Cirroc Lofton wanted an NBA megastar on DS9.
Deep Space Nine was a marvelous show with a marvelous cast. Among the gifted group of actors was Cirroc Lofton, who played Jake Sisko, the truth-seeking son of station captain Benjamin Sisko. The bond between Ben and Jake was one of the pillars of the show and fans of Deep Space Nine cherished the scenes the two had together. One of the better episodes to feature both characters on the show just so happened to feature the Sisko’s playing baseball against a group of Vulcans. It was one of the rare sports episodes of Star Trek and if Lofton had his way, there would’ve been another one.
While speaking on his 7th Rule Podcast, where Lofton and his group reviews DS9 episodes, Lofton told listeners about an idea he had that would’ve featured none other than NBA legend Michael Jordan.
Lofton spoke about how he wrote the script but it was never picked up and produced due to the lofty expectations that came with the idea. The episode would’ve had two plots, as all episodes do. The main plot, aka the A-plot, would’ve had Jadzia Dax dealing with an extreme bout of aggression for no obvious reason. It’d end up being Quark’s fault, obviously. Quark would have been trying to spike the drinks of his patrons in order to get them hooked like addicts. This would keep them coming back for more. Due to Jadzia having the Dax Trill in her, it would end up causing an unexpected side effect in her, causing her to lose control of her anger.
A simple plot idea, but the real gravy is in the B-plot.
The B-plot would’ve had Michael Jordan guest-starring
As for how Michael Jordan would fit in with the B-plot, Lofton would have had it surround baseball, Ben, and Jake Sisko. As Lofton tells it (via Heavy);
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"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."
The idea works well as a cameo and honestly, it kinda works. While his salary demand would’ve been huge, it wasn’t so far-fetched that he’d appear. After all, the brand appealed to big names. Tom Hanks and Robin Williams were very much interested in popping aboard a Star Trek property around this time. Williams with the Next Generation and Hanks was in talks to appear in First Contact. There were also guys like Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, who would pop up on Voyager. It was a very trendy property at the time.
Lofton praised the writer’s room on Deep Space Nine even though they ultimately shot down the script as an impossibility and for it being too similar to the Next Generation episode “The Game.”
The curious thing, Lofton may have actually been able to pull off the idea if given the shot. According to Lofton, the man who played his on-screen father, Avery Brooks, was actually friends with Michael Jordan’s father, James Jordan. James had just passed away at this point, but Avery seemed confident nonetheless that he could get Michael involved.
"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!’"
It would’ve been one weird episode, but one that would’ve been so fun to sink some teeth into as a fan. Jordan hadn’t appeared in Space Jam yet, so his acting skills were still very, let’s say unknown, at the time.