By the 24th century, baseball was an ancient sport that was no longer played in most sectors of the galaxy. However, Sisko had multiple holosuite programs featuring historic baseball moments as well as programs that allowed him to play the game with his family and friends.
One game that never showed up in “Deep Space Nine” was basketball. However, this wasn’t for lack of trying. DS9 actor Cirroc Lofton, who played Sisko’s son Jake, pitched an episode that would have featured a cameo from sports superstar Michael Jordan.
Lofton’s Rejected Pitch
In an episode of his DS9 podcast, “The 7th Rule,” Lofton revealed that he’d pitched an idea to DS9’s producers and even wrote a script for the proposed episode. However, his episode was never produced.
The main storyline followed Jadzia Dax as she became progressively more aggressive for an unknown reason. As the crew investigated the cause of Dax’s personality changes, they discovered that Quark was spiking his drinks with an addictive substance so that his customers would keep coming back to the bar. The substance apparently had an unexpected effect on Trills.
Lofton’s proposed episode also had a secondary storyline featuring Jake and his father, which he detailed on the podcast.
“Sisko and Jake get into a fallout. And Jake decides that he doesn’t want to play baseball anymore because that’s his thing with his dad and he wants to rebel. So, he’s in the holodeck kind of griping to a baseball player about his dad… I wrote it as Michael Jordan. This was at the time when Jordan left basketball and decided to play baseball. So, in my holosuite program Jordan was a famous baseball player. And I’m talking with him and saying ‘I got in a fight with my dad and I want to play a new game. Is there any game that you’d reccomend?’ …He does say basketball. He’s like ‘you know, there’s this other sport I used to play.’ And that would be the little joke. It would also be a chance to get Michael Jordan on an episode.”
Lofton said that the “Deep Space Nine’s” writers were awesome to work with.
“I had a good time with the writers. You know, they gave me the time of day at least to sit down and listen and hear it out.”
Unfortunately, they told him that it would be “impossible” to get Jordan to do “Star Trek.” They also said that his script was too similar to an episode of “Star Trek: The Next Generation” called “The Game.”
Lofton admitted that he’d never seen that episode, so he didn’t know that Trek had already done a similar story. However, he and his co-hosts joked about how often Trek actually does reuse storylines.
A Michael Jordan Connection
Though the writers were convinced that Jordan would never agree to appear in the Trekverse, Lofton revealed that one of his costars actually had an in with the athlete. Avery Brooks, who played his on-screen father, was friends with Jordan’s dad.
“I asked Avery about this because Avery was good friends with Michael Jordan’s dad at the time when he was alive. I was telling Avery ‘Hey. I got this episode, I wrote it. I want to get Jordan involved.’ And he was like, ‘Yeah I’ll get Jordan.’ So when the writers are telling me ‘Jordan is impossible,’ I was like, ‘No, Avery will get Jordan!’
Lofton continued, saying that he thought Jordan might have agreed to do the episode because the script depicted him as a baseball superstar in the future. At the time, Jordan was trying to establish himself as a prominent baseball player instead of a basketball player. So, Lofton thought his script would “stroke [Jordan’s] ego” and be good promotion for his baseball career.
Unfortunately, the writers insisted that they couldn’t afford Jordan, even if was interested in the role. So, the Trekverse never got Jordan.
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