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Ron Shelton, Phil Jackson Attached to Showtime Basketball Project

One-hour scripted effort to spotlight family behind b-ball franchise

Showtime is developing a one-hour scripted series that takes a peek behind the scenes of a professional basketball team, with NBA coaching great Phil Jackson and current Los Angeles Lakers assistant coach Kurt Rambis on board as exec producers. The series will focus on the family that owns the team, according to details provided by the CBS Corp. pay-cable service.

Ron Shelton, the creative talent behind such noted sports movies as “Bull Durham,” “Tin Cup” and “White Men Can’t Jump,” will write, direct and exec produce the project.

Jeanie Buss, the senior vice president of the Los Angeles Lakers and Linda Rambis will executive produce via production company Street Reason Entertainment. Rambis is married to the Lakers coach. Brett Tomberlin of IDW and Ubiquity Studios will also executive produce, with Brian Gilbert and Andrew Trapani of Nine/8 Entertainment.

In an interview, Buss said her experiences working with the Lakers as well as managing events, would inform the stories told in the potential series. “We’ve seen so much, the things that go on behind the scenes,” she said. “We go to events and people ask us a lot of questions about what they don’t see. They know the game. They see the game, but they don’t really know what leads up to getting the team on the court.” Most people “don’t know what makes a championship season or what it’s like to go through a losing season.”

The chance to work on the project came together after Buss and others were able to meet with Shelton, she said. “He is someone that understands a good sports story,  and we just really clicked,” she said.

Shelton is represented by John Mass at Oasis Media Group and attorney Don Steele. Buss, Jackson, Rambis and Tomberlin are represented by Alexa Pagonas of Michael Black Management.  Nine/8 is represented by Allison Binder of Stone, Meyer, Genow, Smelkinson & Binder.

The project was brokered by Todd Berger of Creative Media.

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