HBO Sports announced Monday that it has picked up Antoine Fuqua’s upcoming documentary “The Day Sports Stood Still,” which has NBA star Chris Paul attached as executive producer and narrator and explores the shutdown and restart of multiple sports leagues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the doc, Paul, a point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder and the president of the NBA Players Association, will recount his personal experience of being involved in the first American sports game that was shut down by the pandemic on March 11 and the subsequent shutdowns that followed.
The doc goes on to cover the sports world’s attempt to restart play with COVID-19 safety regulations — particularly the NBA bubble that was set up in Orlando — as well as Paul’s memories of negotiating with players and owners when the Milwaukee Bucks refused to play following the shooting of Jacob Blake by police. Stars from other leagues also provide their thoughts in remote interviews on how the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests personally affected them.
“Last March when the NBA announced they were postponing the season, Chris Paul and I spoke and he said to me “we have to document this.” Antoine was our next call and days later, we started filming. We knew this was a unique story, but no one could have predicted the emotional twists and turns that came with bringing the game back,” said Imagine Documentaries’ Brian Grazer “It’s been an incredible journey and a point in history that none of us will forget.”
Alongside Paul, Grazer and Justin Wilkes will produce the film for Imagine Documentaries while Fuqua will produce through Fuqua Films. Ron Howard, Sara Bernstein, and Marc Gilbar are executive producers. The film is set for release on HBO and HBO Max early next year.