ESPN Australia New Zealand will broadcast the 20-hour, 10-part documentary “Basketball: A Love Story” from Peabody Award-winning director Dan Klores.
The sweeping project, which consists of more than 60 interconnected “short stories,” will begin on Thursday June 4 at 9pm AEST on ESPN, and continue nightly.
The Klores directed series creates a vibrant mosaic of the game, featuring 165 exclusive interviews, and it marks the first time the series has been presented to Australian and New Zealand viewers.
The cast encompasses 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’ 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.
“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.”
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.
Basketball: A Love Story Schedule
Thursday, June 4 9pm AEST, ESPN– Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 1
Friday, June 5 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 2
Saturday, June 6 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 3
Sunday, June 7 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 4
Monday, June 8 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 5
Tuesday, June 9 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 6
Wednesday, June 10 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 7
Thursday, June 11 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 8
Friday, June 12 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 9
Saturday June 13, 9pm AEST, ESPN – Basketball: A Love Story, Episode 10
ESPN and ESPN2 are available on Foxtel, Kayo Sports, Fetch TV and Sky NZ