Thursday, February 4, 2010

Winning Time


Tonight I went to the premiere of "Winning Time," a new documentary about Reggie Miller and the Knicks-Pacers rivalry of the early 1990s. It brought back all of the emotions, images and characters of those great series -- the insanity of John Starks, the spectacle of Spike Lee, the pantomime villainy of Reggie Miller. As always, the player that stood out for me was Patrick Ewing, who missed a finger roll at the end of the deciding game 7 in 1995 to seal the Knicks' doom. In the film, Ewing is funny and engaging and rueful; he talks about the "basketball gods" closing the hoop to him on the fateful play. In the moments after falling short, Ewing's reaction is one of pride and dignity. Maybe I have been thinking about the upsides of failure too much, but I think Ewing's career should be celebrated and not scorned, as it is so often by New Yorkers.