Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, by Dan Klores: 31 stars
It's the film you have to see. No, it's not in 3-D. No, you can't see it at the IMAX. The flick of the year is dedicated to your Indiana Pacers. Oh, and there's that Spike Lee guy in there as well.
Last night was the featured world premiere of ESPN's "30 for 30" movie event at Conseco "Reggie Miller" Fieldhouse. The red-carpet extravaganza brought in celebs such as Charles Barkley, Big Smooth, the return of Mel Daniels, the director and Reggie himself. Unfortunately, the snowstorm in the New England area prevented others associated with ESPN from attending. The crowd filled the lower and club-level sections of the stadium as the thrill-thirsty audience followed the clips as if the real game was being played. Cheers of "Reg-gie" filled the air again, something not heard echoing through the halls for five years. And when Spike appeared on the screen, the boo's thundered through the floor.
I am not exaggerating when I say that this movie exceeded any and all expectations that were set forth for it. Klores absolutely dominated this movie. The soundtrack, the interviews, the clips and the transitions were spot-on. Sure, it was fun reliving the memories with Reggie in the house. But, it was even better watching this in the most dramatic fashion. ESPN, and creator Bill Simmons, needs to be commended for allowing a director such as Klores the liberties and the creativity to bring this project to fruition.
The interviews are hilarious. The characters went to the extreme. Reggie, Cheryl Miller, John Starks and Spike Lee play the protagonists and antagonists in a way that would make Shakespeare jealous. But one of the greatest aspects of this movie is the fan factor. If you lived through the 1994 and 1995 NBA Playoffs and were asked how you wanted a one-hour movie to portray the nastiness, brutality, nut-grabbing, thrilling Pacers-Knicks rivalry, this movie is what you'd describe. Not only is this movie going to let you relive the series, but it will answer the question that your kid, grandchild or great-grandchild asks you someday, "What happened with that Reggie Miller dude and that film director in New York?" Now you've got your answer in an entertaining film (and I say "film" instead of "documentary"). Basketball will never, sadly, be played like that in the NBA again. It's great that we finally have evidence that it ever existed. And Reggie is the hero.
The 68-minute film, part of ESPN's "30 for 30'' documentary series, will air March 14 on ESPN after the NCAA Tournament selection show.
Let's add some links to get you ready for the Bulls-Pacers matchup this evening in Indy.
Pacers fans, ex-teammates honor Miller | IndyStar.com | The Indianapolis Star
Mike Wells reports on Reggie's return to a warm welcome at the fieldhouse.
Anticipating the Hurt
Eight Points, Nine Seconds examines the enjoyment of being a Pacers fan.
Miller, fans relive Pacers glory days in new movie
WTHR gives us some movie and interviews from last night's fun.
Preview of tonight's game.