Phil Jackson Reportedly Executive Producer of Showtime Project

Tim KeeneyContributor ISeptember 10, 2013

Apr 2, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA;   Phil Jackson looks on as the jersey of Los Angeles Lakers former player Shaquille O'Neal (not pictured) is retired during a half time ceremony during the game against the Dallas Mavericks at the Staples Center.  Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Phil Jackson is returning to the NBA—just not in the capacity that many have envisioned over the past two summers. 

According to Variety's Senior TV Editor Brian Steinberg, the former Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers head coach is set to team up with current Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis as executive producers for a new Showtime series:

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.

According to the report, Ron Shelton, who worked on sports movies such as Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump, Blue Chips, The Great White Hype and Tin Cup, will write and direct the new project.

Jeanie Buss and Linda Rambis will also step on as executive producers.    

Color me intrigued. 

As we've seen before, anytime the supremely talented Shelton gets involved with a sports script, it tends to end in success, as he has written several classics already. 

But there are so many more elements that have this particular idea gaining steam.

First, it's on Showtime. With the freedom of being a cable network and being able to pretty much put out whatever content it wants, Showtime has been churning out plenty of fantastic shows recently. Even the less popular shows are entertaining.

Then there's the participation of Jackson, whose brilliant NBA mind—for the uninitiated, he has won 11 NBA titles—should help bring another level of realism to the show, which sounds a lot like it's fictionalizing the Lakers and the Buss family that runs the franchise.   

We haven't really seen an idea of this nature since ESPN's Playmakers lasted just one season, but the potential here for something very compelling and entertaining is evident.