The relationship between Jordan and Nike has been made into a feature film, directed by Ben Affleck, who also plays Nike co-founder Phil Knight. The story will focus on how Nike’s nascent basketball department signed Jordan in his rookie year, a deal that became perhaps the most lucrative athlete-brand partnership in history.
M. Night Shyamalan: I love basketball. Have become friends with a few basketball players over the years. @JHarden13 and I hung out recently. Just tried to get away from all the hustle and bustle of life. This is what happened.
The starry cast includes Damon as Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, Affleck as Nike co-founder Phil Knight, Jason Bateman as Rob Strasser, Chris Messina as David Falk, Matthew Maher as Peter Moore, Marlon Wayans as George Raveling, Chris Tucker as Howard White, Viola Davis as Deloris Jordan, Gustaf Skarsgård as Horst Dassler and Julius Tennon as James Jordan
Juancho Hernangomez has played for a lot of coaches in his professional basketball career. In the NBA alone he’s had seven in seven seasons, while suiting up for six teams. But none of Michael Malone (Denver), Ryan Saunders (Minnesota), Chris Finch (Minnesota again), Brad Stevens (Boston), Gregg Popovich (San Antonio), Quinn Snyder (Utah) or Nick Nurse — his current coach with the Toronto Raptors — does the 27-year-old Spanish forward describe as “an angel in my life.”
That special praise is reserved for the only acting coach he’s ever had, Noelle Gentile, who would claim to know nothing about professional sports, barely stands five-feet tall, and had never met an NBA player before developing a deep and lasting bond with Hernangomez while filming the Adam Sandler movie Hustle.
The Netflix production was released last summer and features Hernangomez as Bo Cruz, the European underdog that Stanley Sugarman, the hard-luck NBA scout played by Sandler, discovers and stakes his career on bringing to North America. It also features Minnesota Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards — who worked closely with Gentile as well — playing the role of Kermit, the brash American expected to be the No. 1 overall pick who embarrasses Cruz at the NBA draft combine and lets him know about it.