Not too long ago on TrueHoop, I reviewed Dan Klores' upcoming documentary "Winning Time," on the rivalry between the New York Knicks and the Indiana Pacers.
I went in with two concerns. First of all, I had been working non-stop on Tim Donaghy stuff, and was consumed with spreadsheets, referee statistics, and cold hard analysis. Comedy was the last thing on my mind. What's more, having lived in New York through this entire episode, I expected what I remembered: Bitterness. New York in the 1990s did not have a sense of humor about basketball. Reggie Miller was reviled. The Knicks were -- despite their one foray to the Finals at the end of the decade -- seen as a great gritty tragedy, stretched out over a decade or more. (As Jeff Van Gundy says in the movie, Pat Riley wasn't Hollywood. The real Pat Riley, the one that coached the Knicks, is all Schenectady.)
But Klores plays this tale as high comedy, set to opera. And it's delightful.
Here's a taste: