Michael Jordan's 'basketball dome' on Space Jam set sounds incredible

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Every NBA fans is aware of how the 1995-96 season ended, with the Chicago Bulls holding aloft the Larry O'Brien Trophy having set an NBA regular season record on route.

What isn't quite as well known is how it all began for the team's star man, Michael Jordan, who was filming Space Jame in the summer before the 95-96 campaign.

The dome

Determined to improve on the Finals defeat just gone, MJ actually insisted on having somewhere for him to play basketball during filming or he wouldn't do the movie. Thus, the inflatable 'Jordan Dome' was created.

Reported on back in '96, but largely forgotten over time, the contraption built on the Warner Bros. lot has been detailed in's 'Oral History of the 1996 Chicago Bulls.' And it sounds insane.

Listening to Nathanial Bellamy, the basketball coordinator on Space Jam, reel off the dome's particulars, the whole thing sounds like a mini-NBA arena:

"There was a full-length basketball court, an entertainment center with a big-screen TV, a sound system, a locker room with showers, weight machines specifically for Michael, a card table, and a putting green," Bellamy said, via Complex.

"It cost about $10,000 a week to air condition the place. You needed special passes to get in."


Having the perfect training facility built for your own personal needs speaks volumes about Jordan's famed drive and determination. He wasn't going to let anything stop him from making history in 1996.

The Bulls legend didn't let it go to waste either. According to his personal trainer at the time Tim Glover, again via Complex, he was in the dome almost more than he was on set:

"A typical day for Michael would start with about 30 or 40 minutes of conditioning in the [dome]," explained Glover.

"This would include stretching, running, and various basketball stuff, nothing long distance, to get his wind up. Then he'd go to the movie set for some shooting.

"At lunch time, he'd work out with weights for about an hour and a half. Then he'd go back to the set from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. From 7:30 p.m. to about 10 p.m., he'd play basketball in the [dome]."

Stellar cast

It is certainly a unique way to prepare for an NBA season, and the dome drew in the who's who of Hollywood and the NBA at the time.

As well as numerous NCAA and NBA players coming to join Jordan throughout the summer, a whole host of big name Hollywood stars dropped by to watch the top-end version of pickup basketball:

"We had George Clooney, Halle Berry, Angela Bassett, Eriq La Salle, Kurt Russell, Steven Seagal," revealed Bellamy. "And my man Luke Skywalker! Mark Hamill was there all the time."

Other names dropped include Will Smith, Clint Eastwood and L.L. Cool J.

It certainly was an unorthodox summer for Jordan but, ultimately, his decision to take the NBA with him to the movie set definitely paid off.

Helping Chicago to a 72-10 season while averaging over 30 points per game, Jordan ended the 95-96 season with his fourth title ring.

Eastern Conference
Derrick Rose
Central Division
Michael Jordan
Derrick Rose
Chicago Bulls

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