Adam Sandler will reportedly star in a basketball movie produced by LeBron James

Here’s HollywoodReporter.com with some basketball entertainment news:

Adam Sandler is set to star in the Netflix film Hustle, with We the Animals director Jeremiah Zagar on board to helm and NBA superstar LeBron James set to produce.

In the drama, Sandler will play an American basketball scout who is unjustly fired after discovering a once-in-a-lifetime player abroad. He then decides to bring the player to the U.S. to prove that they both have what it takes to make it in the NBA.

Taylor Materne and Will Fetters penned the script. Happy Madison, Roth/Kirschenbaum Films and James and Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment will produce the pic.

The latest collaboration between Netflix and Sandler follows the streaming giant extending its partnership with the actor and his Happy Madison Productions by committing to produce four more films that will be distributed exclusively on the platform.

Steve Kerr hotel check-in alias used to be ‘Austin Powers’

Here’s NBC Sports Chicago reporting a fun item from the Bulls’ past:

In news that really only would have made sense in 1997 or 1998, it appears current Warriors coach Steve Kerr used “Austin Powers” as his alias to check into hotel rooms on road trips while playing with the Chicago Bulls.

NBC Sports Chicago’s Rob Schaefer deduced Kerr’s nom de plume after examining a list of road-trip room assignments that ’97-98 Bulls reserve Rusty LaRue shared on Twitter. Schaefer found that the list, which wasn’t presented in alphabetical order, closely corresponded with an A-Z list of Chicago’s roster from that season.

A lawsuit has reportedly been filed against SeatGeek

Here’s the New York Post reporting on a sports-related ticketing service lawsuit:

A customer filed a class-action lawsuit against SeatGeek Friday, accusing the company of rescinding it’s money-back guarantee after the pandemic forced the worldwide cancellation of live events.

William Trader alleges that the company — which sells tickets to concerts, the theater and sports — modified its ‘buyer guarantee’ that had promised customers a full cash refund if an event is canceled and not rescheduled. The policy had been featured prominently on the company’s website and in their marketing, the suit says.

Kobe Bryant’s final NBA season was documented by a film crew

It sounds like we’ll eventually get some really good behind-the-scenes Kobe Bryant footage someday. Here’s ESPN.com reporting:

And just as the camera crew had unprecedented access to chronicle every moment of Jordan’s final season with the Bulls, the same holds true for Bryant’s final NBA season. The crew expanded in size during his last campaign, and as many as six personal camera crews were present during his 60-point finale.

Bryant’s camera crew, several Lakers staffers from that season said, had unparalleled access in locker rooms both at home and on the road, in the training room, throughout the team’s practice facility and even on the team’s charter plane…

There were key differences, of course — the biggest being that Jordan’s Bulls were pushing for their sixth title in eight seasons while Bryant’s team ultimately posted a 17-65 season, the worst record in franchise history.

“It was interesting because, obviously, we weren’t winning, so that was frustrating. And the [cameras were always] in your face so, I don’t know, it was hard,” said Robert Sacre, a reserve center for the Lakers that season. “It didn’t feel real as a season.”

Considering the state of the Lakers in Kobe’s last season, the documentary would presumably focus more on Kobe’s personality and basketball life as an individual, rather than centering around the team. But with the tragic loss of Kobe in a horrible helicopter crash earlier this year, such footage would be more than welcome.

Kings coach Luke Walton has watched every episode of Tiger King on Netflix

Here’s the Sacramento Bee answering the question you’ve all been asking: how much of the Netflix show “Tiger King” has Sacramento Kings head coach Luke Walton watched?

During a conference call with reporters Wednesday, Walton offered his thoughts on social distancing, homeschooling, the threat of COVID-19 and two documentary series that are keeping America entertained: ESPN’s “The Last Dance” and Netflix’s “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.”

“I have watched every episode of ‘Tiger King,’” Walton said. “I had no idea what it was about, but it hooked me.”

Walton said he is sheltering in place with his family at their Sacramento-area home, where they are adhering to recommendations and orders from health officials. In his first press briefing since the NBA postponed the season March 11, Walton quipped that he was speaking to reporters from his car outside the house “because it’s the only place I can get any quiet in the quarantine life.”

Now you know.

I haven’t actually seen it yet. Because it’s been described as a car crash that people can’t look away from. Which isn’t exactly the best advertisement for a series. But like most of you, and like Walton, I’m sure at some point I’ll hit that Play button and struggle to look away.

