Reggie Miller, movie star

February 9, 2010
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I've seen most of the films nominated for the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture.

None is as entertaining as "Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks."

I saw most of the films at this year's Heartland Film Festival.

Few were as "truly moving" as "Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks."

Some background: Filmmaker Dan Klores was asked to pitch ideas for ESPN's "30 for 30" documentary series, created in celebration of the sports hub's 30 years in the business.

Drawn to the personality packed rivalry between Pacer Reggie Miller and the Knicks (and pretty much all of New York...especially Spike Lee), he created a film that is not only rousingly entertaining and very funny, but also one that offers unique insight into the joys of rivalry.

 It's tough to pick highlights, because everything blends seemlessly, but a few days after I screened it, I'm still thinking about Patrick Ewings coming to grip with his missed layup, Cheryl Miller's calling out her brother on his foul-denying ways, and the reaction of the Alford family on draft day. Plus, it's great to watch Reggie Miller back on the court. Klores deftly combines these interviews--with just about everyone involved during that period, from players to coaches to commentators to family--with game footage, media reports, and more.

Even though he adds some tongue-in-cheek operatic music to the mix, Klores understands that basketball is a game. And that it doesn't have to be more than that for it to be compelling, important, and fun. In a city that, for many reasons, has switched its allegiance to a differently shaped ball over the last few years, "Winning Time" is a much needed reminder of why, for a glorious while, we loved professional basketball here in Indianapolis.

You can wait to see "Winning time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks" when it airs on ESPN on March 14, but it will be a lot more fun catching it, commercial free, when it screens at Conseco Fieldhouse on Feb. 26. The $10-in-advance/$12-at-the-door event benefits the Pacers Foundation, Peoples Burn Foundation/Brave Hearts Camp, and Riley Hospital.

Go.

Your thoughts on the game, the film, or other sports documentaries?

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  • Reggie Reggie Reggie
    I like the Colts, but I will always love the Pacers. There is no greater moment from my Childhood than Reggie beating the knicks and than 2000 making it to the finals. No worse feeling than Prince blocking Reggie. The Colts losing sunday doesn't even stack up. Reggie put this place on the map.
  • So Far...
    The 30 at 30 Documentaries have so far been terrific. "The U" was entertaining, the Donald was himself in "Who Killed the USFL?" and the one about Len Bias was heartbreaking. Great stuff!
  • books?
    This sounds like a movie I would enjoy. Hmm. I'll have to check my calendar for Feb. 26. There are a lot of live theatre shows going on around town that I would like to see, too.

    In the meantime, your (Lou's) question about other sports documentaries got me thinking about nonfiction sports books as well. I broke down and read John Feinstein's Season on the Brink: a Year with Bob Knight and the Indiana Hoosiers when it was a bestseller back in the 1980s simply because so many people were talking about it...and to my surprise, I found it very engaging.

    More recently I read Chalked Up: My Life in Elite Gymnastics, by Jennifer Sey, which was also fascinating. And I think I mentioned here on your blog last year the book One Helluva Ride: How Nascar Swept the Nation, by Liz Clarke.

    Do you (or any of your readers) have a sports book that you would recommend?

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

    P.S. - By the way, Lou, thanks for writing about your recent road trips in your Saturday column. I had forgotten about the existence of regional Tonys, and I loved this: "These were sessions not about hitting notes but about hitting truths."

    Hope
  • Reggie's book?
    Did anyone here read Reggie Miller's 1999 book, I Love Being the Enemy? I wonder if it would be fun to read that after seeing the documentary in Conseco Fieldhouse.

    I've never been to Conseco Fieldhouse...

    Where does one park?

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit

    Hope Baugh
    Indy Theatre Habit
  • Reggie and Hope
    I have a photograph on the wall in my den at home. Reggie Miller letting go of a 3 point shot against the Knicks during the heated rivalry days...the shot went in, but the photos is priceless for more than the memory. The ball is in mid flight...the Knick fans know it is going in...the pain in their faces...you have to see it. They hate him, but they respect him, and they know he has done them in again. Priceless.
    To Hope...my wife and I do 3-4 Pacer games a year...we park South of Conseco and walk back under the railroad on Pennsylvania Ave to Conseco...the lots there are reasonably priced and the walk is short (5 minutes). However, I am not certain what the attendance will be for this event...you would probably be able to park close. There are parking lots all over the area, but the closer to the arena, the more expensive. There is some street parking as well.
    I agree with Hope about "A Season on the Brink"...I would recommend as a great sports book about basketball "Loose Balls" by Terry Pluto (do not get the book of the same name by Jayson Williams). It is a history of the ABA league, and of course, when that league merged with the NBA, the Pacers were one of 4 ABA teams that were viable enough to become part of the NBA. Football book...I always go back to "North Dallas Forty" by Peter Gent. Pretty much anything John Feinstein has written (I don't play golf, but "A Good Walk Spoiled" is very good). And "Hoosiers: The Fabulous Life of Basketball in Indiana" by Phillip Hoose (not a sports writer). All excellent books about sports.
    • Reggie
      In response to the immediately previous comment--we have the same photo on our wall! I was a Pacemate from 1995-2000 (so missed the first year or so of the Pacer's amazing run, but was then there through the Finals in 2000) and it was such a fun time! I can't wait to see the movie.

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