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