If you watched the recent ESPN docuseries The Last Dance, chronicling the final title run of the Chicago Bulls in 1998, you may have noticed the famous “Jordan Dome” from Space Jam. The series jumps back in time for certain segments and after Jordan comes out of retirement (for the first time), he loses in the playoffs to the Orlando Magic.
Following the Bulls’ exit, Jordan began filming Space Jam in the summer of 1995. Hellbent on never losing another series, he had Warner Bros. build him a full-size basketball court so that he could practice and train during off days from shooting the movie. Sports fans know of the infamous “Jordan Dome,” of course, but there was never really any footage of the games MJ would have in it.
The series features all-too-brief moments of Jordan playing on the court with a number of big names, including Reggie Miller, Charles Oakley and Patrick Ewing. One famous person who never got an invite to the games though was Bill Murray. While appearing on the Flying Coach With Steve Kerr and Pete Carroll podcast, the actor spoke about how impressive the facility was, saying:
“I couldn’t believe that basketball court that they built, it was full-size,” Murray said. “They just took over this whole area and built this building for one movie with a weight room, a beautiful floor, and that was fun to hang around there. I was never invited into that game, but it was fun to watch that game.”
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Asked why he wasn’t invited to play, Murray said, “I don’t think my shoes were new enough.”
“They were awfully good, and it was great to see all kinds of different guys, and there were young guys and older guys, guys who were already out of the league,” Murray added. “All kinds of different people there, and it was quite a situation. That was just watching the game, I was just a fan.”
Murray’s an avid Chicago Cubs fan and he’s also been known to play a few rounds of golf from time-to-time. And if you watched The Last Dance, you know that besides basketball, Jordan’s two favorite things are cigars and golf. In fact, that’s one sport Murray did manage to play alongside another NBA player, who was also pretty good in his day.
“On movie shoots, you’ll be in shot and then they have to turn the camera off, it takes 45 minutes to an hour or more. And we would just go play golf for about an hour,” the actor recalled. “And it was Larry Bird, and myself, and Michael. It was fun to play with him, and it was fun to goof around with him, it made it easier to shoot the scenes.”
The Ghostbusters star is known for walking into anywhere without a care in the world. Whether it’s bars, weddings or parties, he’s one of the coolest and most down-to-earth celebrities on the planet. But I guess he wasn’t cool enough to play in the legendary “Jordan Dome” games on the Space Jam set.