While the title may say “Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks”, director Dan Klores made it not just about one man versus an entire team, but about two teams who were mirror images of each other and did a fantastic job of resurrecting the sense of animosity and hatred these two rivals had for one another. This is something you don’t have in today’s game. There aren’t rivalries like this anymore, where every hard foul could lead to fight. Trash talking was non stop and usually, the source of that trash talk was from perhaps the greatest Pacer ever: Reggie Miller. Klores not only highlighted Miller’s on the court play, but also delved deep into his sibling rivalry with sister Cheryl Miller, perhaps the greatest female basketball player of all time. The highlight of that potion of the film is the story when Reggie told his father and Cheryl that he scored 40 in his first start in high school, only to be told that on that same night, Cheryl scored 105 points!!
The best part of the film begins around the half hour mark where they delve into the shouting match between Miller and long time Knicks’ fan, director Spike Lee. From that point on, it wasn’t Reggie Miller vs the New York Knicks, it was Reggie Miller vs Spike Lee. There’s a great back and forth in the film where Miller claims that Spike said disparaging remarks like calling him “Cheryl”, only for Spike to quickly deny them. Whatever he said to Miller, in obviously gave him a spark as they go in detail about his Game 5 4th quarter 25 point performance, climaxed by giving Spike Lee this infamous choke sign.
While Reggie Miller was the focus of this film, everyone involved in this rivalry was interviewed. Patrick Ewing, John Starks, Pat Riley, Larry Brown, Mark Jackson, Marv Albert, even Rik Smits gave their own personal insight on this rivalry and the people involved in it. The film also did a terrific job at not just talking about the Pacers vs the Knicks, but Indiana Basketball, which focused on making jump shots vs New York Basketball, which focused on taking it to the hoop. Every aspect of this rivalry was covered.
We give Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs The New York Knicks 4 out of 5. Any fan of 90’s basketball should watch this immediately, even if your not a Pacers or Knicks fan. We take one point off because even though the film did a terrific job displaying how bitter and heated this rivalry was, they glossed over the fact that neither one of these teams won a championship during these runs.