After a big month of streaming sports entertainment, two documentaries arrive with a behind-the-scenes look at greatness.


Showtime premieres “McEnroe” on September courtesy

Summer has traditionally been a slower time of year on the sports calendar, but there are plenty of streaming options available for fans who can’t get enough.

On August 12, Amazon Prime released “A League of Their Own,” a reimagining of the hit 1992 film about the real World War II All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The new series stars Chanté Adams and D’Arcy Carden and has been Prime’s #1 show since its arrival.

Three days later, Hulu launched the 10-episode docuseries “Legacy: The True Story of the LA Lakers,” which spotlights the franchise’s 1980s “Showtime” era and features interviews with a long list of team legends.

The very next day, Netflix released the last of its Untold series. “The Girlfriend Who Didn’t Exist” is a two-part documentary that revisits the catfishing saga around former Notre Dame soccer star Manti Te’o from 2012. The honesty that Te’o showed on how it impacted his life both on and off the estate struck a chord with viewers, who kept him a consistent presence in the Netflix top 10.

And just last week, FX and Hulu premiered “Welcome to Wrexham,” a docuseries that follows a pair of distraught Americans who take the reins of a soccer team. Unlike Emmy-winning “Ted Lasso,” of course, “Welcome to Wrexham” is a true story. Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have invested £2million to buy Welsh fifth-tier football team Wrexham AFC, but they don’t claim to know much about football. But they know how to connect with the club’s passionate fans.

The next major arrivals on the calendar are a pair of documentaries: the first takes a closer look at one of the sport’s most spirited and compelling personalities, and another uses unprecedented archival footage to revisit one of the greatest basketball teams.


Release date: September 2
Production Companies : Entertainment Sylver, Dogwoof
Where to watch: Show time

Three summers ago, director Barney Douglas took the elevator to John McEnroe’s apartment in his Central Park high-rise and was greeted by the top-ranked former tennis player in a bathrobe. They went into the kitchen, where McEnroe asked Douglas open-ended questions about what a documentary about him might look like. After 30 minutes, Douglas felt like McEnroe, who is known as much for his seven Grand Slam titles as he is for his confrontational behavior on the court, was a bit bored with tennis.

“Everyone wanted to talk about tennis with him. Tennis, tennis, tennis,” said Douglas, who admitted he had never been a big fan of the sport himself. “I was like, ‘Well, I want to talk about love and connection and family.’ And he was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ That was more what he meant. Obviously, I’m aware that an audience wants the tennis element too. But it was about integrating that into the narrative and not doing it all.

In this way, “McEnroe” is a reflection of both the tennis star’s tumultuous career and his personal life. It features archival footage of key matches, but also home video provided by McEnroe. The 63-year-old said he was heavily involved in the creative direction of the documentary, “but I didn’t have the final cut or anything”.

The film, which had its world premiere in Tribeca earlier this year, features various voices like tennis legend Bjorn Borg and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones.

“It’s not a tennis story. It’s a human story,” said Stephen Espinoza, Showtime’s president of sports. one of the greatest tennis players of all time.

“I think everyone remembers the impetuosity and the explosions. But I think a lot of people will be surprised by the self-examination, the self-analysis, the candor, the acknowledgment of past failures, and that sincere commitment not just to acknowledging some of those flaws, but to correcting them and becoming a better human being.

LeBron James and Dwyane Wade (left to right, with Carmelo Anthony) are the executive producers of the new Netflix offering.Images: getty

The Redeem Team

Release date: October 7
Production Companies : Olympic Channel; The Kennedy/Marshall Company; Mandalay Sports Media; 59th & Prairie Entertainment; NBA Entertainment; Uninterrupted; American basketball
Where to watch: netflix

With unprecedented access to footage, director Jon Weinbach paints a portrait of team spirit with this closer look at the 2008 USA men’s Olympic basketball team that came together to reclaim the gold after the demoralizing loss at the 2004 Olympics. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, the team’s top scorers, served as executive producers on the project.

“I think it’s a really fascinating portrait in team spirit,” Weinbach said. “It’s also a snapshot of a moment that’s not that far away, but through the prism of this team we can see how much the world has changed, even since 2008. I love the interplay between culture , history, sport and identity.”

This is the first time the International Olympic Committee has produced a film exclusively for a global streaming service and has made archival footage from 70 years of Olympic history available.

“There’s something like 58,000 hours of Olympic archives, so it’s less about opening up and more about knowing where to look,” said Greg Groggel, producer of the documentary and executive producer of Olympic Channel Originals. “After years of producing award-winning original programs, we had an idea of ​​what was out there and where to find it.”


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