30 in 30: The next wave of ESPN docs


ESPN’s already most fulfilling project in its 30-year existence — “30 in 30” sports documentaries, which have covered such subjects as the rise and fall of the USFL, the University of Miami football program, Wayne Gretzky’s arrival in L.A. and the live and times of Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder — has a few more slotted for the coming months.

The latest release indicates that the next swam will include:


== “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks”

The 1995 Eastern Conference Finals, Miller scores eight points in 8.9 seconds to push Indiana past New York, and mixes it up with Spike Lee. Director Dan Klores shows how the former UCLA star became New York’s Public Enemy No. 1. Airs March 14.

== “No Crossover: The Trial of Allen Iverson”

On Valentine’s Day 1993, 17-year-old Bethel High School basketball star Allen Iverson was bowling in Hampton, Va., with five high school friends. A quarrel erupted into a brawl. Iverson ended up in jail in a city divided along racial lines. Director Steve James, who did “Hoop Dreams,” returns to his hometown of Hampton to see how this impacted the community. Airs April 13.

== “Silly Little Game”

How did fantasy sports start? It can be traced to a group of writers and academics who met at La Rotisserie Francaise in New York to form a baseball league — The Rotisserie League. Adam Kurland and Lucas Jansen explain how it evolved into a $4 billion industry with 30 million participants. Airs April 20.

== “Run Ricky Run”

In 2004, while most in the media thought Ricky Williams was ruining his life by leaving football, he thought he was saving it, living in a $7 a night tent in Australia. Director Sean Pamphilon looks at the life of the Miami Dolphins running back and how he came back. Airs April 27.


== “Straight Outta L.A.”

The Raiders, according to rapper-turned-filmmaker Ice Cube, who moved from Oakland to L.A. in 1982 and captivated black and Hispanic fans during a time of gang warfare, immigration and real estate expansion. As a member of the controversial rap group N.W.A, Ice Cube helped make the silver and black culturally significant. He looks at how the Raiders changed the city before moving away in 1994. Airs May 4.

== “The Two Escobars”

Born in the same city in Colombia with the same last name, Andres Escobar and Pablo Escobar shared a childhood love for soccer. Andres grew up to become one of Colombia’s most beloved players; Pablo rose through the ranks of the criminal underground to become not only the most notorious drug baron of all time, but also arguably the secret weapon responsible for Colombian soccer’s unprecedented rise to glory. After Columbia’s early elimination from the 1994 FIFA World Cup, Andres Escobar was mysteriously murdered. There’s a connection to Pablo, as director Jeff Zimbalist explores. Airs May 11.


== “June 17, 1994”

Arnold Palmer played his last U.S. Open round at Oakmont, the FIFA World Cup kicked off in Chicago, the New York Rangers celebrated their first Stanley Cup in 54 years … and O.J. Simpson led police on a slow-speed chase down the 405. Director Brett Morgen weaves it all together. Airs June 16.

== “The 16th Man”

If you’ve seen “Invictus,” you’ll know this story of the 1995 Rugby World Cup, when South African president Nelson Mandela tried to unify his country with the Springboks. Morgan Freeman, who plays Mandella in “Invictus,” joins producer Lori McCreary and director Cliff Bestall to tell the story again. Airs June 22.

== Other previously announced “30 for 30” projects that have yet to air include Academy Award winner Bill Couturi doing “Guru of Go,” on the 1991 Loyola Marymount basketball team coached by Paul Westhead and John SIngledon doing “Marion Jones: Press Pause.”

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  • DT-89

    Wow, looks like ESPN used up all its better ideas in the first few selections of the series.

    My gosh, is most EVERYTHING in ESPN’s history the dramatic telling of racial struggle? The Iverson story, Raiders recap, Escobar tale (?) and, of course, another account of a story that a movie already retold weeks ago are sure to make ESPN feel oh, so good about themselves. Too bad, because the “Invictus” story really is awesome.

    And I can’t wait for inevitably one more interview with Spike Lee (on Reggie Miller’s 8 in 8.9) to go along with the 3,000 times he’s already been featured on ESPN.

    Maybe they’ll ask him how his movies have lost more money than Bear Stearns. Now that would be a SportsCenter highlight!

  • DC915

    Are u crazy? The Ricky Williams is going to be awesome….. And the Marcus Dupree (Coming way later) is going to rock toooooo……..