Reginald Wayne Miller (commonly known as Reggie Miller) was one of the NBA’s finest shooters. Playing his entire career with the Indiana Pacers, he was known for his precision three-point shooting, especially in clutch situations. He holds the NBA record of 2,560 career three-pointers made (which I reckon could be surpassed by Ray Allen), amongst other career achievements and awards.
Reggie put on many great performances, but is probably best known for role in the bitter Knicks–Pacers rivalry during the 1990’s Eastern Conference playoffs. Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks, is one of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentaries, a documentary series chronicling 30 stories from ESPN’s 30th anniversary.
Made by Peabody Award-winning director Dan Klores, the documentary:
zero’s in on the dramatic seven game 1995 playoff series between Reggie’s Pacers and the Knicks. The series was front page news in the NYC tabloids, a war of words between the glib Miller and Knick fanatic Spike Lee, included appearances on Letterman, pronouncements by Giuliani, fistfights between teammates, near riots by Indiana fans, chokes, overtimes, finger rolls and bitterness not only between Hall of Fame coaches, Pat Riley and Larry Brown, but between the two most precious basketball cultures in America – Hoosier Land vs. “New Yawk”.
The Pacers, who had lost to the Knicks in the two previous playoffs, were seeking dramatic revenge. Reggie scored eight points during the last 16 seconds of Game One, silencing MSG and bringing children and gamblers to tears. Later, leading the series three games to one, the Pacers blew a ten point lead with five minutes to go in Game Five. And when they returned home, they were dealt a devastating defeat in Game Six.
Would Game Seven at MSG be “Miller Time”, or would Ewing get another chance at the Finals after losing the championship the year before? Would Spike, Woody and Trump have the chance to return Reggie’s choke sign? Would Starks, who head-butted Reggie in a playoff game the year before after he lit him up for 25 points in the fourth quarter, come through in the clutch? Would Brown’s whining to officials, the League, and the media matter as the final minutes ticked away?
I watched this the other day, and found it very informative. Not only did Reggie give a detailed insight into his train of thought on the court, but we were treated to commentary from rival players such as John Starks and Patrick Ewing, as well as coaches Pat Riley and Larry Brown (New York and Indiana coaches at the time). Appearances and commentary also comes from by arguably the best WNBA player ever and sister to Reggie, Cheryl Miller, sportscaster Ahmad Rashad, and award winning film director, producer, writer, actor, and life-long Knick fan Spike Lee.
Definitely worth watching, I doubt any NBA fans and those wanting to get familiar with the sport of basketball would be disappointed. After all, it was this rivalry that brought us this unforgettable play:
Reggie will be remembered for his many career highlights but quite unfortunately he will also be known as one of the great players that didn’t win the coveted NBA Championship!