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Winning Time

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by wehrwd, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. wehrwd

    wehrwd Guest

    Anyone catch the ESPN 30 for 30 film last night about Reggie Miller and the Pacers' rivalry with the New York Knicks?

    I thought it was fantastically done .... this review hits a few of the high points:


    I know it's easy to become nostalgic about "the good ol' days" when, in fact, the good old days might not have been so good. Still, I can't help but think the NBA was more fun to watch back then just because of these kinds of rivalries. I wish we had more of those today. The last good rivalry the NBA has had -- that I can think of, anyway -- was Sacramento vs. L.A. from about 2000 to 2003.
  2. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I think it is very convenient to use your first post to link a review that you probably wrote.
  3. wehrwd

    wehrwd Guest

    I doubt you'll believe me, but I didn't write that. Never heard of the writer before. I just happened to find it on a Google News search (it's the first thing that comes up) and enjoyed reading it.
  4. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I don't, but welcome to SportsJournalists.com.
  5. OnTheRiver

    OnTheRiver Active Member

    If the dude writes for an Onion offshoot, then more power to him.

    And I miss the old Knicks-Pacers rivalry. The Indiana wins were always fun and invigorating, and the New York wins made me want to go punch Spike Lee in the mouth.
  6. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    Regardless, glad to see a thread on it ... great documentary. Interviews and edits were very sharp; it was 90 minutes but felt like 30.
  7. Cousin Jeffrey

    Cousin Jeffrey Active Member

    Onion AV Club is always recognized as a best on the Web site. Doubt someone needs to plug it on sportsjournalists.com.

    In any event, I liked Winning Time very much, though there was way too much Ahmad Rashad, especially early on. I joked that Klores booked Jordan, and MJ sent Rashad in his place. After all, they're the only two non-pirates to still wear hoop earrings.

    I wish we still had athletes who talked like Reggie in interviews. He said on NBC, "Well, John Starks choked." In the 24-7 media world, that would elicit two dozen columns and 10,000 "tweets" debating Miller's lack of civility and how it means the world is crashing down around us.

    Not to mention the outrage when Spike Lee joked at the airport he was staying in "slave quarters" at the governor's mansion, a really, really great line.

    In that regard, I couldn't believe some of the clips from that game at Market Square, like the two guys holding up triangle banners like Klan hoods and a picture of Spike with a noose. I do remember Starks going over to celebrate with Lee, which was awesome.
  8. GoochMan

    GoochMan Active Member

    I have no love for Ahmad Rashad, but his line about end-of-game shots rang true.

    To paraphrase: "You know, there are some guys who will shoot the last shot...gimme the ball, 3, 2, 1...you know it ain't going in."

    AS true now as it ever was, from pickup games at the local gym to the NBA.
  9. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    The Onion review brings up the point about how animated everyone involved still gets about those series, and I think it extends to the fans as well. At least this one. To me, Hicks v. Knicks was a far greater, intense rivalry than Colts v. Patriots, and the 1995 playoff series win did a lot more for Indianapolis' collective consciousness than anything Peyton Manning could ever do, up to and including the Super Bowl.

    After all, the whole terminology of Hicks v. Knicks made the rivalry personal among the fans in ways Colts v. Patriots could never be. At the time, Indianapolis was still trying to establish itself as something more than a slightly overgrown Toledo, and its citizens, despite any outward Hoosier Pride, were all too aware, and had internalized, eons of (sometimes well-deserved) derision about how they were all a bunch of backward hicks. (I remember seeing some short-lived Gen X magazine that did city ratings, including a rating for how much people liked their own city. Shitburgs like Rockford even got a 10 out of 10. Indianapolis scored a 3.)

    Reggie Miller, despite the infamous 1987 draft party booing, never ripped the fans, and in fact understood the fans I think better than they understood themselves. When Miller says he was doing this for Indiana, you can believe it. But then again, Miller was a perfect match for this franchise: a guy who, no matter what, had always been shit on as someone not good enough. Heck, he couldn't even beat his sister, right?

    I was at the head-butt game, and when Starks pulled that move, it was like a switch went off. The Hicks v. Knicks headlines came out of New York, to the great insult of the people of Indianapolis. Yet, once the fans embraced their inner hick (always loved the tractor outside Market Square Arena), it was like some sort of freeing thing -- yep, we're hicks, so what you gonna do about it?

    After my wife and I got married, we moved to New York, where I strung the seventh game for my old employer (the Daily Journal in Franklin, Ind.) and the Indianapolis Star. I talked to a lot of fans before the game, including a kid from Staten Island who showed in a Reggie Miller jersey. But the funniest were two guys from New Jersey who showed up in full Hee-Haw outfits, including overall, straw hats, corncob pipes and blackened teeth. What all the fans had in common was that this rivalry wasn't just basketball. Knicks v. Heat was basketball. Knicks v. Pacers was oh-shit-don't-let-us-lose-to-Miller-and-these-hicks. When Ewing's last shot rimmed out, I never heard an arena go from so loud to so quiet so fast. The only sounds were security guards, on the verge of tears, being more brusque than usual.

    All this said, I, nor anyone else in Indianapolis (I hope), would ever say the city is equal in any way, shape or form to New York, especially just because of a basketball game. But I do believe that, slowly but surely, the Hicks v. Knicks series was a watershed moment for how people in Indianapolis thought about themselves. If nothing else, it ended the idea that the prototypical Hoosier player had to be a 6-foot, white sharpshooter, what with a 6-foot-7 black guy playing a sharpshooting, feisty game, and, in one sequence in "Winning Time," the sight of injured-reserve Damon Bailey in street clothes, part of his being Donnie Walsh's charity case.
  10. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    Side note: I can only dream of looking as good as Ahmad Rashad at age 60. Man, he's drinking from the same fountain as Dick Clark.
  11. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    I was skeptical of seeing Rashad first-thing in the movie, then remembered he had a front-row seat for all those games. NBC did a pretty good job back then; just hearing that opening jingle they used on NBA games brought back memories.
  12. Petrie

    Petrie Guest

    Roundball Rock makes anything more fun to watch.

    One thing I couldn't help but notice was, though the common scraps were entertaining, how far both teams set back the game of basketball. Most of the scores of those series were horrendous for that level (88-68, anyone?).

    Hypothetical question concerning Reggie's 8 points in 8.9 seconds: You think he pulls that second 3 if the 3-point line isn't in? The steal/3 seemed so smooth because he only had to step back to 22 feet. Does that sequence still occur if he has to take another half-step back to 23-9?
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