In his book about the 1992 U.S. Men’s Basketball Team, Dream Team, Jack McCallum writes about an intersquad scrimmage that was played three days before the 1992 Barcelona Olympics that pitted one team of legendary NBA superstars against another.
Michael Jordan captained the White Team, which included Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen and Larry Bird. Magic Johnson’s Blue Team had Charles Barkley, David Robinson, Chris Mullin and Christian Laettner. It’s considered “the greatest game nobody ever saw.”
Coach Chuck Daly had Pete Skorich, who produced the Detroit Pistons telecasts at the time, videotape the scrimmage. It was the only camera allowed in the gym, with 10 of the best basketball players in the world playing each other on the court. The VHS tape of that scrimmage is considered “the holy grail of basketball,” as McCallum put it.
That videotape is the subject of one of the hotter scripts currently circulating around Hollywood in search of a producer, according to The Tracking Board’s Jeff Sneider. Titled The Tape, the script is a comedic caper about three brothers who try to find the elusive VHS tape of the 1992 Dream Team scrimmage in hopes that it will save their sports bar.
Written by Chase Pletts, the story is fictional, but the tape of that scrimmage is real. Magic and Jordan were matched up against one another because Clyde Drexler and John Stockton were sitting out to nurse injuries. Before the scrimmage, Magic showed his frustration during drills, feeling like the team was having a bad practice. What better way to increase the intensity than by playing against each other with “all you got,” as Daly put it.
It’s not known whether or not Magic Johnson or Michael Jordan actually make appearances in the story or if archival footage of the Dream Team’s 1992 Olympics run might be part of the film. If so, who could play the NBA legends (along with any other members of the Dream Team) will become a popular guessing game.
Sneider’s article mentions that a sports-theme comedic caper intrigues many studios, but interest may depend on how another sports-themed heist film, Logan Lucky, performs at the box office. However, if Logan Lucky is the measuring stick for how a sports-themed movie might do, that might not bode well for The Tape. The movie, largely set during a NASCAR race, is projected to finish a disappointing third in this weekend’s box office, with an estimated $8 million gross.