By Evan Bleier / September 7, 2018

Overtime: ESPN’s Basketball Documentary Series Will Be Longer Than Ken Burns’ “Baseball”

The network's "Basketball: A Love Story" will feature current stars and NBA legends.

A teaser image for ESPN's new basketball documentary series. (ESPN)
A teaser image for ESPN's new basketball documentary series. (ESPN)

At 18 hours and 30 minutes, Ken Burns’ nine-part documentary series Baseball was a massive undertaking to produce and is as equal an undertaking to watch.

Well, ESPN is making a doc series of its own that is going to be even longer, except this one is about basketball.

Directed by Dan Klores, “Basketball: A Love Story” will be a 10-part series featuring 62 short hoops stories told throughout 20 hours of screen time.

While not as well known as Burns, Klores received the Peabody Award for his four-hour film Black Magic in 2008.

Debuting on the ESPN app starting September 18 and on the network October 9, the series is built on more than 500 hours of interviews with basketball greats ranging from Kevin Durant and LeBron James to Larry Bird and Bill Russell.

“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,” Klores said in a press release. “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.”

To accompany the series, a book by Jackie MacMullan and Rafe Bartholomew based on interviews done for the film will be released.

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