January 15, 2010: ESPN is looking to score with a national audience with Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, which is part of ESPN Films' "30 for 30" documentary series celebrating the sports network's 30th anniversary.
Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks will be shown as part of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah, Jan. 21-31, with screenings Jan. 24, 27, 29, 30. It then will get red-carpet treatment in Indianapolis, where Miller himself will be the guest of honor on Feb. 26 in Conseco Fieldhouse.
The film will debut nationally on ESPN on March 14. ESPN Films' "30 For 30" series is being presented by Levis. ESPN also is supporting with promos across its networks, print and online including a dedicated Web site and Twitter page.
The film, directed by Dan Klores, who also produced along with Miller, David Zieff, Charles C. Stuart and Gail D'Agostino, recounts the seasons from 1993-95 when the rivalry between the Indiana Pacers and the Knicks was as heated and fervent as any in the history of athletics. "Stars" of the 68-minute film include Miller, Cheryl Miller (Reggie's sister and a basketball superstar), Knicks head coach Pat Riley, Pacers head coach Larry Brown, Patrick Ewing, Charles Oakley and John Starks and 19,600 fans at Madison Square Garden, when Miller had some of his most prolific games against the Knicks.
As the tagline for the film aptly explains about Miller, "He got in their head and broke their hearts." And as ESPN's promo voiceover for the film offers, "What if I told you he was the reason the City never slept. What if I told you you could respect with hatred. "
A prominent perspective in the film comes from director Spike Lee, a die-hard Knicks fan whose courtside seat at Madison Square Garden enabled him to not only become a cheerleader for all Knicks fans but also to develop an interactive role as Miller's nemesis during those rivalry years. And also to give life to the label put on Miller by New Yorkers as "The Garden's Greatest Villain."
The Sundance premiere is expected to be attended by Klores, Miller and possibly Spike Lee. At Conseco Fieldhouse, the screening will benefit Pacers Foundation, Peoples Burn Foundation/Brave Hearts Camp and Riley Hospital for Children Pediatric Burn Unit. The evening will feature a one-hour Red Carpet arrival before the film is shown that my also star Lee. Miller will share his personal insights about the film before the screening.
Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks focuses on four main moments during the three-year span:
• John Starks' head-butt of Miller and subsequent ejection from Game 3 of their first-round series in 1993.
• Miller's 25-point fourth quarter in Game 5 of the 1994 Eastern Conference finals, rallying the Pacers from a 12-point deficit to a 93-86 victory and a 3-2 series lead.
• Miller's eight points in 8.9 seconds to bring the Pacers back from a six-point deficit to a 107-105 victory in Game 1 of the 1995 Eastern Conference semifinals.
• Patrick Ewing's missed finger-roll at the buzzer as the Pacers eliminated the Knicks in Game 7 in the 1995 semifinals.
The Pacers lost in the Conference Finals to the Orlando Magic, then led by Shaquille O'Neal, but made it to the NBA Finals during the 1999-2000 season but lost to the Los Angeles Lakers, who were lead by O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. Miller retired following the 2004-05 season having played his entire 18-year NBA career with the Pacers. He was named to five All-Star teams and still holds the record as the NBA's all-time leader in three-point field goals with 2,560. He currently works as a commentator on NBA games for TNT.
“I’m really looking forward to this because the movie brings back a lot of great memories for myself and Pacers’ fans,” Miller said in a statement. “I’m very pleased that [the screening in Indianapolis] will benefit three great charities, that I can be a part of it and that Indiana fans can come and re-live a great series along with a great ending.”