven’t reached such heights since, but fans will get a chance to relive the glory days when ESPN Films and Netflix roll out a ten-part docuseries chronicling Jordan’s time in Chicago, built in part on access to hundreds of hours of footage from that final season.

The series, due out in 2019, will total an ambitious 10 hours, with Jason Hehir directing and Jordan participating. Hehir ably helmed ESPN’s “The Fab Five” 30 for 30, so this ode to His Airness is in good hands. The teaser for the film, titled The Last Dance, is decidedly epic:

One big question remains: Who will lend their voice to the film? A narrator hasn’t been announced, and a powerful orator could lift what promises to be an exhaustive and loooong documentary. Here are a few ideas for ESPN to kick around.

Ray Clay

If you watched the Bulls in the ’90s, you probably recall the team’s home court player introductions, announced over the din of Alan Parsons Project’s “Sirius.” Ray Clay served as the announcer at the time, and it was his voice that called out the iconic, thunderous “From North…Carolina, at guard, six-foot-six, Michaelll Jordan.” Needless to say, Clay, who was dumped by the Bulls in the early 2000s, would lend the doc some nostalgic flair.

Common

Back before the Bulls’ titles, Common worked as a ball boy for the team in the ‘80s. The do-it-all rapper, poet, actor, and occasional Microsoft spokesperson would fit the role nicely, and add some Chicago flare to the production. Plus, the series would be a chance at redemption after Just Wright, the 2010 train wreck in which Common played a pro basketball player.

Barack Obama

The former president’s stentorian timbre is oft overshadowed by his poetic speechwriting—plus, Barry lived in Chicago at the pinnacle of Jordan’s heyday. In fact, Barack and Michelle Obama wed the fall after MJ won his first title with the Bulls. Let’s consider taking the old University of Chicago prof on a walk down memory lane. The basketball-loving former Head of State has some time on his hands these days, after all. I can hear it now: “The moral arc of history is long, but it bends toward Jordan winning titles.”

Scottie Pippen

Speaking of great voices, Pippen’s baritone is positively silky. Jordan’s partner in crime in the ‘90s could lend an insider’s touch to the film. We’ll give him a pass for that time he intimated that LeBron James might be at Jordan’s level.

Oprah

Oprah was there the whole way, hosting Jordan and the Bulls on her show and waving a Dennis Rodman jersey at the United Center in 1996. Oprah represents Chicago much in the same way Jordan does, and if her Golden Globes speech is any indication, she could write her own copy.

The dude who beat Jordan for the varsity spot sophomore year

MJ didn’t make varsity his sophomore year of high school, and he made sure everyone knew it at his Hall of Fame induction speech, calling out his coach and Leroy Smith, who got the spot and was sitting in the audience. Jordan went on to light up JV that year, and the rest is history. Why not enlist the man who sparked that first fire under the hyper-competitive GOAT?

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