10-part documentary Basketball: A Love Story will screen on ESPN from tomorrow.
The project, by director Dan Klores, consists of more than 60 interconnected “short stories,” 165 interviews, including basketball’s most prominent figures, from Bob Cousy, LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Dr. J, Yao Ming, Stephen Curry and Diana Taurasi, to Magic Johnson, Oscar Robertson, Bill Russell, Larry Bird, Chris Paul and Kobe Bryant.
Klores stated: “I’ve wanted to do this for many years. I first pitched it more than a decade ago to ESPN. These are ‘short stories’ to which I think millions around the world can relate. The game, for me and others, has been an escape, a chance to pretend, feel safe, learn, love, lose and even despair. It has an obsessive quality to it, whether one is a player as great as Jordan or LeBron, a fan, a park player, a team member – and to me, “obsession” is a form of love, so in a real sense each of these stories touches upon that feeling.”
Klores’ short stories explore the complex nature of love as it relates to the game and opens the window to insights and perspectives about race, politics, media, art, business, style and entertainment.
The episodes will feature different narrators: Chadwick Boseman, Julianne Moore, Chris Cuomo, Ashley Judd, Michael Che, Ansel Elgort, Ahmad Rashad, Robin Quivers, Daveed Diggs, and Fisher Stevens.
Klores and his team of producers conducted more than 500 hours of interviews.
Subjects of note include Mike Krzyzewski, Pat Riley, John Thompson, Allen Iverson, Earl Monroe, Anthony Davis, Dirk Nowitzki, Lisa Leslie, Charles Barkley, Steve Kerr, Shaquille O’Neal, Steve Nash, David Thompson, John Havlicek, Cheryl Miller, Arvydas Sabonis, Chris Mullin, John Calipari, Moses Malone, Tommy Heinsohn, Rick Pitino, Jack Ramsey, Connie Hawkins, Nolan Richardson, Jim Boeheim, Tony Parker, Nancy Lieberman, Lynette Woodard, Tiny Archibald, Phil Jackson, Calvin Murphy, Rick Barry, David Robinson, George Gervin, Larry Brown, Dave Bing, Jeff Van Gundy, Rebecca Lobo, Bill Walton, Geno Auriemma, Doug Moe, Hubie Brown, Sarunas Marciulionis, Roy Williams, Billy Donovan, Dale Brown, John Lucas, Slick Leonard, Doug Collins, Tom Sanders, Elvin Hayes, Quinn Buckner, Bob Pettit, Isiah Thomas, Kenny Smith, Mark Jackson, Kristaps Porzingis, Becky Hammon, Bill Simmons, Joe B. Hall, Denny Crum, Tom Thibodeau, Stephen A. Smith, Jackie McMullan, Pete Vecsey, Bob Ryan, Rick Welts, Val Ackerman, Russ Granik, David Stern, Adam Silver and many more.
In 2008, Klores received the Peabody Award for his four-hour film “Black Magic,” and in 2007 he was awarded The Independent Spirit Award for the documentary classic, “Crazy Love.” Four of Mr. Klores’ films have premiered at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival; “Boys of Second Street Park,” “Ring of Fire,” “Crazy Love,” and “Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. the New York Knicks.” Klores is the author of three Off-Broadway plays, and his essays have appeared in The New York Times, New York, Esquire, Southern Exposure, New York Daily News, The Undefeated and other publications.
Thursday, June 4 9pm Episode 1 on ESPN
Friday, June 5 9pm Episode 2
Saturday, June 6 9pm Episode 3
Sunday, June 7 9pm Episode 4
Monday, June 8 9pm Episode 5
Tuesday, June 9 9pm Episode 6
Wednesday, June 10 9pm Episode 7
Thursday, June 11 9pm Episode 8
Friday, June 12 9pm Episode 9
Saturday June 13, 9pm Episode 10