Michael Jordan could have played for the Oakland A’s, says former GM

Here’s NBC Sports Chicago reporting on some interesting insight into a turn Michael Jordan’s brief pro baseball career could have taken:

Michael Jordan’s departure from his life as the greatest basketball player in the world to play minor league baseball with the White Sox is the stuff of Chicago legend.

But it might have gone quite differently. And with a different organization altogether.

Former Oakland Athletics general manager Sandy Alderson told ESPN’s Buster Olney on a recent edition of the Baseball Tonight podcast that he offered Jordan a spot on his major league roster in 1994.

“You recall when Jordan stopped playing basketball and decided to try baseball, and ultimately went down to the Birmingham Barons — the Chicago White Sox affiliate,” Alderson said. “When I heard that was happening, or about to happen, I called his agent right away and said, ‘Hey look, I understand he may be going to Double-A. I don’t even know who the 25th man is on our major league team right now, I will sign him and put him on the major league roster. He’ll be part of our 25-man team. Tomorrow.'”

Just speculating here, but unless Jordan had somehow magically been better at the major league level than he was in the minors, he’d still probably have wound up back in the NBA around the same time as he did. But this could have potentially been an even more fascinating detour.

Rick Carlisle amused by quick cameo in Michael Jordan documentary

Here’s ESPN.com with a fun item about Mavs coach Rick Carlisle:

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle responded to his brief, not-so-glamorous appearance in the opening episode of ESPN’s “The Last Dance” with a wry bit of self-deprecating humor.

“There must have been an exhaustive search to find footage of me actually PLAYING in an NBA playoff game,” Carlisle wrote in a text reply to an inquiry about his thoughts on the clip that showed him as a Boston Celtics reserve guard being torched by Michael Jordan for a dunk after a baseline spin.

The first two episodes of The Last Dance were mostly introductory, setting the stage for the real meat of the series. There are eight more episodes, airing over the next four Sunday nights.

ESPN Michael Jordan documentary ‘The Last Dance’ TV schedule, dates and times

ESPN Michael Jordan documentary TV schedule, dates and times, in April and May, 2020:

IN THE U.S.

Sunday, April 19, ESPN

9 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 1

10 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 2

Sunday, April 26, ESPN

7 p.m. ET – Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 1

8 p.m. ET – Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 2

9 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 3

10 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 4

Sunday, May 3, ESPN

7 p.m. ET – Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 3

8 p.m. ET – Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 4

9 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 5

10 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 6

Sunday, May 10, ESPN

7 p.m. ET – Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 5

8 p.m. ET – Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 6

9 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 7

10 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 8

Sunday, May 17, ESPN

7 p.m. ET – Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 7

8 p.m. ET – Re-air of “The Last Dance” Episode 8

9 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 9

10 p.m. ET – Premiere of “The Last Dance” Episode 10

ESPN’S JORDAN DOC ON NETFLIX (outside of the U.S.)

Monday, April 20 – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 1 and 2

Monday, April 27 – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 3 and 4

Monday, May 4 – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 5 and 6

Monday, May 11 – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 7 and 8

Monday, May 18 – 12:01 a.m. PT – “The Last Dance” Episodes 9 and 10

ESPN Michael Jordan documentary reportedly coming in April

There will be some top-notch basketball TV-viewing available in April. Not the NBA. But something we all want to see. Here’s the New York Post reporting:

ABC/ESPN’s highly anticipated 10-part Michael Jordan documentary, “The Last Dance,” is being moved up to April, The Post has learned.

Sources said the start date will be Sunday, April 19. It was originally slated for June…

Netflix owns the international rights to the docuseries.

And here’s the Chicago Sun-Times:

Fans haven’t been the only ones pining for the early release. Lakers star LeBron James told ESPN’s “Road Tippin” podcast last week that there’s no better time to air the series.

”If they release that thing right now? The views on it?” he said. “Listen, if I’m Michael Jordan, I’m going in there and I’m making a conference call and I’m like, ‘OK, what’s the reason that we’re going to hold on to it until June now? Compared to now when everybody is at home?’ Because it’s done [being edited]. It’s done. Yeah, it’s done.”

There’s no reason to think the NBA will suddenly return to action in April. This Jordan doc should absolutely be the best basketball TV we get.

Stephen Curry reportedly attends Kanye West’s Sunday Service

For those of you who enjoy keeping up with off-court pop culture news, especially when it involves Kanye West, here’s the San Jose Mercury News:

You may have heard of Sunday Service, a weekly gospel concert led by rapper Kanye West that has attracted a who’s who of celebrities — including Brad Pitt, Katy Perry and Idris Elba, among others… Steph Curry is the latest celebrity to attend the music performance/spiritual service.

There is no word yet on exactly when Steph may return to action for the Warriors.